Carole E. Goldberg

Distinguished Research Professor
Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita

  • B.A. Smith College, 1968
  • J.D. Stanford, 1971
  • UCLA Faculty Since 1972

Carole Goldberg has taught Civil Procedure, Federal Indian Law, Tribal Legal Systems, the Tribal Legal Development Clinic, and the Tribal Appellate Court Clinic. The two clinics have rendered legal services to Indian tribes and Indian judicial systems. In 2006, she served as the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, and in 2007 she was appointed a Justice of the Hualapai Court of Appeals, which she has served as Chief Justice since 2015.  In 2022 she was appointed Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her to the Indian Law and Order Commission, which investigated issues of safety and justice in tribal communities, and in 2013 issued a Final Report recommending ways to improve Indian country criminal justice. Also in 2013, the Indian Law Section of the Federal Bar Association conferred upon her its prestigious Lawrence F. Baca Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following law school, Professor Goldberg clerked for Judge Robert F. Peckham, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. She has twice served as Associate Dean for the School of Law, from 1984 to 1989 and from 1991 to 1992. She has also served as Chair of the Academic Senate in 1993-1994. From 2011 to 2016, she served as Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel, for the UCLA campus.

Goldberg's recent books include A Coalition of Lineages:  The Fernaneño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians (University of Arizona Press 2021, co-authored with sociologist Duane Champagne), Defying the Odds: The Tule River Tribe's Struggle for Sovereignty in Three Centuries (Yale University Press 2010, co-authored with anthropologist Gelya Frank) and Indian Law Stories (Foundation Press 2011, co-edited with Kevin Washburn and Philip Frickey). Professor Goldberg has written widely on the subject of federal Indian law and tribal law, and is co-editor and co-author of Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (1982, 2005, 2012 editions), as well as co-author of a casebook, American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System (7th ed., 2015).


