Welcome to the Tribal Legal Development Clinic. The clinic connects law students directly with tribal leaders, officers, and attorneys, to provide legal development services to Indian tribes. The clinic hosts non-litigation, tribally-driven projects that cover a wide cross-section of subjects. Students work in teams, consult regularly with the tribal liaison, and produce a work product under the supervision of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director.
The clinic is designed to foster the next generation of tribal lawyers. Students are exposed to the complexities, historical contexts, and professional and ethical responsibilities of tribal lawyering. Whenever possible, clinic students travel to Indian country to meet with tribal clients to collaborate, deliver work products to governing bodies, and participate in relevant meetings and hearings.
Clinic projects have included drafting statutes and other governing documents, researching and drafting appellate bench memorandums, building court infrastructure, and developing training materials. Prior projects have spanned the subject-matter spectrum and have included repatriation and cultural resource protection, family law, restorative justice, civil procedure, criminal procedure, non-profit development and more.
The clinic welcomes all inquiries and project proposals from interested tribes. The clinic seeks potential projects that are ripe for student contribution and accommodating to a semester timeframe.
The clinic is a part of UCLA Law’s Native Nations Law & Policy Center, a national resource for the support of Native Nations. The center successfully works to enhance Indian nations' laws and governmental institutions while advancing cultural resource protection.