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Jestrab Lectures

This lecture series advances the study, evaluation, and resolution of issues related to water conservation and usage in general, and issues related to the law of water rights, water conservation and water usage in the western states of the United States.


Elvira and Frank Jestrab, 1985Frank Jestrab is a 1938 graduate of The University of Montana School of Law. He was born January 28, 1913, in Havre, Montana. After graduating from law school he joined the Anaconda Copper Mining Co. in Butte where he worked until 1942.

He then served as Infantry Platoon Leader, Company Executive Officer, and Battalion Supply Officer in the Aleutian Islands and as Platoon Leader and Company Commander of the 475th Infantry in Burma until 1945. He received the Bronze Star and left the armed services in 1945 as a Captain.

Jestrab practiced law in New York City and Houston, Texas, until 1949 when he joined the Legal Department of the Amerada Petroleum Corporation in Casper, Wyoming, and Williston, North Dakota. He then practiced law in Williston from 1952 until 1978. President Carter appointed him a Commissioner of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for a six year term ending in 1984.

During his legal career, Jestrab was president of the North Dakota Bar Association and a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (elected a life member in 1974). He was also chairman of the board of Northwestern Federal Savings and Loan in Williston and an Advisory Director of Metropolitan Financial Corporation in Fargo.

Jestrab represented the Governor of North Dakota on the Interstate Oil Compact Commission. He was a member of numerous professional organizations and was one of three founders of the Jackrabbit Bar Association.

Frank Jestrab married Elvira Waidt Evensen in January, 1952. Elvira Jestrab passed away March 11, 2000. They have two children.  Frank has been the organizer of many School of Law Class of 1938 reunions.


These lectures are generously funded by the Frank and Elvira Jestrab Lecture Fund.


The Lecture Series

Professor Robin Kundis Craig
William H. Leary Professor of Law
University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law

Tony Arnold
Boehl Chair
Professor of Law
Brandeis School of Law
September 27, 2011

Sandra Postel
Director, Global Water
Policy Project
March 25, 2009

Steve Werner
Executive Director
Water for People
February 1, 2007