Native American Law Center

Special Projects

Navajo Trip

A major purpose of the Tribal Clinic is to expand the student’s knowledge of pluralistic court systems and different approaches to criminal law. Clinic students have the opportunity to go to the Navajo Nation for a week in the spring to learn about Navajo efforts to create a justice system which supports the core cultural values so important to the Navajo people while operating effectively in the modern era. The group includes current students, faculty, practitioners, and Afghan legal scholars studying with the UWLS Asian Law Center. Past sessions have included joint training with the Navajo Public Defender, court observation, meeting with the Navajo judges, and attending sessions of the Navajo Supreme Court.

Most recently the group met with the Navajo Peacemaker Program, a highly respected alternative to the adversary system. The trip culminates with two days in world renowned Canyon de Chelly with a traditional Navajo family exploring the intersection of culture, history and justice. Past attendees have described the trip as illuminating, transformative, and one of the most powerful experiences of their legal education.

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