Burke Griggs joined the Washburn law faculty in 2016. He teaches property law to first-year students and natural resources law to upper-division students. His research agenda follows three interwoven lines of inquiry: the history of property rights regimes in natural resources; the geophysical aspects of natural resources and how they respond to different forms of ownership, exploitation, and regulation; and the diverse political cultures of the owners and communities which compete for and contest the use of these resources.
This approach is the product of his training as an historian and his experience as a lawyer. Prior to joining the faculty, Professor Griggs practiced water law in both the public and private sectors. As an assistant attorney general, he represented the State of Kansas in federal and interstate water matters, most prominently Kansas v. Nebraska, an original action to enforce the Republican River Compact against the State of Nebraska. For the first time in its history, the Supreme Court awarded disgorgement of the violating state’s ill-gotten gains (Kansas v. Nebraska, 135 S.Ct. 1042 (2015)). Professor Griggs also served as lead counsel for Kansas in the negotiations over the Kickapoo Tribe reserved water rights settlement, the first of its kind in Kansas. Outside of the litigation arena, Professor Griggs has advised Kansas' natural resources agencies on matters of natural resources law and policy.
During the 2013-2014 academic year, Professor Griggs served as a Consulting Professor at the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. He was subsequently named a Nonresident Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, also at Stanford, and an affiliated scholar at the Lane Center, where he contributes to their joint Water in the West Project.
Professor Griggs is Associate Director of the Oil and Gas Law Center. He also participates in the Agricultural Law Program and the Rural Law Practice Initiative. Professor Griggs serves as the Washburn Trustee for the Rocky Mountain Mineral Foundation.