UM Law School to Host Lecture on Public Lands, Water, Sovereignty

September 24, 2018

MISSOULA – The Natural Resources and Environmental Law program at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law will hold its 2018 Jestrab Distinguished Lecture on Water at noon Wednesday, Sept. 26, in Room 101.

John Leshy, distinguished emeritus law professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, will deliver a lecture on “The Interaction of Public Lands, Water and Sovereignty in the West: Reassessing the Conventional Wisdom.”

Before joining the faculty at UC Hastings, Leshy served as solicitor (general counsel) of the U.S. Department of the Interior throughout the Clinton administration. He also worked on the staff of the House Committee on Natural Resources and as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice, among other positions.

In 2013, Leshy received the Defenders of Wildlife Legacy Award for lifetime contributions to wildlife conservation. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he has written and co-authored books in mining law, water law, and federal land and resources law.

Since 2007, the Jestrab Lecture has brought leading water authorities and distinguished scholars from across the country to UM’s law school in honor of the late Frank Jestrab. Jestrab was born in Havre and graduated from the School of Law in 1939. As believers that water law would create relevant and interesting law throughout the plains and mountain states, Frank and his wife, Elvira, founded the Jestrab Lecture Series to address legal issues relating to water conservation, usage and rights in the western states.

The lecture is free and open to the general public, with a reception afterward. For more information or to register, visit


Contact: Sara Kryder, director of communications and events, UM Alexander Blewett III School of Law, 406-243-5730,