  • Books
    • A Coalition of Lineages: The Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians Paperback (with Duane Champagne). University of Arizona Press (2021).
    • Casebook, American Indian Law: Native Nations and the Federal System (with Rebecca Tsosie, Robert N. Clinton, and Angela Riley). 7th ed. LexisNexis (2015).
    • Captured Justice: Native Nations and Public Law 280 (with Duane Champagne). Carolina Academic Press (2011).
    • Defying the Odds: The Tule River Tribe's Struggle for Sovereignty in Three Centuries (with Gelya Frank). Yale Univ. Press (2010).
    • Indian Law Stories (with Kevin W. Washburn and Philip Frickey). Foundation Press (2010).
    • Felix S. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law (edited by Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose et al.). LexisNexis (2005). Prior Edition: 1982
    • Planting Tail Feathers: Tribal Survival and Public Law 280 (with Tim Seward). UCLA American Indian Studies Center (1996). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Statement on Proposed Revision of Federal Criminal Code (S.1). Society of American Law Teachers (1976). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Supreme Court Denial of Citizen Access to Federal Courts to Challenge Unconstitutional or Other. Society of American Law Teachers (1976). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Public Law 280: State Jurisdiction Over Reservation Indians. Univ. of California, American Indian Culture and Research Center (1975). Reprinted from 22 UCLA Law Review 535-94 (1975).  (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
  • Articles And Chapters
    • A Legacy That Sustains – Dean and Professor Rennard Strickland, 46 Am. Indian L. Rev. 273 (2022). Full Text
    • President Nixon's Indian Law Legacy: A Counterstory, 63 UCLA Law Review 1506 (2016). Full Text
    • Classic Revisited: A Native Vision of Justice, 111 Michigan Law Review 835 (2013).
    • In Theory, In Practice: Judging State Jurisdiction in Indian Country, 81 University of Colorado Law Review 1027-1065 (2010). Full Text
    • Finding the Way to Indian Country: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Decisions in Indian Law Cases, 70 Ohio State Law Journal 1003-35 (2009).
    • Critique by Comparison in Federal Indian Law, 82 North Dakota Law Review 719-740 (2006).
    • Is Public Law 280 Fit for the Twenty-First Century? Some Data at Last (with Duane Champagne), 38 Connecticut Law Review 697-729 (2006).
    • Public Law 280 and Law Enforcement in Indian Country -- Research Priorities (with Heather Singleton), (National Institute of Justice, 2005).
    • A Review of Explaining Race Disparities in South Dakota Sentencing and Incarceration by Richard Braunstein and Amy Schweinle (with Duane Champagne), 50 South Dakota Law Review 475-84 (2005).
    • Individual Rights and Tribal Revitalization, 35 Arizona State Law Journal 889-935 (2003).
    • Descent into Race, 49 UCLA Law Review 1373-94 (2002).
    • Members Only: Designing Citizenship Requirements for Indian Nations, 50 Kansas Law Review 437-71 (2002).
    • Ramona Redeemed: The Rise of Tribal Political Power in California (with Duane Champagne), Wicazo Sa Review 43-63 (2002).
    • American Indians and Preferential Treatment, 49 UCLA Law Review 943-89 (2002). Full Text
    • Review Essay: A Law of Their Own, Law & Social Inquiry 263-84 (2000). Reviewing Ghost Dancing the Law, by John Sayer, Linking Arms Together, by Robert Williams, Jr., and Crow Dog’s Case, by Sidney Harring.
    • Overextending Borrowing: Tribal Peace-making Applied in Non-Indian Disputes, 72 Washington Law Review 1003 (1997).
    • Acknowledging the Repatriation Claims of Unacknowledged California Tribes, 21 American Indian Culture and Research Journal 187-90 (1997).
    • Pursuing Tribal Economic Development at “The Bingo Palace”, 29 Arizona State Law Journal 97-119 (1997). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Issues of Special Concern to Women and Parents, in Looking at Law School, 184-97 4th ed. (edited by Stephen Gillers, Taplinger, 1997). Prior editions: 3rd, 1990; Revised and expanded, 1984; and 2nd, 1977. (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Public Law 280 and the Problem of Lawlessness in California Indian Country, 44 UCLA Law Review 1405-48 (1997). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Heeding the “Voice” of Tribal Law in Indian Child Welfare Proceedings, 7 Law & Anthropology 1-26 (1994). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Of Native Americans and Tribal Members: The Impact of Law on Indian Group Life, 28 Law & Society Review 1123-48 (1994). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Overview: U.S. Law and Legal Issues, in The Native North American Almanac, 449-61 (edited by Duane Champagne, Gale Press, 1994). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Tribal Governments and the Encounter, in The Unheard Voices: American Indian Responses to the Columbian Quincentenary, 1492-1992, 157-64 (edited by Carole M. Gentry and Donald A. Grinde, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1994). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Unfinished Business in Rape Law Reform, 48 Journal of Social Issues 173-85 (1992). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Not “Strictly” Racial: A Response to “Indians as Peoples”, 39 UCLA Law Review 169-90 (1991). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Contributor, in Encyclopedia of the American Constitution, (edited by Leonard W. Levy, Kenneth L. Karst, et al., Macmillan, 1986). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Public Law 280: From Termination to Self-Determination, in American Indian Policy and Cultural Values: Conflict and Accommodation, 35-46 (edited by Jennie R. Joe, UCLA American Indian Studies Center, 1986). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • The Protective Jurisdiction of the Federal Courts, 30 UCLA Law Review 542-616 (1983). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Access to the Federal Courts in Constitutional Cases, in Constitutional Government in America , 311-20 (edited by Ronald K. L. Collins, Carolina Academic Press, 1980). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • A Dynamic View of Tribal Jurisdiction to Tax Non-Indians, 40 Law & Contemporary Problems 166-89 (1976). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • The Influence of Procedural Rules on Federal Jurisdiction, 28 Stanford Law Review 395-485 (1976). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Public Law 280: State Jurisdiction Over Reservation Indians, 22 UCLA Law Review 535-94 (1975). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
  • Other
    • Unraveling Public Law 280: Better Late Than Never, 43 Human Rights 11 (2017).
    • Book Review, Not So Simple: Voting Rights for American Indians in State Elections, 7 Election Law Journal 355 (2008). Reviewing Native Vote: American Indians, the Voting Rights Act, and the Right to Vote, by Daniel McCool, Susan M. Olson, and Jennifer L. Robinson.
    • (with Duane Champagne, et al), in A Second Century of Dishonor: Federal Inequities and California Tribes (UCLA American Indian Studies Center for the Advisory Council on California Indian Policy, 1996). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Book Review, Theory, Practice, and Perception in Rape Law Reform, 23 Law & Society Review 949-55 (1989). Reviewing Real Rape, by Susan Estrich; and Rape on Trial, by Zsuzsanna Adler.  (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Book Review, 15 Tulsa Law Journal 863-67 (1980). Reviewing The Indians of Oklahoma, by Rennard Strickland.  (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • Why Congress Can’t Pass a New Criminal Code, 3 Los Angeles Lawyer 18 (1980). (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)
    • The Prospects for Navajo Taxation of Non-Indians (Univ. of California, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, 1976). Lake Powell Research Project Bulletin, No. 19.  (Under Carole E. Goldberg-Ambrose.)