Robert N. Clinton is a tribal judge, retired law professor, and amateur photographer. He retired in 2018 after 45 years of law teaching. Professor Clinton was born and raised in the Detroit, Michigan metropolitan area. He did his undergraduate work at the University of Michigan where he received a B.A. in political science and attended the University of Chicago Law School, receiving his J.D. After private practice in Chicago with the law firm then known as Devoe, Shadur and Krupp, he joined the faculty of the University of Iowa College of Law in 1973, where he taught until 2000. While at the University of Iowa College of Law, Professor Clinton served as the Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law and as a founder and an Affiliated Faculty Member of the American Indian and Native Studies Program of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts.

Prior to his retirement, Professor Clinton served as the Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and was an Affiliated Faculty member of the ASU American Indian Studies Program. He also was a Faculty Fellow in the Center for Law Science & Innovation and an Affiliated Faculty member of the ASU Center on the Future of War. During the 2001-2003 academic years, Professor Clinton was appointed the Barry Goldwater Chair of American Institutions at Arizona State University.

During his academic career, Professor Clinton also visited as a scholar or teacher at the law schools of the University of Michigan, Arizona State University, Cornell University, University of San Diego and the Faculty of Law of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. Additionally, he often taught in the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indian and Native Alaskan Students sponsored by the American Law Center, Inc.

Professor Clinton currently serves as Chief Justice of the Winnebago Supreme Court and as a Judge pro tem for  the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians Tribal Court  Previously, he served a a Justice, and later Chief Justice, for the Hopi Appellate Court for 13 years; as a Justice of the Hualapai Court of Appeals for 19 years; as a Justice of the Cheyenne River Sioux Court of Appeals for 20 years, as a Justice for the Colorado River Indian Tribes Court of Appeal for 17 years, and as a Justice of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Community Court of Appeals for 5 years. He also has served as a temporary judge, special master, or arbitrator for other tribes and has acted as an expert witness or consultant in Indian law, copyright, and cyberlaw cases.

Professor Clinton is the recipient of the 2014 Native American Bar Association – AZ Lifetime Achievement Award, the 2017-2018 National Indian Court Judges Association Judicial Excellence Award, and the 2018 Northwest Indian Bar Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

Professor Clinton taught and wrote about federal Indian law, tribal law, Native American history, constitutional law, federal courts, cyberspace law, copyrights, and civil procedure. His publications include numerous articles on federal Indian law and policy, constitutional law, and federal jurisdiction. He is the co-author of casebooks on Indian law and federal courts, The Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1982 ed.), multiple editions of American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System, Colonial and American Indian Treaties (a collection on CD-ROM), and over 25 major articles on federal Indian law, American constitutional law and history, and federal courts, most of which are available online from the Publications link below on this website.

Clinton also has published books and videos of his photographic images, mostly monochrome street photography.

He has adult children and five grandchildren. His recreational interests include photography, music, hiking, fishing, the outdoors, travel, and computers.

Publications [PDF]

Full CV [PDF] (requires secure password from Professor Clinton)