Native Nations Law & Policy Center


About the Native Nations Law & Policy Center


UCLA Law’s Native Nations Law & Policy Center is 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 protections.

The Center harnesses UCLA Law’s formidable academic resources and knowledge of tribal leaders to address important public policy issues.

Our clinical programs offer invaluable applied training opportunities for students. We teach a Tribal Legal Development Clinic that provides legal assistance to Indian nations, and the Tribal Appellate Court Clinic, in the past, provided clerks to tribal courts including the Courts of Appeal of the Hualapai and Hopi Tribes. A joint J.D./M.A. degree in American Indian Studies offers an integrated program of study that produces law graduates with a rich understanding of tribal cultures.

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The Tribal Legal Development Clinic offers law students the unique experience to work directly with tribal leaders, officers, and attorneys to offer direct services to Indian tribes, particularly in code, contracts, and constitution drafting. Projects undertaken in 2015-16 include:

  1. Drafting Memoranda of Understanding regarding intergovernmental jurisdiction for the Pascua Yaqui tribe in their efforts to fully implement the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA).
  2. Reviewing and providing changes to the White Mountain Apache Tribe's Judicial Code, Criminal Code, Rules of Criminal Procedure, and Constitution to provide suggestions regarding code compliance with the Tribal Law and Order Act (TLOA) and with VAWA.
  3. Analyzing the Land Use ordinances of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in Santa Barbara County ad making recommendations for future expanded land and natural resource preservation.

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Joint Degree in Law and American Indian Studies

UCLA's J.D./M.A. American Indian Studies joint degree program is designed to produce law graduates who have a rich understanding of tribal cultures that will deepen their legal knowledge, facilitate their practice in the field of Indian law, and enhance their service to Indian nations.

For more details, visit the Joint Degree in Law and American Indian Studies page.

Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange - TLCEE

The Tribal Learning Community & Educational Exchange (TLCEE) is an innovative legal and general education program housed at the UCLA School of Law. With its interdisciplinary scope, TLCEE joins Native peoples’ perspectives, knowledge, priorities, and visions for the future with the academic world at UCLA. TLCEE's primary goal is to develop relevant courses for delivery to Native community members and UCLA students interested in American Indian Studies. Collaborating with Native community members and traditional knowledge bearers, TLCEE focuses on enhancing Native governance and cultural resource protection. TLCEE also encourages Native youth and Tribal community members to enroll in college level courses and works to serve as a base for Native community members attending UCLA.