Michalyn Steele

Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, Marion G. Romney Professor of Law

Professor Michalyn Steele (Georgetown University Law Center '01) has been at BYU Law since 2011, beginning as a Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, followed by a Fellowship, before becoming an Associate Professor in 2014. She was advanced to the rank of Professor in 2019. Professor Steele began duties as the Associate Dean for Research and Academic Affairs in 2021. In 2022, Professor Steele was named the Marion G. Romney Professor of Law. She teaches Constitutional Law, Civil Rights, Federal Indian Law, and Law and Leadership. 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's Housing and Civil Enforcement section, where her work was honored with multiple Division awards. Beginning in late 2009, Professor Steele worked as a Counselor to the Assistant Secretary of Interior for Indian Affairs, Larry Echo Hawk. 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
  • Revitalizing Indian Sovereignty in Treatymaking, NYU L. Rev. (forthcoming 2022) (with David H. Moore).
  • Rethinking Protections for Indigenous Sacred Sites, 134 Harv. L. Rev. 1294 (2021) (with Stephanie Hall Barclay). [SSRN]
  • Indigenous Resilience, 62 Ariz. L. Rev. 305 (2020). [SSRN]
  • Sovereignty and the Corn Soup Social: A Personal Reflection, in Essays on American Indian & Mormon History, at xxix (P. Jane Hafen & Brenden Rensink eds., Univ. Utah Press 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