IPLP Clinics and Experiential Learning > Tribal Justice Clinic
Directed by Professor James Diamond, students enrolled in IPLP’s Tribal Justice Clinic provide legal assistance to tribes throughout the Southwest, North America, and the world. Students 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.
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.
Professor Diamond has been appointed as special prosecutor in the Pascua Yaqui Tribe court system. Professor Diamond is assigned cases when there is a conflict of interest by O.J. Flores, the tribe’s chief prosecutor and an Arizona Law alum.
A new student practice rule adopted by the Pascua Yaqui Tribal Court allows students enrolled in the Tribal Justice Clinic to appear in court under the supervision of a licensed attorney. This new rule allows clinic students to appear in tribal court and argue cases. The Tribal Justice Clinic affords students the chance to gain vital court room skills, work with leading legal practitioners, and increase access to justice for Yaqui community members.
Students have been involved in legal research and advocacy on the following important and timely topics facing indigenous peoples across the United States including the Violence Against Women Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, disenrollment, and many more. Students working in the clinic have:
Students gain practical experience in criminal law, civil litigation and procedure, and trial advocacy within tribal court settings. The Tribal Justice Clinic gives students vital experience:
Professor James Diamond completed his Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) with IPLP in 2014. His doctoral dissertation focused on reconciliation after mass shootings and the history of criminal dispute resolution among the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians and other indigenous communities. Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Criminal Trial Specialist, Diamond has tried more than 30 jury trials to verdict. Over the course of his career he has represented clients in pre-trial hearings, trials, and appeals, defending more than 1,000 criminal cases. He advises tribes and has conducted training of tribal court prosecutors, defense lawyers, and judges on trial skills and procedures in tribal courts.