ILP Course Descriptions


Adv Research & Writing-Indian Law Seminar
This course is designed to fulfill the requirement for an advanced legal research and writing course requirement for the Indian Law Certificate. The course will offer intensive writing instruction, and students will fulfill weekly writing assignments. The course will be organized around the students’ representation of a fictional Native American tribal client in a complex matter requiring both litigation and advocacy before administrative and legislative forums. Student work product will include documents such as an attorney contract; an office memorandum; a client advice letter; an initial pleading; discovery documents; a settlement brochure; a trial memorandum; and a draft of a congressional bill. Students will gain substantive knowledge in the field of Federal Indian Law as well as experience in drafting documents typically required in law practice.

American Indian Health Policy
This course will expose students to multiple issues related to health policy in American Indian (AI) communities, including:

  • History and evolution of the Indian Health Service
  • Significant federal legislation that has influenced AI health programming
  • Sovereignty and Self-Determination in health programming
  • Health disparities and resource disparities
  • Cultural competence of the workforce
  • Integration of traditional AI medicine in health programs
  • Research Issues in AI communities
  • Environmental health and environmental justice in AI communities
Cultural Resources
This seminar course will focus on the protection of Native American cultural resources and religions.
Economic Development in Indian Country
This seminar is designed to study issues attorneys must examine before the implementation of a tribal economic development project. The topics may include project selection, environmental impact, contract development, tax implications, financing, employment issues, and tribal and corporate immunity.
Federal Indian Law I
Federal Indian Law I surveys the allocation of sovereignty, jurisdiction, and power in Indian country among tribal, federal, and state governments.
Federal Indian Law II
This course will cover advanced topics in federal Indian law with an emphasis on environmental and natural resources issues and treaty rights. The course will survey Indian water rights and hunting and fishing rights, as well as timber and mineral development on Indian lands. The course will also cover tribal land use issues and economic development.
Gaming Law
Indian Gaming Law concerns the federal, tribal, and state law that surrounds the development of gaming enterprises in Indian country. The course will survey the historical background behind Indian gaming and further examine the modern legal regime that governs the development of gaming enterprises in Indian country, focusing primarily on the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Topics that may be addressed in the coverage of the course include constitutional questions surrounding the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, regulatory oversight of gaming management contracts, negotiating tribal<->state gaming compacts, legality of contributions to the state in tribal<->state gaming compacts, tribal gaming regulation, gaming on newly acquired lands, tribally specific limitations on tribal gaming, distribution of gaming income, and other legal questions arising under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. Most of the course coverage will be supplied by independent student research and presentation of papers, rather than a traditional survey of materials from prepared texts.
Indian Legal Clinic
As a student attorney in the Indian Legal Clinic, you will represent real clients in tribal, state, and federal court and in administrative proceedings.  You may also have the opportunity to work on tribal government enhancement projects, for example, code drafting, tribal court development, and economic development.   Our clients typically are tribal governments, litigants in local tribal courts, or people with federal Indian law issues pending in state or federal tribunals.   You will handle all aspects of law practice under the guidance of an experienced faculty supervisor, including appearing in hearings; drafting pleadings, motions, appellate briefs, opinion letters, and contracts; interviewing and counseling clients; conducting discovery; conducting trials, mediations, and arbitrations; and presenting appellate oral arguments.  Depending on the caseload and court calendars, students usually are able to have at least one courtroom experience, work as lead counsel on one or more files, and gain experience in writing for law practice.  The Clinic also includes an advanced seminar, which uses simulation exercises to develop crucial skills in tribal customary law, advanced interviewing, fact investigation, case theory, client counseling, discovery, negotiation, alternative dispute resolution and courtroom advocacy.   Office hours, law firm meetings, client work, and coursework all can be counted toward your 20 "billable hours" requirement for the clinic each week.  Federal Indian Law I and Evidence are co-requisites -- they may be taken before enrollment in the Indian Legal Clinic or at the same time.
Indian Taxation
This course deals with issues of federal, state, and tribal taxation within Indian country. The course will survey the leading cases, statutes and administrative rulings. Transactional problems and tax planning opportunities will also be discussed.
Federal Indian Law I is a prerequisite to this course. Federal Indian Law I provides a general background for the concepts of sovereignty and federal preemption that are more fully developed in this course as specifically applied to tax issues. This course will apply the general concepts to situations that frequently arise for Indian law practioners.
National NALSA Moot Court (Independent Study)
Students who chose to participate in the NNALSA Moot Court Competition can earn up to 1 credit.  The NNALSA Moot Court competition is a team competition sponsored by the National Native American Law Students Association and is hosted by a different law school each year.  The competition typically occurs in mid-February and participants will be required to meet deadlines that occur during winter break.   Students who chose to participate will be required to complete a legal brief which is no more than 36 pages in length and it will address a timely issue in Federal Indian law and/or Tribal Law and Governance.  Students will compete in no less than two preliminary rounds of oral arguments.  Credit for NNALSA Moot Court is not dependent on the level of success in the competition.  Credit is earned for completion of the competition.
Tribal Law and Government
Tribal Law and Government is a seminar designed to provide a practical and applied overview of the structures and laws that govern Indian tribal governments in Indian country. Topics covered include tribal constitutions, the tribal legislative process, the role of tribal traditions and customs, tribal courts, sources of tribal law, and limitations on tribal law. The primary focus of the seminar will be on the application of tribal law in tribal courts.