Richard Collins

Professor

After law school and a clerkship, the best opportunity I could find was to join California Rural Legal Assistance, a legal services program established to aid farm workers. But at the office to which I was assigned, American Indian people sought assistance with legal problems very different from farm workers'. As clients were divided among staff, I gravitated to the Native American cases, and we soon separated to found California Indian Legal Services. That began a career working in Indian law, fifteen years of practice in four states, then as teacher and scholar.

When teaching one of our courses in American Indian law, I gather and relate to students information about opportunities for legal work in the field. My experience representing Indian and tribal clients informs parts of my other courses. My research assistants have worked on Indian law papers. I have maintained an advisory relationship with my former employer, the Native American Rights Fund, which connects me to current legal problems of many kinds. The subject is continuously inspiring and challenging.