For Immediate Release

Shari Ireton
University of Washington School of Law


Law School Tribal Clinic Receives High Honors

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 Ron Whitener, Clinic Director and Assistant Professor of Law.


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