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.
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 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.