Quality. Integrity. Excellence.
Austin R. Vance
After competing as an All-American Collegiate Debater and earning his B.B.A. in Economics, Austin R. Vance received his Juris Doctorate with Distinction from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2017. At OU Law, Austin served as Editor-in-Chief of the American Indian Law Review, joined the Order of the Barristers, and earned the American Jurisprudence Award in Federal Indian Law, Native American Natural Resources, and Wind Law. After graduating, Austin served as the youngest adjunct professor at OU Law and received the Gallogly Family Foundation Fellowship, which he used to work at Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Inc. Austin joined Whitten Burrage in January 2019.
At Whitten Burrage, Austin works primarily with Michael Burrage and J. Renley Dennis to focus on federal Indian law and complex civil litigation. Currently, Austin primarily serves the Quapaw Nation by providing general counsel advise and representing the Nation in litigation. With the rest of Whitten Burrage's Indian law group, he also regularly assists the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation and is available to assist any other federally recognized tribes with counsel or litigation needs. Austin's plaintiff practice follows the "door lawyer" policy established by Mike Burrage-if it comes through the door, we will look at it. Consequently, his practice includes wrongfully denial of insurance claims, trespassing oil and gas pipelines, oil and gas storage tank explosions, race-based harassment claims, civil rights abuses, intentional infliction of emotional distress, business disputes, business embezzlement/fraud, medical malpractice, child abuse, fiduciary duties, and wrongful death.
Austin also assists Michael Burrage in representing the University of Oklahoma as the need arises. In addition to providing the University with representation in litigation, Mike and Austin have worked closely on its transition into the Southeastern Conference. The firm also represents the University in numerous pending appeals. Austin is admitted to practice by the Oklahoma State Bar, the Choctaw, Cherokee, Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chickasaw, Muscogee (Creek), Seminole, Quapaw, and Kaw Nation Bars, as well as the United States District Courts for the Western, Northern, and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma as well as the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Austin grew up in Pawnee and Edmond, Oklahoma, and he is a descendant of the Southern Cheyenne (Nicholson/Todd Family) that survived the Sand Creek Massacre. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Emily, and their dog, Chowder the Chow.
Hogue Trial — In 2021, Austin second-chaired the two-week first-degree murder trial of Rebecca Hogue in Norman, Oklahoma. Rebecca was charged under Oklahoma’s failure to protect laws because her boyfriend murdered her two-year old son. Whitten Burrage accepted the case pro bono. Despite the prosecution requesting the maximum sentence—life without parole—Rebecca was ultimately sentenced to sixteen (16) months. And her sentence includes a large emphasis on mental health treatment and rehabilitation. More information on the case can be found at our co-counsel’s webpage on the case: https://www.hchokc.com/rebecca-hogue-case, the podcast covering the case: https://www.normantranscript.com/news/listen-the-transcript-releases-final-episode-of-protected-a-podcast-exploring-rebecca-hogues-case/article_aedaa844-b054-11ec-ba80-97de731b8b70.html, or episode 3, season 3, of the A&E series Accused: Guilty or Innocent.
- University of Oklahoma College of Law, Norman, Oklahoma
- Juris Doctorate - 2017
- Honors: With Distinction
- Honors: Won the National Native American Law Student Association Moot Court Competition
- Honors: Order of the Barristers
- Honors: American Jurisprudence Award in Federal Indian Law, Native American Natural Resources, and Wind Law
- University of Central Oklahoma
- Honors: All-American Collegiate Debater
- Honors: President of the American Democracy Project
- Major: Economics
- The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Cherokee Nation Tribal Court
- The Chickasaw Nation Bar Association
- Supreme Court of the Muscogee Creek Nation
- U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Oklahoma
- Indian Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association, Officer
- Hargrave Legal Writing Award in 2018
Classes & Seminars
- Adjunct Professor, Indian Water Law and Indian Estate Law, OU Law
- Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn, in the Office of Indian Gaming, Summer Clerk
- Gallogly Family Foundation Fellow at Oklahoma Indian Legal Services, Inc.