Students work directly with tribal communities
Students can participate in a clinic that offers real-world contributions to society and the law. For example, many Legal Aid offices work with tribes to apply for grants to fund tribal code revision.
Mitchell Hamline offers one Native American law clinic:
- Indian Law: Tribal Code Drafting
Previously, Mitchell Hamline has also offered the Indian Law: Impact Litigation Clinic, which allowed students to work on large federal court litigation for Indian tribes. Skills involved in this clinic included archival research, working with expert witnesses, drafting court documents, and preparing for trial.
— Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic —
- In a recent Supreme Court ruling in United States v. Cooley, 593 US _ (2021), an amicus brief submitted by the clinic was referenced in oral arguments, where the Court held that tribes could temporarily detain and search non-Indians believed to have committed crimes within Indian Country.
- The clinic also submitted an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit for Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Klickitat County, __ F. 4th __, No. 19-35807 (9th Cir. 2021), where the Court reaffirmed the boundaries of the Yakama Reservation.
Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic helps Wisconsin tribes lift night-hunting ban. Indian tribes can once again hunt deer at night off-reservation in northern Wisconsin, under an order issued by a federal judge in Madison.
Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic students serve as public defenders in tribal courts on the Bois Forte and Menominee reservations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Indian Law program received a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice of more than $280,000 that allowed the program to provide even more help for Minnesota and Wisconsin Indian tribes and more experience for law students.
Indian Law Impact Litigation Clinic has finished its first major trial. The clinic represented the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, the Sokaogon Chippewa Indian Community, and the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians in a case before Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin.