Robert Porter graduated from Syracuse University and Harvard Law School. He started his legal career working at the global law firms of Dickstein Shapiro in Washington, DC, and Baker & Hostetler in Cleveland. He is a member of the Heron Clan of the Seneca Nation and was raised on the Nation's Allegany Territory. He is an expert in federal Indian law and was the 67th President of the Seneca Nation of Indians. He was a Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law, came to Iowa Law for the 2002-2003 academic year, and then returned to Syracuse as Professor of Law in 2003.