Published: March 5, 2012

The University of Colorado Law School will host a symposium on April 26-27, 2012 at the Wolf Law building in honor of David H. Getches, beloved Dean, colleague, professor, and public servant, who passed away last summer.   Getches, who was dean of Colorado Law for eight years until June 30, 2011, led a luminous life of public service as Founding Director of the Native American Rights Fund, historic litigator for Indian tribes, Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, valued board member and chair of leading non-profit organizations, and revered teacher prior to his untimely death on July 5, 2011.

The symposium called “A Life of Contributions for All Time: Symposium in Honor of David H. Getches,”will celebrate Getches’s life, especially his trailblazing scholarship.  The symposium will begin the evening of Thursday, April 26, 2012, with a lecture commemorating Dean Getches's life by Distinguished Professor Charles Wilkinson.  

On Friday, April 27, 2012, the leading experts in the fields of natural resources, water, and American Indian law will gather to reflect on and celebrate Dean Getches's scholarly legacy.  Speakers include Professor John Leshy, Senator Tim Wirth, and John Echohawk, Executive Director of the Native American Rights Fund, among others. 

“We invited the very best people in the fields of land, water, and American Indian law,” according to Professor Sarah Krakoff, who helped to organize the symposium,  “It is a testament to David that the country’s thought leaders, to a person, embraced the chance to come and honor his work.” 

Getches’s contributions include a prodigious body of widely respected work extending from the 1970s through a posthumously-published book chapter to be released this year.

To find out more, contact Professor Sarah Krakoff at 303.492.2641 or