M. Alexander Pearl

  • 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 Pearl is an enrolled citizen of the Chickasaw Nation. He is a nationally recognized scholar in the fields of water law, climate change law and policy, Indigenous legal/social issues, and statutory interpretation. His research focuses both on distinct concepts within these fields as well as intersectional issues that cross legal fields and social dynamics. He regularly works collaboratively with scientists and scholars in related fields to produce practical and theoretical scholarship. 

After graduating from the University of Oklahoma with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, Professor Pearl obtained his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley—School of Law. While at Berkeley Law, he was on Law Review, chaired the Native American Law Student Association, and was a research assistant for the late esteemed scholar of Indian Law and statutory interpretation, Professor Philip Frickey. From Berkeley Law, Professor Pearl returned to Oklahoma where he clerked for the Honorable William J. Holloway Jr., of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. After completing his clerkship, Professor Pearl worked as an associate at Kilpatrick Townsend in Washington, D.C. where he exclusively represented Indian tribes and individual Indians in a variety of capacities and in a diverse array of fora. 

Professor Pearl joined the faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2020. For the previous six years, he was a member of the faculty at Texas Tech University School of Law. While there, he was the Director of the Texas Tech University School of Law Center for Water Law and Policy. In addition, Professor Pearl was affiliate faculty with the Texas Tech Climate Science Center, where we worked with faculty from a variety of academic departments to address climate change issues at all levels. During his tenure at Texas Tech University, Professor Pearl received the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, the Hemphill-Wells Excellence in Teaching Award, the Alumni Association New Faculty Award, and the 1L Professor of the Year Award. Professor Pearl’s academic career started at Florida International Award, where he was given the Impact Award by the student body for the 2013-14 academic year.  

Professor Pearl is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, the District of Columbia, the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and D.C Circuit, and the United States Supreme Court.  

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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