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Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, Native American Studies & Tribal Colleges


See also our resources page on Scholarships and Grants.


How to Use This Guide

This guide provides information about college and university programs in (1) federal Indian law, (2) tribal law, and (3) Native American studies, and about continuing education and conferences. This guide also provides information about tribal colleges. The websites highlighted below are organized into several groups, but may provide a wide variety of resources. Therefore, explore what the web sites have to offer, beyond what has been highlighted on this web page.

The web sites listed below do not represent a complete list of all resources available on this topic, and their inclusion does not signify endorsement by the Native American Rights Fund or the National Indian Law Library.

Finally, local sources of information on this topic are your local libraries, colleges and universities. Generally, both public and college libraries have a collection of reference books and other materials (such as online databases and microform collections) about college and university programs. Ask you local librarians, as well as college career and guidance counselors, what materials are available to you.

Good luck with your research!

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Preparation for Law School

The Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians and Alaska Natives
http://lawschool.unm.edu/ailc/plsi/recruitment.php

A program at the University of New Mexico School of Law. "The PLSI is an intensive two-month program which prepares American Indian and Alaska Native individuals for the rigors of law school by essentially replicating the first semester of law school." [From the web site.] Schools with "Indian Law offerings" are also listed (http://lawschool.unm.edu/ailc/plsi/recruitment.php).

Thinking About Law School?: A Preparation Guide
http://www.utulsa.edu/law/indianlaw/nalsa/NNALSAPRELAW.htm

This guide, by the National Native American Law Student Association, highlights information for potential law students about (1) choosing a school, (2) the application process, and (3) paying for school, among other topics.

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Colleges and Universities:

The web sites below provide lists of and links to colleges and universities that offer programs in federal Indian law, tribal law, or Native American studies. Web sites with links to tribal colleges are provided also.

Types of programs / schools Web sites Law schools with federal Indian law programs / Indian law clinics Law School Recruitment / Pre-Law Summer Institute
http://lawschool.unm.edu/ailc/plsi/recruitment.php

Native Education / Tribal Court Clearinghouse
http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/colleges.htm

Indian law clinic programs are also listed at the library's Guide to Legal Assistance Resources (http://www.narf.org/nill/resources/lawyer.htm#clinics).

Michigan State University
http://newsroom.msu.edu/site/indexer/2099/content.htm

This university has just opened an American Indian Law Program. An additional article about the program is at statenews.com (http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=24930). Native Hawaiian Law Beginning in Spring 2007, students in the following program will be able to specialize in Native Hawaiian Law: University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Laws Pacific-Asian Legal Studies (PALS) program and the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law. Tribal law programs We have not found a web site that specifically lists this type of law program. See a list of tribal law programs below and web links in the section above (related to federal Indian law programs). Native American studies programs (undergraduate and/or graduate) Native Education / Tribal Court Clearinghouse
http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/colleges.htm

Colleges/Universities with Native American Programs / Paqnaliq Atautchikun Project
http://www.nwarctic.org/gearup/gearup/collegeNative.html

Indian/Native Studies Departments / Lisa Mitten, American Indian Library Association
http://www.nativeculture.com/lisamitten/education.html

A Guide to Native American Studies Programs in the United States and Canada / Robert Nelson, University of Richmond
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/faculty/ASAIL/guide/guide.html Tribal colleges Tribal Colleges / American Indian College Fund
http://www.collegefund.org

Native Education / Tribal Court Clearinghouse
http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/colleges.htm

Indian/Native Studies Departments / Lisa Mitten, American Indian Library Association
http://www.nativeculture.com/lisamitten/education.html Programs in Canada Native Education -- Tribal Court Clearinghouse
http://www.tribal-institute.org/lists/colleges.htm

A Guide to Native American Studies Programs in the United States and Canada / Robert Nelson, University of Richmond
http://oncampus.richmond.edu/faculty/ASAIL/guide/guide.html

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Indian Law Programs

Arizona State University Indian Legal Program
www.law.asu.edu/ilp

Michigan State University
http://newsroom.msu.edu/site/indexer/2099/content.htm
This university has just opened an American Indian Law Program. An additional article about the program is at statenews.com (http://www.statenews.com/article.phtml?pk=24930).

University of Colorado American Indian Law Program
http://www.colorado.edu/law/centers/programs/indianlaw/

University of Minnesota Deluth Master of Tribal Administration & Governance
http://www.d.umn.edu/cla/mtag/main/index.php

Northland Pioneer College, Tribal Court Advocacy Program
http://www.northland.cc.az.us/Catalog/01-03%20Catalog/Part%20V%20Pages/TCA.html

Phoenix College, Legal Studies Department, Tribal Court Advocacy
http://www.pc.maricopa.edu/departments/legalstudies/
A previous web page about this program no longer works (http://www.pc.maricopa.edu/departments/legalstudies/tcaprogram/tcaproginfo.html). Contact the Legal Studies Department for more information about this program.

