Bethany Berger

Thomas F. Gallivan, Jr. Professor of Real Property Law
Headshot of Professor Berger
Office: Hosmer 308
  • American Indian Law
  • Property
  • Conflict of Laws

Bethany Berger is a widely read scholar of property law and one of the leading federal Indian Law scholars in the country. She is a co-author and member of the editorial board of Felix S. Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the foundational treatise in the field; and co-author of a casebook, American Indian Law: Cases and Commentary, with Robert Anderson, Philip Frickey, and Sarah Krakoff. Along with Joseph William Singer, Nestor Davidson, and Eduardo Peñalver, she is co-author of the leading casebook, Property Law: Rules, Policies, and Practices. Her articles have appeared in the Michigan Law Review, California Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and the Duke Law Journal, among other publications, and have been excerpted and discussed in many casebooks and edited collections as well as in briefs to the Supreme Court and testimony before Congress.

Professor Berger graduated with honors from Wesleyan University, where she was elected to phi beta kappa, and from Yale Law School. After law school, Professor Berger went to the Navajo and Hopi Nations to serve as the director of the Native American Youth Law Project of DNA-People's Legal Services. There, she conducted litigation challenging discrimination against Indian children, drafted and secured the passage of tribal laws affecting children, and helped to create a Navajo alternative to detention programs. She then became managing attorney of Advocates for Children of New York, where she worked on impact litigation and policy reform concerning the rights of children in public education.  

At UConn Law, Professor Berger teaches American Indian Law, Property, Tribal Law and Conflict of Laws and holds the Thomas F. Gallivan, Jr. Chair of Real Property Law. She has served as a judge for the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals and as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School and University of Michigan Law School.

Bethany Berger, Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (Co-Author and Editor) (LexisNexis, 2012 )

Bethany Berger, Williams v. Lee and the Debate Over Indian Equality, 109 Mich. L. Rev. 1463 (2011)

Bethany Berger, Reconciling Equal Protection and Federal Indian Law, 98 Cal. L. Rev. 1165 (2010)

Bethany Berger, Red, Racism, and the American Indian, 56 UCLA L. Rev. 591 (2009) (reprinted in part in Race and Equality Law (Angela Harris, ed. 2013))

Bethany Berger, It's Not About the Fox: The Untold History of Pierson v. Post, 55 Duke L. J. 1089 (2006) (discussed in Jesse Dukeminier et al., Property (Aspen 7th ed. 2010); Thomas W. Merrill & Henry E. Smith, Property: Policies and Principles (2007); Joseph William Singer, Property: Rules, Policies and Practices (5th Ed. 2010); James Charles Smith & John Copeland Nagle, Property: Cases and Materials (2008))