UM Offers Eight Indian Law Courses This Summer

Students and law practitioners once again have the opportunity to study Indian law this summer with the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.

The 12th annual Summer American Indian and Indigenous Law Program offers eight weeklong courses from June 3 to Aug. 2. Expert Indian law scholars and practitioners from around the country will lead the courses.

Participants in the program may choose from any of the eight courses – or take them all. Courses will be offered for law credit for matriculated law students and cross-listed for graduate credit. Practicing lawyers are eligible for continuing legal education credits. Applications are online at

The majority of the curriculum changes each year, and this year’s schedule boasts another all-star lineup of Indian law experts. Professors and attorneys from universities and organizations from Arizona, Michigan, Montana, and Texas will cover many topics, including American Indian property law, criminal justice in Indian country, social justice issues, and indigenous cultural protection and preservation.

Those unable to make classes in Missoula can take the Indian Law Research remotely as an online course, Monday through Friday, June 3-7. Attendees must participate online daily to access course materials, contribute to discussions and complete research exercises, but may do so on their own schedule each day.

“If you're at all interested in Indian law, you must take these classes,” said Summer Carmack, a 2019 Juris Doctor graduate and the outgoing president of the Student Bar Association at the Blewett School of Law.

“I took five classes for six credits and learned so much,” Carmack said. “The classes were so interesting and fun. I am now pursuing a certificate in American Indian Law to accompany my law degree." Carmack received her American Indian Law certificate during this year's graduation, as well the Dean's Award for student leadership.

An abbreviated schedule of the summer program is below.

  • June 3-7: Introduction to American Indian Law I: Indian Law Research (Online)
    Professor Stacey Gordon Sterling, Blewett School of Law, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
  • June 10-14: Introduction to American Indian Law II: Mastering American Indian Law
    Professor Maylinn Smith, Blewett School of Law, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
  • June 17-21: Civil Regulatory and Adjudicatory Jurisdiction in Indian Country
    Paul Spruhan, Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Window Rock, Arizona
  • June 24-28: American Indian Property Law: The Story of Cobell
    Professor Alex Pearl, Director, Center for Water Law and Policy, Texas Tech University School of Law, Lubbock, Texas
  • July 1-5: NO CLASS
  • July 8-12: Criminal Justice in Indian Country
    Professor Jordan Gross, Blewett School of Law, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana 
  • July 15-19: Social Justice Issues in Indian Country: Indian Education Law
    Professor Maylinn Smith, Blewett School of Law, University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
  • July 22-26: Indigenous Cultural Protection and Preservation: Cultural Rights of Indigenous People
    Regents’ Professor Rebecca Tsosie, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, Tucson, Arizona
  • July 29-August 2: Social Justice Issues in Indian Country: Supreme Court Jurisprudence and Indian Country
    Professor Matthew Fletcher, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
For a complete description of courses and biographies of each instructor, visit Registration for university students and lawyers seeking CLE credit is also available on the program page.