M. Alexander Pearl

  • Chickasaw Nation Endowed Chair in Native American Law
  • Professor of Law


B.A., University of Oklahoma

J.D., University of California, Berkeley School of Law

Research Interests

  • Indigenous Legal and Social Issues
  • Water Law
  • Climate Change Law and Policy
  • Statutory Interpretation


Professor Alex Pearl is an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and a Professor of Law at the University of Oklahoma. Professor Pearl is a nationally recognized scholar in the field of Federal Indian Law. His academic scholarship focuses on the fields of Federal Indian Law, water rights, Constitutional Law, and statutory interpretation. Professor Pearl’s scholarship is forthcoming or has been published at journals from Yale University, Harvard University, the University of Michigan, UCLA and many other legal publications. Professor Pearl’s work was cited by Justice Gorsuch in his concurring opinion in the Supreme Court’s decision in Haaland v. Brackeen. In addition to his scholarly work, Professor Pearl serves as an Associate Justice on the Cheyenne and Arapaho Nations Supreme Court.  

Professor Pearl obtained his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley—School of Law. While at Berkeley Law, he was a research assistant for the late esteemed scholar of federal Indian law, Professor Philip Frickey. After graduation, Professor Pearl clerked for the Honorable William J. Holloway Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and then worked as an associate at Kilpatrick Townsend in Washington, D.C. where he exclusively represented Indian tribes and individual Indians including the plaintiff class in the historic Cobell litigation. 

Professor Pearl joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2020. At OU he is affiliate faculty in the Department of Native American Studies as well as with the South Central Climate Adaptation Science Center. For the previous six years, he was a member of the faculty at Texas Tech University School of Law, where he was the Director of the Center for Water Law and Policy and affiliate faculty with the Texas Tech Climate Science Center.  

Additional Information

Courses Taught


  • Property 5234
  • Statutory Interpretation 6100
  • Water Law 6508

Selected Publications

Selected Publications

  1. The (Next) Big Short and the End of the Anthropocene, 2019 Utah L. Rev. 383 (2019)
  2. Originalism and Indian Tribes, 93 Tul. L. Rev. 269 (2018)
  3. Indigenous Nations and Climate Change, 53 Wake Forest L. Rev. 713 (2018)
  4. Indigenizing Equality: The Story of Marriage Discrimination in Indian Country, 35 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 461 (2017) (co-author with Professor Kyle Velte)
  5. Redskins: The Property Right to Racism, 38 Cardozo L. Rev. 231 (2016)
  6. Paint Chip Indians, 9 Unbound: Harv. J. Legal Left 62 (December 2015)
  7. The Tragedy of the Vital Commons, 45 Envtl. L. 1021 (2015)
  8. How to Be an Authentic Indian, 5 Cal. L. Rev. Circuit 392 (November 2014)

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