American Indian Law

Photo by Dean Hellinger (2009)As the home of seven tribal reservations and eleven federally recognized tribes, the State of Montana provides law students with an unrivaled opportunity to integrate legal theory and practice in Indian law. The strong ties between the Law School and the tribal governments and tribal courts in Montana ensure that you experience Indian law firsthand. Whether you plan on practicing in or near Indian country with a concentration in Indian law, or you simply seek to understand and appreciate the unique nature of Indian law, our program can meet your needs.


All of our students pursuing an Indian law concentration enroll in our survey course in Federal Indian Law and our advanced Indian Law courses. Most of these students also enroll in Tribal-State Relations and Tribal Courts/Tribal Law. many elect complementary courses in water law, environmental law, and agricultural law. In recent years, students have completed advanced independent study projects in Native American water rights and Indian taxation.


The Indian Law Clinic offers you the opportunity to work with tribal government officials and tribal court judges, and to participate in the meetings and legal seminars conducted by the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Court Judges association. Through your work in the Indian Law Clinic, you will address problems confronting Montana's tribal governments today. Past projects of the Indian Law Clinic have included ordinance drafting and tribal code and tribal constitution revisions.


The American Indian Law Certificate Program is designed for law students who wish to acquire an in-depth knowledge of American Indian law and who are willing to commit the time and effort necessary to achieve a level of specialization in their legal education.