Burrage, Michael | 2016
- Birth and Death Year | 1950-Present
- Induction Year | 2016
- Profession | Jurist
- Oklahoma Connection | A born and raised Oklahoman, Burrage is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
- Hometown | Antlers
Burrage became the first Native American Federal Judge.
"Mike Burrage has never forgotten where he came from. He has never forgotten those who helped him with the struggles he encountered in his youth. He acts compassionately toward those with needs. He has an unshakable and very deep sense of justice." - David L. Boren, 2014
Born in Durant, Oklahoma, and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Burrage earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Southeastern Oklahoma State College, known today as Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and his juris doctor degree with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law where he also served as editor of the Oklahoma Law Review.
While in private practice in Antlers for nearly two decades, Burrage was named Outstanding Young Lawyer in Oklahoma, served as president of the Oklahoma Bar Association, and received the Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award. He was appointed a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court Committee for the creation of Uniform Civil Jury Instructions. In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated Burrage to serve as United States District Judge for the Eastern, Northern, and Western districts of Oklahoma and he was confirmed by the United States Senate that same year. The first Native American Federal Judge, he also set on approximately 40 cases of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit by designation of the Chief. Burrage served until 2001 when he returned to private practice as senior partner in The Burrage Law Firm, having served as Chief Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma since 1996. Since 2007 he has been founding/managing partner in The Whitten Burrage Law Firm.
Over the years he has lectured at numerous continuing legal education seminars for the Oklahoma Bar Association. A fellow of the American Bar Foundation and member of the Oklahoma Bar Association and American Bar Association, Burrage was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1993 and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Order of the Owl Hall of Fame in 2013. He also was named one of the Top Ten Oklahoma Super Lawyers by Super Lawyers Magazine. Throughout his career, Burrage has been a quiet and anonymous philanthropist. From providing pro bono services and legal advice to quietly funding funeral or education expenses, he believes deeply in helping those in need.