Michalyn Steele

Associate Dean for Research & Academic Affairs

Full-time Faculty

Professor of Law

Professor Michalyn Steele (Georgetown University Law Center ’01) joined the faculty of BYU Law School as an Associate Professor in 2014, following two years as a Fellow and a semester as a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence at the Law School. She has taught Federal Indian Law, Evidence, and Civil Rights. After beginning her legal career with Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, a highly regarded D.C. firm specializing in the representation of Indian tribes, Professor Steele worked for six years as a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division. Professor Steele worked in the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, where her primary responsibilities included litigation and investigations to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title II of the Civil Rights Act, and RLUIPA. While at the Department of Justice, her work was honored with the Division’s Special Act Award in 2006 and the Division’s Special Achievement Award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. Beginning in late 2009, Professor Steele worked for several years as a Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Larry Echo Hawk, at the U.S. Department of Interior. She is a member of the Seneca Nation of Indians of New York. Professor Steele holds a B.A. ('92) and an M.A. ('94) in Humanities from BYU, with an emphasis in English literature and Native American studies.

Courses Taught

  • Civil Rights
  • Evidence
  • Federal Indian Law
  • Structures of the Constitution


  • J.D., Georgetown University
  • M.A., Brigham Young University
  • B.A., Brigham Young University
  • Indigenous ResilienceAriz. L. Rev. (forthcoming). [SSRN]
  • Sovereignty and the Corn Soup Socialin Nor Any Manner of –Ites: American Indians and Mormons (P. Jane Hafen & Brenden Rensink eds., University of Utah Press, forthcoming 2019).
  • Cultivating Professional Identity and Resilience Through the Study of Federal Indian Law, 2018 BYU L. Rev. 1429. [SSRN]
  • Just Environmentalism, 37 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 1 (2018) (with Brigham Daniels & Lisa Grow Sun). [SSRN]
  • Congressional Power and Sovereignty in Indian Affairs, 2018 Utah L. Rev. 307. [SSRN]
  • Identifying and Reducing Disparities in Mental Health Outcomes Among American Indians and Alaskan Natives Using Public Health, Mental Healthcare and Legal Perspectives, 45 Admin. & Pol’y in Mental Health & Mental Health Serv. Res. 5 (2018) (with Hannah E. Payne, Jennie L. Bingham & Chantel D. Sloan).
  • Ascending the Mountain: The People of the Great HillClark Memorandum, Fall 2017, at 4.
  • Breaking Faith with the Tribal Sovereignty DoctrineFed. Law., Apr. 2017, at 48.
  • Plenary Power, Political Questions, and Sovereignty in Indian Affairs, 63 UCLA L. Rev. 666 (2016). [SSRN]
  • Comparative Institutional Competency and Sovereignty in Indian Affairs, 85 U. Colo. L. Rev. 759 (2014). [SSRN]
  • Associate Professor of Law, J. Reuben Clark Law School, August 2014–Present
  • Fellow, J. Reuben Clark Law School, August 2012–2014
  • Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, J. Reuben Clark Law School, August 2011–December 2011
  • Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior, October 2010–June 2012
  • Trial Attorney, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, U.S. Department of Justice, June 2004–October 2010
  • Associate Attorney, Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson, & Perry, May 2001–June 2004