ILP Course Descriptions


Contemporary Issues in Tribal Economic Development

The class is limited to 10 students - if there is more student demand, students seeking the Indian Law certificate will receive preference.

This spring break course will be held in Nebraska on the Winnebago reservation at Ho-Chunk, Inc.. Ho-Chunk, Inc. (HCI) is the award-winning economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. Established in 1994 in Winnebago, Nebraska with one employee, HCI has grown to over 1,100 employees with operations in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, Kansas, California, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, Washington, D.C., Afghanistan, Mexico and Iraq. HCI operates 18 subsidiaries in a diverse range of industries including information technology, construction, government contracting, professional services, wholesale distribution, office products and technology, logistics, marketing, media and retail.

The class is designed to train students to implement practical political, legal and economic solutions to help Tribe's implement a broad range of economic development activities. It is offered by Lance Morgan, who has combined his legal and business expertise to develop one of the most successful native owned corporations in the country, Ho-Chunk, Inc. Historically Federal Indian Law has had a negative effect on tribal economic development by limiting the tribes in a number of ways. The seminar will focus the economic impediments create by Federal Indian Law. The class seminar will not just describe the problem but give real examples of how tribes have actually overcome such legal impediments to create successful businesses and bypass some of the legal restrictions. Additionally, the seminar will also focus on having the students understand Federal Indian Law is restrictive in nature and that if they are going to be successful lawyers that they will have to use Federal Indian Law as a starting point, not an endpoint.

Students are responsible for the purchase of airfare. Hotel and some meals provided.

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 Advocacy for the Tribal Client

This course, held in Washington D.C. during fall break. The class will introduce students to the practical application of the government-to-government relationship between tribes and the federal government. Through lectures, discussion, reading, guest speakers and actual site visits, students will learn how to effectively communicate with governmental officials and elected leaders in the federal system. The class will discuss the different roles Indian law attorneys and advocates play in the advancement of tribal interests in the federal system. Topics to be explored include the federal budget cycle, structure and function of the Congressional committee system including the purpose of conference and committee reports, evaluating the need and purpose of a paid lobbyist, and the role of tribal coalitions and intertribal organizations. Although the class will include a discussion of the entire federal system and all federal agencies, particular focus will be given to those agencies and departments that have a primary role in tribal issues, including the Department of Interior and Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and Department of Education. 

Students are responsible for the purchase of airfare. Hotel and some meals provided. 

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.