Jordan Gross

Professor of Law


Personal Summary

Professor Jordan Gross currently teaches Criminal Procedure–Adjudicative, Criminal Justice in Indian Country, Interdisciplinary Criminal Justice Reform, White Collar Crime, Federal Courts, and Professional Responsibility. She supervises the Law School’s external Criminal Defense Clinics, and the external Clinics at the Montana Innocence Project and the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana. Professor Gross has previously taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure–Investigative, and Environmental Crime. She supervised the Law School’s external Prosecution Clinics from Fall 2010 to Spring 2019. Professor Gross serves as the Law School's Honor Code Counsel. Professor Gross is the founder and Faculty Supervisor of the Law School's Pro Bono Program.

Professor Gross is a member of the bar in Montana, and she is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for Montana, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

Professor Gross fulfills her Pro Bono service obligations by regularly volunteering alongside students at the Law School's Free Family Law Clinic, and through frequent presentations to the bench and bar in the areas of Criminal Law and Procedure, and Legal Ethics. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Montana Innocence Project and sits by appointment on the State Bar of Montana Ethics Committee. Professor Gross served on the Board of Trustees of the Montana Legal Services Association from 2016-2019.

Before joining the faculty, Professor Gross was a partner in a litigation firm in Seattle. In private practice, she represented individuals and businesses in complex litigation and appeals involving federal criminal allegations, contract disputes, fraud allegations, securities law, federal billing practices, whistleblower allegations, and state and federal constitutional issues. While in private practice, Professor Gross regularly represented indigent federal criminal defendants as appointed CJA counsel. She fulfilled her Pro Bono service obligations by volunteering with the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington as a Co-operating Attorney and as a member of its Legal Committee. Professor Gross clerked for United States District Court Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein and Washington State Court of Appeals Judge Susan R. Agid before entering private practice.


Professor Gross earned B.A. degrees in Political Science and English Literature from the University of Washington in 1989. She earned her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Howard University School of Law in 1993, where she was a member of the law review.

Courses Taught

Current Courses:

  • Criminal Procedure–Adjudicative
  • Criminal Justice in Indian Country
  • Criminal Justice Reform Interdisciplinary Graduate Seminar
  • White Collar Crime
  • Federal Courts
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Criminal Defense and Civil Rights Clinics

Previously Taught:

  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure–Investigative
  • Environmental Crime
  • Prosecution Clinics (Fall 2010 - Spring 2019)

Teaching Experience

Presentations and Speaking Engagments:

Meeting our Pro Bono Responsibilities Under the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct – U.S. District Court, Federal Bar Association & Law School Power Act Event, Missoula, August 2, 2019

Women and the Legal Profession – Montana New Leadership 2019, Missoula, June 25, 2019

Case Introduction – Montana Supreme Court 2019 Law Day Oral Argument, Missoula, April 18, 2019

Ethics in Criminal Defense – Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Office of Public Defense, Bozeman, September 22, 2018

Government Lawyer Ethics: Client - Constituent Communications – Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority, Jim Tillotson Service Program, Billings, May 11, 2018

Case Introduction – Montana Supreme Court 2018 Law Day Oral Argument, Bozeman, April 18, 2018

Pro Bono Ethics – Montana Legal Services Association Webinar, March 21, 2018

Fact, Fiction and Unintended Consequences in Criminal Justice Reform – University of Montana Community Lecture Series, Missoula, March 13, 2018  

Ethics for the Government Lawyer - Speaker, Montana League of Cities and Towns, Great Falls, September 29, 2017

Ethics in Criminal Defense – Speaker, Montana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Office of Public Defense, Missoula on September 23, 2017

Know Your Rights – Panelist, Associated Students of the University of Montana Community Forum, Missoula April 27, 2017 Incorporating Pro Bono Into Practice – Panelist, Montana Public Interest Law Coalition, Missoula, April 27, 2017

New Rules: From Technology to Harassment and Discrimination, What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You – Speaker, State Bar 2017 Annual Ski & CLE, Big Sky, January 14, 2017

What’s a Judge to Do? Pro Se Litigants & Incompetent Counsel - Ethics and Best Practices – Speaker, Montana Judges’ Association Fall Conference, Polson, October 7, 2016  

Rules and Best Practices of Limited Scope Representation – Speaker, CASA Fundraiser CLE, Kalispell April 13, 2016

Limited Scope Representation – Speaker, Montana Legal Services Association, Webinar January 29, 2016

Career Discussion with Leah Rinfret, esq. – Facilitator, ABIII Women’s Law Caucus, September 2015

Mentoring and Supervising In Trial Practice: Ethical Rules and Responsibilities – Speaker, Montana Trial Lawyers Association 2015 Annual Convention, Missoula

Ethics of Mentoring – Speaker, Montana Legal Services Association and State Bar of Montana, Webinar April 2015

Ethics of Limited Scope, Pro Bono, and Modest Means – Panelist, State Bar of Montana, New Lawyers Section Annual Toolkit CLE, UMSL April 2015

Pro Bono Ethics – Speaker, National Association of Pro Bono Professionals, Executive Committee, Webinar March 2015

Ethics Update – Speaker, UMSL Road Show CLE, Yellowstone Area Bar Association, Billings February 2015

Women in the Law – Moderator, UMSL Criminal Law Student Group, October 2014

Limited Scope Representation – Panelist, State Bar of Montana Bankruptcy Section, Missoula September 2014

