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

IPLP Clinics and Experiential Learning

The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program offers students a wide variety of experiential and hands-on learning opportunities, which help prepare students for the practice of law. Experiential learning opportunities offered to students include IPLP faculty-led clinics and workshops, advocacy projects to advance indigenous peoples' rights both domestically and internationally, and externship opportunities with tribal courts and justice departments, nonprofit advocacy organizations, and government agencies.

IPLP Clinics and Workshops

Tribal Justice Clinic

Students enrolled in IPLP's Tribal Justice Clinic provide legal assistance to tribes throughout the Southwest, North America, and the world. Led by Professor James Diamond, the clinic allows students to serve as tribal judicial clerks, write amicus briefs, develop legal strategies, and work beside criminal defenders and tribal prosecutors in courtroom settings. They contribute to important tribal justice projects, researching best practices, drafting legislation, and developing tribal codes. Clinic students research legal issues and help try cases in support of tribal efforts to improve the administration of justice and good governance in Indian Country. The Tribal Justice Clinic gives students vital experience working with tribal communities on emerging legal and policy issues, preparing them as lawyers to enter the field with practical experience and established relationships with community leaders.

Learn more about the Tribal Justice Clinic.

International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop

Professor Seanna Howard leads the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop, where students participate in cases and advocacy projects focusing on petitions and initiatives with substantial international human rights dimensions involving indigenous peoples. Students in the workshop gain valuable experience working within regional and international human rights bodies to advocate for indigenous peoples’ human rights. Professor Howard has been with IPLP for more than 10 years, working on precedent-setting cases representing indigenous communities before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the United Nations, and domestic courts in Canada and Belize.

Learn more about the International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop.

Yaqui Human Rights Project

The Yaqui Human Rights Project offers students opportunities to experience theories in the practice of international environmental law in situations that require innovative approaches to important environmental, public health, and community development problems. Students get the chance to work under the guidance of Professor James Hopkins on a wide range of interdisciplinary advocacy projects.

Professor Hopkins, with the assistance of IPLP clinic students, is representing the Traditional Authorities of the Rio Yaqui Pueblos, the governing body for all eight Rio Yaqui Pueblos in the Rio Yaqui Valley in Sonora, Mexico on a petition before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). Clinic students actively assist Professor Hopkins in his role as counsel to the Traditional Authorities of the Rio Yaqui Pueblos for their IACHR petition and related efforts to protect and support Yaqui traditional lands, water rights, community public health, and economic development.

Learn more about the Yaqui Human Rights Project.

Advocacy Projects

The faculty, staff, and students at IPLP have been partnering with indigenous communities on advocacy, research, and technical assistance projects for over 30 years. The projects led by IPLP faculty are centered around student involvement and advancing the rights of indigenous communities.
Learn more about our advocacy work.


Through close partnerships with tribes, IPLP students can gain valuable experience serving tribal communities in a variety of tribal courtroom and justice department settings including the Pascua Yaqui Tribe Attorney General and Prosecutors Office, the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, and the Tohono O’odham Nation Judiciary.

Learn more about our externships.