The American Indian Law Program at Colorado Law

At Colorado Law, we believe that American Indians deserve the very best lawyers and that we have an obligation to train them. Our American Indian Law Program faculty, including the nation’s top scholars and practitioners in the field, offers a full slate of introductory and advanced classes in the field to prepare students for all aspects of Indian law practice, and we now have dozens of successful alumni practicing Indian law in tribal government, federal agencies, and at law firms. Colorado Law graduates are equally prepared to work on impact litigation, economic development, policy advocacy, individual legal services, and tribal governance in Indian law. Our American Indian Law Program also appeals to many students with broader practice interests in natural resources, public lands, property, museum and art law, technology, entrepreneurship, family law, and beyond. Indeed, because American Indian law raises questions regarding the rule of law and legal pluralism, the contours of sovereignty and governance, cross-cultural representation and minority rights, and interdisciplinary study and practice, it offers important intellectual development opportunities for all Colorado Law students.

Drawing from the legacy of some of our earliest alumni, including the famous legal advocate and intellectual Vine Deloria ’70, and our relationship with the Native American Rights Fund, founded by the late Dean David Getches, our approach to American Indian law is deeply grounded in Indian Country. The American Indian Law Program at Colorado Law provides students with opportunities to gain practical experience and serve Indian people and tribes through the American Indian Law Clinic; externships at NARF, the Ute tribes, and Denver Indian Center; and clerkship opportunities at law firms and tribal courts. In conjunction with the Colorado Indian Bar Association and other sponsors, we have a new annual Speaker Series and Conference, allowing Colorado Law to serve as the region’s convening institution for tribal leaders, advocates, scholars and community members to address the most pressing challenges in Indian law and policy.

What distinguishes Colorado Law from other law schools is our unparalleled history and commitment to American Indian law, our top notch-faculty of five full-time professors in the field, and our relationships with tribes and tribal organizations, all of which provide students with a comprehensive, supportive, and rigorous academic experience. Students enjoy a very close relationship with our American Indian Law faculty who mentor students through research and scholarship opportunities, pro bono work, and a fellowship with the American Indian Law Program. Our Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) is extremely active, with recent top finishes at the National NALSA Moot Court Competition, an annual Fall Harvest Feast, and other educational and social events throughout the year. In all of these ways, American Indian Law is thriving at Colorado Law. We hope you will join us!