Search and Seizure Update – Instructor, Montana Judge’s Association 2014 Conference, Helena

Entity and Supervisory Ethics – Speaker, UMSL 2014 Clinical Supervisors Meeting, February 2014

Representing the Low-Income Family Law Client in Montana: Ethical Considerations – Speaker, Montana Legal Services Association, Webinar March 2014

CLE for a Cause – Substance Abuse Mental Illness (SAMI) Presentation – Speaker, State Bar of Montana, Missoula March 2013

Views from the Bench – Moderator, Judicial Ethics Panel, UMSL Reunion CLE, Spring 2012

Alcohol Abuse and Addiction in the Legal Profession: Case Studies and Resources – Speaker, State Bar of Montana, May 2012

Ethical Responsibilities of Supervisory Lawyers – Speaker, UMSL 2011 Clinical Supervisors Meeting

Civil and Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Law, Organizer and Co-instructor, UMSL October 2011

Social Media and Legal Ethics: What Lawyers Should Know About Communicating, Advertising and Socializing on the Internet – Speaker, State Bar of Montana Women Lawyers Section 2011 Annual Meeting, Chico Hot Springs

You Are Your Brother’s/Sister’s Keeper: Responsibility for Impaired Lawyers under the Rules of Professional Conduct– Speaker, Montana Defense Trial Lawyers 2011 Annual Meeting, Missoula

High Tech Ethics: Meeting the Duties of Competence, Communication, and Confidentiality in the Digital World – Speaker, Montana Defense Trial Lawyers 2011 Annual Meeting, Missoula

Field of Study

Comparative criminal procedure in federal, state and tribal courts

Criminal justice reform, including the law and practice of bail and pretrial detention

Criminal Justice in Indian country and rural jurisdictions


Law Review Articles:

Pretrial Justice in Out-of-the-Way Places – Including Rurality in the Bail Reform Conversation, work in progress

Incorporation By Any Other Name? A Comparative Analysis of Congress' Federalization of Tribal Court Criminal Procedure under the Indian Civil Rights Act with the Supreme Courts' Regulation of State Courts under the Fourteenth Amendment, work in progress

Devil Take the Hindmost – Reform Considerations for States with a Constitutional Right to Bail, 52(4) Akron Law Review 1043 (2018)

Through a Federal Habeas Corpus Glass, Darkly – Who Is Entitled to Effective Assistance of Counsel In Tribal Court and How Will We Know If They Got It? 42 American Indian Law Review, Univ. of Oklahoma 1 (2017)

VAWA 2013’S Right to Appointed Counsel in Tribal Court Proceedings – A Rising Tide That Lifts All Boats or a Procedural Windfall for Non-Indian Defendants? 67 Case Western Reserve Law Review 379 (2016)

Let the Jury Fit the Crime: Increasing Native American Jury Pool Representation in Federal Judicial Districts with Indian Country Criminal Jurisdiction, 77 Montana Law Review 281 (2016)

The Upside Down Mississippi Problem: Addressing Procedural Disparity Between Federal and State Criminal Defendants as the Federalization, Nationalization and Standardization Tide Recedes, 38 Hamline L. Rev. 1 (2015)

An Ounce of Pretrial Prevention is Worth More Than a Pound of Post-Conviction Cure: Untethering Federal Pretrial Criminal Procedure From Due Process Standards of Review, 18 Berkeley J. Crim. L. (2013)

If Skilling Can’t Get a Change of Venue, Who Can? Salvaging Common Law Implied Bias Principles from the Wreckage of the Constitutional Pretrial Publicity Standard, 85 Temp. L.R. 575 (2013)

A Reasonable Expectation of Privacy? Homelessness and the Fourth Amendment – State v. Mooney, Student Note, 36 Howard Law Journal 75 (1993)

Book Chapter:

Ethical Considerations in Environmental Crime Prosecution and Defense - chapter in Issues of Legal Ethics in the Practice of Environmental Law, 2nd Ed., forthcoming


Member, Montana Bar Association

Member, Western Montana Bar Association, Pro Bono Committe

Admitted to Practice, United States District Court, District of Montana; United States District Court, Western District of Washinton; Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Supreme Court of the United States

Member, Washington State Bar Association, 1993-2016 (resigned in good standing)

Specialized Skills

Proficient in spoken and written Spanish.

Honors / Awards

University of Montana Merit Award 2012, 2014, & 2018 (competitive institution-wide award on a 2-year eligibility cycle) - recognizing outstanding performance

Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award 2018 – recognizing spirit of professionalism and professorial qualities for which Marge Hunter Brown was known

Law School Merit Award 2017 – recognizing outstanding service to the School of Law  

Robert and Pauline Poore Law Faculty Service Award 2016 – recognizing service to the profession and the public that is particularly noteworthy

James C. Garlington Teaching Award 2015 – recognizing excellence in teaching

Thomas H. and Ann Boone Law Faculty Scholarship Award 2014 – recognizing excellence in scholarship

University of Montana School of Law Advanced Trial Advocacy Program Certificate of Participation and Appreciation 2014 - recognizing dedication and invaluable service as a faculty member

Native American Law Students Association Excellence in Teaching Award 2014 – recognizing efforts to significantly incorporate Indian Law concepts throughout teaching

Margery Hunter Brown Faculty Merit Award 2013 – recognizing spirit of professionalism and professorial qualities for which Marge Hunter Brown was known