Faculty Directory

Monte Mills

Associate Professor & Co-Director, Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic


Personal Summary

Monte Mills is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana. He teaches a variety of Indian law courses and works with clinical students on a range of legal matters in the Indian Law Clinic. Prior to joining the faculty at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana, Monte was the Director of the Legal Department for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe in Colorado, an in-house counsel department that he helped organize and implement in 2005 following completion of a unique two-year in-house attorney training program. As Director of the Tribe's Legal Department, Monte represented and counseled the Tribe on a broad array of issues, including litigation in tribal, state and federal courts, legislative matters before the Colorado General Assembly and the United States Congress, and internal tribal matters such as contracting, code-drafting, and gaming issues.


J.D., University of Colorado (2003)

B.A., Lewis & Clark College (1999)

Courses Taught

Indigenous Cultural Preservation [syllabus]

American Indian Natural Resources Law [syllabus]

Economic Development in Indian Country [syllabus]

Sovereignty, Self-Determination, and Economic Development in Montana (Field Trip) [syllabus and schedule]

Energy in Indian Country  [syllabus]

Federal Indian Law  [syllabus]

Employment Law [syllabus]

Tribal State Relations [syllabus]

Selected Publications

‘Race, Racism, and American Law’: A Seminar from the Indigenous, Black, and Immigrant Legal Perspectives, with Profs. Eduardo R.C. Capulong and Andrew King-Ries, The Scholar: St. Mary’s Law Review on Race and Social Justice (forthcoming 2018-19).


Current Developments in Indian Water Law and Treaty Rights: Old Promises, Recent Challenges, and the Potential for a New Future, 64 Rocky Mt. Min. L. Inst. 9-1 (2018).


Beyond a Zero-Sum Federal Trust Responsibility: Lessons from Federal Indian Energy Policy, Am. Indian L. J., Vol. 6, Iss. 1, Article 2 (2017).

Foreword: A ‘Coyote Warrior’ and the ‘Great Paradoxes,’ The Scholarship of Professor Raymond Cross, Pub Land & Res. L. J. Special Issue 1 (2017).

Why Indian Country? An Introduction to the Indian Law Landscape, in Indian Law and Natural Resources: The Basics and Beyond 1-1 (Rocky Mt. Min. L. Fdn. 2017).

New Approaches to Energy Development in Indian Country: The Trust Relationship and Tribal Self-Determination at (Yet Another) Crossroads, 63 Fed. Law., April 2016, at 50.

What Should Tribes Expect from Federal Regulations? The Bureau of Land Management's Fracking Rule and the Problems with Treating Indian and Federal Lands Identically, 37 Pub. Land & Res. L. J. 1 (2016).

Supreme Court Tests Weight of Old Native American Treaties in 21st Century, The Conversation (April 13, 2018).

Monumental Battles - - Protecting Sacred Tribal Lands, Billings Gazette (March 19, 2018).

Finding the ‘Founding Fathers’ at Bears Ears and Beyond, Berkley Forum (Feb. 20, 2018).

How will native tribes fight the Dakota Access Pipeline in court, The Conversation (Feb. 14, 2017).

Serving the National Interest? Tribal Rights and Federal Obligations from Dakota Access to Keystone XL, The Jurist (Apr. 12, 2017).


Trump’s Plan to Dismantle National Monuments Comes with Steep Cultural and Ecological Costs (with Profs. Sandi Zellmer and Michelle Bryan), The Conversation (May 3, 2017),


Member, American Bar Association

Member, State bars of Montana and Colorado, Federal bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, Ninth Circuit, Tenth Circuit, and the District of Colorado, Tribal bar of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe (inactive)

Professional Experience

Director, Legal Department, Southern Ute Indian Tribe (2005-2015)

Associate/In-House Attorney Trainee, Maynes, Bradford, Shipps & Sheftel, Durango, Colorado (2003-2005)

Research Assistant, Professor Charles F. Wilkinson (2001-2003)

Honors / Awards

Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award (2016)