Turtle Mountain Community College, Project Peacemaker
http://www.turtle-mountain.cc.nd.us/community/propeace/index.asp

University of Arizona, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
http://www.law.arizona.edu/depts/iplp/

Previously the Tribal Law and Policy Program.

University of Kansas, School of Law, Tribal Law and Government Center
http://www.law.ku.edu/tribal/Conference.shtml

William Mitchell College of Law
http://web.wmitchell.edu/indian-law/

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Additional Programs

NARF Clerkship Program
http://www.narf.org/contact/clerk.htm

This web page provides information about the clerkship program at the Native American Rights Fund.

NCAI Events

Conferences and training opportunities by a variety of organizations are highlighted, among other information, in this calendar provided by the National Congress of American Indians.

National Training and Events Calendar
http://www.tribalresourcecenter.org/programs/training/default.asp

Numerous training programs by a variety of organizations are linked, from this web page provided by the National Tribal Justice Resource Center.

Special Programs, The National Judicial College
http://www.judges.org

Courses and conferences provided by this organization are highlighted at this web site.

Training, Falmouth Institute
http://www.falmouthinst.com/training.html

Click on the links (left side) to "public sessions," "conferences," and "on-site training" to find law-related programs.

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Associations

National Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)
http://www.utulsa.edu/law/indianlaw/nalsa/

"The National Native American Law Students Association was founded in 1970 to promote the study of federal Indian law and to support Native American students in law school." [From the web site.] NALSA is at several universities and colleges. Individual chapters are linked at http://www.utulsa.edu/law/indianlaw/nalsa/chapters.html.

Indian Student Organizations
http://www.nativeculture.com/lisamitten/education.html

Provided by Lisa Mitten of the American Indian Library Association, this web page organizes student organizations by college or university.

Native American Bar Association
http://www.nativeamericanbar.org/

"The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) serves as the national association for Native American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students." [From the web page.]

Federal Bar Association, Indian Law Section
http://www.fedbar.org/sectdiv.html#anchor1698938

At this web site is a description of this FBA section and annual event information. The section has four committees: "Indian Law Development; Public Education, which focuses on educating the public about federal Indian Law cases; Tribal Justice, which works to strengthen tribal court systems; and the Newsletter Committee." [From the web site.]

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Additional Finding Aids

Web sites:

America's Best Graduate Schools 2005
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/law/lawindex_brief.php

This web site, provided by US News and World Report provides rankings of law schools with additional rankings by specialty, though American Indian law is not included as a specialty option.

College and University Rankings
http://www.library.uiuc.edu/edx/rankings.htm

Provided by the University of Illinois, Education and Social Science Library, this web site provides information about (1) rankings offered for undergraduate and graduate institutions and (2) cautions and controversies about various college rankings, among other information. Note the link on the left side to "Law." Click on this link to find a variety of rankings related to law school.

Zimmerman's Research Guide - Law Schools
http://www.lexisone.com/zimmermanguide/L/LawSchools.html

By Andrew Zimmerman, this web page lists reference books and web sites for the purpose of choosing a law school.

Books/Magazines:

Indian Country Today's Education. Canastota, NY: Four Directions Media. The library has 2006-2007. Information about tribal colleges and universities, special education programs, native studies and more.

Native Americans Information Directory, edited by Kenneth Estell (1998), provides listings of programs also. These are organized by type of program (two-year, four-year, and graduate) and by group (American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Aboriginal Canadians). (Description based on the 1993 edition.)

The Reference Encyclopedia of the American Indian, 9th ed. edited by Barry Klein (2000). College programs are organized by state and include information about Native studies and law and medical programs with a focus on Native Americans.

Winds of Change Magazine's College Guide for American Indians, published annually. Includes numerous articles on university and college statistics, financial aid, school portraits and other topics. Click on the "College Guide" graphic for more information.

To find issues in the library's online catalog, go to the catalog (link opens in a new window) and copy/paste Winds of Change. College Guide for American Indians into the "Subject terms" field.

Check your local libraries for these reference books. You local librarians might be able to help you locate other reference materials about choosing colleges. Or contact the National Indian Law Library for help accessing the information contained in the books listed above.

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Searching the Internet

You can use search engines to find universities and colleges on the Internet that offer programs of study in a particular area. For instance, using the advance search function in Google (http://www.google.com/advanced_search), you can type in the following phrases, or variations of them, in the "with the exact phrase" rectangle:

  • Indian law program,
  • Native American law program,
  • tribal court advocacy program,
  • tribal law program,
  • indigenous studies,
  • aboriginal studies,
  • or other phrases that you come across during your research.

You can narrow down the domain to ".edu" (minus the quotes) so that the search engine only captures university or college sites. But be aware that doing so might leave out some community college web sites. (Some community colleges use a ".edu" domain name, but others use a combination of ".cc" and a location domain name, as is evidenced by the web site address of Northland Pioneer College above, which ends with ".cc.az.us".)

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