The Tribal Court
Criminal Defense Clinic, a program run by the Native American Law Center at
the UW School of Law in partnership with the Tulalip Tribe, was awarded $10,000
at a ceremony in Sacramento, Calif., October 3. The clinic was one of
seven such tribal programs to be recognized by Honoring Nations, a project on
American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University.
The clinic serves as the public defender on the Tulalip Indian Reservation.
Generally, tribal members do not have a right to counsel in tribal criminal
proceedings, and the Tulalip Tribes sought an innovative way to address this
need. Clinic clients are adult members of federally-recognized Indian
tribes who have been charged with violations of the Tulalip Tribes Criminal
Code. They must meet low-income standards, based on federal poverty guidelines,
and cases must be appropriate for student advocates.
"The Tribal Court Defense Clinic provides students an opportunity to gain
real courtroom experience as public defenders, as well as hands-on experience in
Indian and Tribal law," said
Whitener, Clinic Director and Assistant Professor of Law.
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