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Summer Indian Law Program

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June 23 - July 25, 2014

Spend the summer in beautiful Missoula, Montana studying Indian Law! The University of Montana, School of Law invites you to participate in the seventh annual American Indian Law Summer Program, June 23-July 25, 2014. Attorneys will have the opportunity to gain knowledge and practical skills from Professors and Practitioners with decades of experience relating to the subject area they are teaching. 

Enrollment for CLE Credit

Lawyers who attend earn 14 CLE credits per course. Names of those attending for CLE credit will be submitted to the State Bar of Montana.

Attorneys who are not already enrolled for academic credit, must pay $375 per course to earn CLE credit. Click here to download CLE registration form and fax the form to Jennifer Ford, 406.243.2576.

Registration and payment can be made on the first day of the course via credit card or check made payable to The University of Montana School of Law. Courses have a varied numbers of seats open for attorneys. Please see individual descriptions below. To pre-register for a course, please email Jennifer Ford.  Attorneys may register up to the first day of class. Attendance at all sessions is required for full CLE credit.

Enrollment of Law Students, Graduate and Undergraduate Students, please visit the School of Extended & Lifelong Learning for registration information, or contact LisaMarie Hyslop, UM School of Law Registrar at 406-243-2690.


2014 Course Information

All classes are scheduled to be held in the Law Building, Room 215.

Indian Law Research

Professor Stacey Gordon
University of Montana School of Law
June 23, 2014 - June 27, 2014
Monday-Friday, 9 am to Noon
Law 611, Sect. 90

Pending approval for 14 CLE credits. (Course #_______) 

Because tribes are sovereign governments, the field of Indian Law encompasses distinct legal issues and legal sources. Researching both federal Indian law (the law of the relationship between tribal governments and the U.S. government) and tribal law (the law of individual tribes) requires an additional set of tools and research skills to those students are introduced to in a basic legal research course. In this course, students will learn the skills and sources necessary to research general Indian law issues as well as the very specialized skills and sources used in researching the legal history of a tribe, including reserved treaty rights. The course will cover researching treaties, Indian land claims, statutory and case law, and tribal law. Students will actively participate in creating a tribal legal history throughout the course.

Indian Law Education

Professor Maylinn Smith
University of Montana School of Law
June 30 - July 3, 2014
Monday-Friday, 9 am - 12:30 pm
Law 595, Sect. 84

Pending approval for 14 CLE credits. (Course #_______).

This course surveys federal Indian policy and law related to Indian education, including historical sources for Indian education rights. Special attention will be given to the unique Indian education matters in the state of Montana, including those programs implemented by the state as well as special tribal education programs.


Contemporary Issues in Indian Policy: The Indian Civil Rights Act

Maylinn Smith and James Taylor
University of Montana School of Law
July 7 - July 11, 2014
Monday - Friday
9 am - Noon
Law 595, Sect. 

Pending approval for 14 CLE credits. (Course #______).

The objective of this one credit class is to give students a thorough review of the Indian Civil Rights Act.  The class will review tribal, state and federal legislative actions and case law relating to the provisions of the Indian Civil Rights Act. 


Indian Gaming

Melissa Schlichting, Asst. Attorney General
University of Montana School of Law
July 14 - 18, 2014
9 am - Noon
Law 595, Sect. 85 

Pending approval for 14 CLE credits. (Course #______). 

This class will provide students a review of federal statutes, regulations, and case law pertaining to Indian gaming. Students will examine the legal framework of Indian gaming, including the history and development of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act,  the determination of Indian lands eligible for gaming, and the state-tribal compacting process. Special emphasis will be placed on recent US Supreme Court decisions and other contemporary developments in federal Indian law as it relates to gaming. The class will also discuss the effects of Indian gaming on politics and policy as it relates to Indian tribes. Possible field trip (voluntary) to local tribally owned gaming facility.

Indian Gaming is being taught by Melissa Schlichting, Assistant Attorney General, Montana Department of Justice. 

Melissa Schlichting moved back to Montana last November after spending nearly 5 years as a Senior Attorney for the National Indian Gaming Commission in Washington, DC.  After graduating from the University of Montana law school in 1998, Melissa spent the first two years of her legal career representing the Crow Tribe and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Thereafter, Melissa moved to California where she gained significant Indian law experience representing Indian tribes and tribal organizations throughout the western United States.  Melissa is currently an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Montana and has been tasked to develop and coordinate the Department of Justice’s efforts to improve tribal relations, and to serve as a liaison with Montana’s Tribal Nations.

Economic Development and Consumer Protection in Indian Country

Daniel Belcourt, Adjunct Faculty
Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes
July 21-25, 2014
Monday - Friday, 9 am to Noon
Law 595, Sect. 86

Pending approval for 14 CLE credits. (Course #______).

This course will focus on opportunities and challenges for sustainable Economic Development in Indian Country.  The class will cover the growth of E-commerce as an economic sector with the potential for expanding the economic footprint on even the most remote tribal lands and reservations through online financial services opportunities.  The course will cover the various federal consumer protection laws and regulations that impact Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending, including tribal consumer protection laws.  Following completion of the course, students will have a basic understanding of E-commerce opportunities in Indian Country, structuring E-commerce businesses; the legal, jurisdictional, regulatory and consumer protection issues associated with Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending. The course will have a special emphasis on whether Congress granted the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) the authority to regulate Tribal Governmental E-commerce lending under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Daniel Belcourt is owner of Belcourt Law, P.C., a law firm that specializes in Indian law.  Prior to opening his own law firm in 2006, Mr. Belcourt was a partner with the law firm of Smith, Doherty & Belcourt and in-house counsel to his tribe, the Chippewa Cree Tribe of the Rocky Boy reservation from 1994-2002.  Mr. Belcourt has a broad array of experience in all aspects of tribal government representation.  He has represented tribal governments in matters before the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, federal agencies, and in litigation before federal, state and tribal forums.  Mr. Belcourt serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Montana School of Law teaching a variety of Indian Law courses.