Melissa L. Tatum

Research Professor of Law

Professor Tatum specializes in tribal jurisdiction and tribal courts, as well as in issues relating to cultural property and sacred places. She was a contributing author to Felix Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law, and has written extensively about both civil and criminal procedural issues, as well as about the relationship between tribal, state, and federal courts. Professor Tatum consulted with the Pascua Yaqui Tribe as it became one of the first in the nation to implement VAWA 2013's special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction. She has also served on task forces in Michigan and New Mexico charged with developing procedures to facilitate cross-jurisdictional enforcement of protection orders, and has taught seminars on domestic violence and protection orders throughout the United States for judges, attorneys, law enforcement, and victim advocates, including at the National Tribal Judicial Center. Between 1999 and 2006 she served as a judge on the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals. Professor Tatum joined the University of Arizona faculty in January 2009, after serving as a faculty member at the University of Tulsa for more than thirteen years.

Curriculum Vitae

SSRN Published Papers

Representative Publications

  • Constitution as Dialogue:  Legal Pluralism and the American Experience. in Constitutional Recognition of First Peoples in Australia:  Theories and Comparative Perspectives 160 (Simon Young, Jennifer Nielsen, & Jeremy Patrick eds., 2016) (co-author, with Jennifer Hendry).
  • Human Rights, Indigenous Peoples, and the Pursuit of Justice, 34 Yale L. & Pol'y Rev. 351 (2016) (co-author, with Jennifer Hendry).
  • Tribal Legal Code Resource:  Tribal Laws Implementing TLOA Enhanced Sentencing and VAWA Enhanced Jurisdiction (2015) (co-author, with Maureen L. White Eagle & Chia Halpern Beetso).
  • Law, Culture, & Environment (2014) (co-author, with Jill Kappus Shaw).
  • Structuring Sovereignty:  Constitutions of Native Nations (2014) (co-author, with Miriam Jorgensen, Mary Guss, & Sarah Deer).
  • General Editor, Navajo Law Reporter, Vol. 8 (2008).
  • Contributing Author, Cohen's Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2005).
  • A Jurisdictional Quandary:  Challenges Facing Tribal Governments in Implementing the Full Faith and Credit Provisions of the Violence Against Women Acts, 90 Ky. L.J. 123 (2001 - 2002).
  • Complete List of Publications

Education

  • J.D. University of Michigan Law School
    1992
    Graduated magna cum laude.
  • B.A. Trinity University
    1989
    Graduated magna cum laude.

Work Experience

  • Research Professor of Law
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2014 - present
  • Faculty, Social, Cultural, and Critical Theory; American Indian Studies
    Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs, The University of Arizona
    2016 - present
  • Affiliated Faculty, Gender and Women's Studies
    The University of Arizona
    2015 - present
  • Research Professor of Law & Director, Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2012 - 2014
  • Research Professor of Law & Associate Director, Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Program
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2009 - 2012
  • Director, Dublin Study Abroad Program
    University of Tulsa College of Law
    Summer 2002, 2006, & 2008
  • Director, LL.M. Program in American Indian and Indigenous Law (previously Co-Director)
    University of Tulsa College of Law
    2002 - 2006
  • Co-Director, the Native American Law Center
    University of Tulsa College of Law
    2000 - 2008
  • Judge
    Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals
    1999 - 2006
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
    Wayne State University Law School
    1999 - 2000
  • Visiting Assistant Professor of Law
    Michigan State University College of Law
    1998 - 1999
  • Law Clerk to Judge Cornelia Kennedy
    United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    1994 - 1995
  • Law Clerk to Judge James Ryan
    United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
    1993 - 1994
  • Law Clerk to U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven D. Pepe
    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
    1992 - 1993
  • Professor of Law (previously Associate Professor, Assistant Professor, & Visiting Assistant Professor)
    University of Tulsa College of Law
    1995 - 2008

Public & Institutional Service

  • Consultant, New Mexico Attorney General's Office Taskforce on Enforcement of Protection Orders
    2007 - 2010
  • Consultant, Navajo Nation Rules Harmonization Project
    2007 - 2008
  • Chair, AALS Section on Women in Legal Education
    2004 - 2005
  • Secretary, AALS Section on Women in Legal Education
    2003 - 2004
  • Judge, American Indian Law Review's Law Student Writing Competition
    2003
  • Secretary, AALS Section on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples
    2002 - 2005
  • Treasurer, AALS Section on Women in Legal Education
    2002 - 2003
  • Member, Executive Committee, AALS Section on Criminal Justice
    2001 - 2003
  • Chair, AALS Section on Indigenous Nations and Peoples
    2001 - 2002
  • Program Chair, AALS Section on Indigenous Nations and Peoples
    2001 - 2002
  • Member, Michigan joint federal/state/tribal task force to implement full faith and credit provisions of Violence Against Women Act
    2000 - 2001 (co-chair, subcommittee on tribal jurisdictional issues

Awards

  • Special Teaching Recognition, Humanities Seminar Program
    2016
  • Honoree, Fourth Annual Native Justice Powwow
    2009
  • University of Tulsa College of Law Nominee for University Outstanding Teacher Award
    2007
  • NALSA Faculty Sponsor of the Year Award
    2005
  • University of Tulsa College of Law Nominee for University Outstanding Teacher Award
    2003, 2002
  • University of Tulsa College of Law Upper Class Professor of the Year
    2003, 2002
  • University of Tulsa College of Law Upper Class Professor of the Year
    2002, 2001