Tribal Court Clinic: Criminal Defense and Family Advocacy

Professor Williams and Professor Lara help you to learn how to juggle multiple clients and schedules, how to compassionately deliver sometimes-difficult news and how to be the best advocate for each client. I am so glad to have spent time in the Tribal Clinic!
— Renee Ambacher, Alumna

About the Tribal Court Clinic: Criminal Defense and Family Advocacy

As part of the Native American Law Center at UW School of Law, the Tribal Court Clinic partners with the Tulalip Tribes to serve as the primary public defender in criminal misdemeanor cases filed in their Tribal Court. The Tulalip Tribes sought this innovative partnership to address the need for legal representation in 2002 and in the decades since then, the Tribal Court Clinic has become a national model for providing tribal public defender services. The clinic's clients are generally members of federally recognized Tribes who have been charged with crimes by the Tulalip Tribes or parents and/or juveniles with youth in need of care proceedings in the Muckleshoot Tribal Court. While the classes meet collaboratively, students choose to follow either the criminal track at Tulalip or the youth in need of care track at Muckleshoot. The shared classroom setting provides a comparative perspective within a Tribal framework. All students work under the direct supervision of clinic faculty.

The Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic is unable to take cases from the general public and only represents clients in cases to which we are appointed by the tribal courts.

Tribal Court Clinic News

New Additions in Clinical Law
Jevan Hutson, Jeannine Lemker and Nicole McGrath
New Additions in Clinical Law

The Clinical Law program is pleased to announce three incoming clinic directors: Jevan Hutson for Technology Law and Public Policy, Jeannine Lemker for the Entrepreneurial Law Clinic and Nicole Lemker for the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic.

Three-Minute Legal Talks: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Brackeen v. Haaland
3-Minute Legal Talks with Stacey Lara
Three-Minute Legal Talks: The Supreme Court’s Ruling on Brackeen v. Haaland

In three minutes, Stacey Lara, UW Law Assistant Teaching Professor and Co-director of the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic, covers the Supreme Court ruling and how it will affect Indian Country.

Punitive Versus Restorative Justice
Totem poles from the Tribal Court Clinic webpage.
Punitive Versus Restorative Justice

Tribal appellate ruling in favor of Williams v. the Tulalip Tribes strengthens local court system.

Defending Children and Families
Defending Children and Families

UW Tribal Court Clinic learnings go all the way to the US Supreme Court.

A Road to Recovery
A Road to Recovery

Struck by the number of nonviolent offenders imprisoned on drug charges, the Tulalip Tribes partnered with UW School of Law alumni to offer second chances through treatment.