Law 728 - Tribal Legal Development Clinic
Carole E. Goldberg
Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law Emerita
J.D. Stanford, 1971
Students in this clinic provide legal assistance to Native nations. Clinic projects emphasize skills of drafting legislation, legal memoranda and other documents, along with cross-cultural representation, through assisting tribal nations with the development and modification of legal codes, governing documents and constitutional provisions, creation of dispute resolution processes, and drafting of intergovernmental agreements and related administrative documents. The supervisions faculty member(s) meet with tribal leaders to inform them of the availability of clinic services and to determine whether the clinic could assist them with their legal development needs. Once students are assigned to particular projects, they meet and communicate -- under the supervision of the faculty member(s) -- with relevant tribal officials and community members, including via email and teleconferences and in-person where feasible, and develop over the course of the semester a final work product for a tribal nation client. The course also includes a classroom component where students learn about tribal governments and legal systems, as well as the federal, state, and other legal systems with which they interact. Students also learn about the culture(s) and history of the tribe(s) they are representing so that they can better craft legislation and other documents that meet tribal intentions and needs.