Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program Overview

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Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group
A representative of the Hul'qumi'num Treaty Group, Professor Seanna Howard, and Professor Robert Williams Jr. testifying before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (left to right) *Photo courtesy of IACHR

Leaders in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy

Faculty at the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program instill a strong understanding of the legal foundations of federal Indian law, tribal self-determination, and the trust responsibility, informed by developing norms of contemporary international law respecting indigenous peoples’ human rights. We equip students with the critical thinking skills and lawyering tools needed to develop innovative and effective legal strategies and policy initiatives to promote and advance the rights of indigenous communities across Indian Country and throughout the world.

The faculty at IPLP have extensive experience in a wide range of fields and roles including:

  • Federal Indian law
  • Indigenous peoples’ law, policy, and human rights
  • International and domestic environmental and natural resource law
  • Economic development within indigenous communities
  • Tribal governance and self-determination
  • Jurisdiction within Indian Country
  • Bio-ethics
  • Critical race theory
  • Cultural property law
  • Implementing the Violence Against Women Act within tribal communities
  • Serving as tribal court judges
  • Representing indigenous communities before the United States Supreme Court, domestic courts in Latin America, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations Working Group on Indigenous Peoples, and the Supreme Court of Canada



Professor Rob Williams
(Photo: Molly Condit/University of Arizona Law)

“The IPLP Program prepares our students to be leaders in their communities, in their fields of expertise, and in their practice as professionals. Our goal is to train the next generation of legal advocates promoting the rights of indigenous people here in the United States and around the world. By teaching an understanding of how prevailing norms and principles within federal Indian law, international human rights law, and tribal law and legal knowledge can be fused and integrated to advance recognition of indigenous peoples’ self-determination, IPLP students graduate with a wide range of theoretical knowledge, practical experience, and innovative strategies to affect change.”

Robert A. Williams, Jr., E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program

IPLP Newsletter

The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program’s monthly newsletter Notes from the Field highlights the research and advocacy work of IPLP alumni, students, and faculty. To get updates about our program subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

IPLP Newsletter

Huerta Scholars Program

The Huerta Scholarship was established in 2014 in honor of Judge Laurence Huerta to provide financial support and assistance to Native American law students at the University of Arizona College of Law (Arizona Law).

Huerta Scholarship Program


The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program’s commitment to supporting and teaching the next generation of legal advocates goes beyond the classroom. Each year IPLP provides more than $900,000 in scholarship awards and stipends to qualifying students.

IPLP Scholarships

IPLP Native Nation Building Impact









Professor Williams (Lumbee) reflects on IPLP’s impact and how the Native Nation Building legacy inspired by the late Vine Deloria, Jr. (Standing Rock Sioux Tribe) continues to animate the program.

University of Arizona Law Rankings


  • Arizona is a Uniform Bar Exam state, meaning when you take the bar here, you earn a portable score that can be transferred to seek admission in more than 20 other UBE jurisdictions, including New York, Washington, D.C., New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Washington.
  • 2 opportunities to take the bar exam as a 3L: February and July
  • 98 percent summer placement rate for 1Ls in 2016
  • 97.6 percent summer placement rate for 2Ls in 2016
  • 1.6 percent unemployment rate for JD Class of 2016 (those who were unemployed and seeking work 10 months after graduation)
  • 369 interviews scheduled by employers in fall 2016 interview programs in Tucson, Phoenix, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, and Albuquerque
  • Career Development Office staffed exclusively by former practicing attorneys
  • See complete Arizona Law Class of 2016 employment data


Key Contacts

Robert A. Williams, Jr.
E. Thomas Sullivan Professor of Law; Faculty Co-Chair, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
Email: (link sends e-mail) 
Office Number: RH 308
Office Phone: (520) 621-5622

Justin Boro
Assistant Director, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program
Email: (link sends e-mail)    
Office Number: RH 305
Office Phone: (520) 626-9224