Professor of Law
B.A. 1989, University of Oklahoma
J.D. 1993, Yale Law School
Member of the New Mexico and Minnesota Bars
Kevin Washburn served the UNM School of Law as dean from June 2009 – October 2012, bringing a strong background in Indian law, criminal law and gambling law and a prolific portfolio of books, book chapters, articles and congressional testimony.
Through his writings and testimony, he has influenced public policy in both criminal law in Indian country and gaming.
Washburn, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, came to the UNM School of Law from the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, where he was the Rosenstiel Distinguished Professor of Law. He was on the faculty of the University of Minnesota Law School from 2002-2008, during which he spent a year as the Visiting Oneida Nation Professor at Harvard Law School, during the 2007-2008 academic year.
Prior to entering academia, he was a federal prosecutor in New Mexico, serving in the Violent Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office. He was a trial attorney with the U.S. Justice Department and later served as general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission, an independent federal regulatory agency in Washington, D.C.
At Yale Law School, he served as editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following law school, he clerked for Judge William C. Canby Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He then joined the Honors Program at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He has been a member of the New Mexico bar since 1994.
Washburn began his legal education at UNM as a student at the American Indian Law Center’s Pre-law Summer Institute and later he taught at UNM as an adjunct professor, during his time as a federal prosecutor.