Tribal Legal Studies Courses Offered Online
Friday, Sept. 26, Is Last Day to Register
Busy journalists, legal professionals, and government officials have a new way to learn about American Indian law:  online.
This fall, UCLA Extension, a leading provider of online education, is offering three Web-based courses as part of its Tribal Legal Studies series.  These online classes let anyone anywhere explore tribal law and legal systems at their convenience.  Nothing is required except a personal computer with an Internet connection.
Tribal Legal Studies is an evolving series of professional development courses.  These courses highlight the federal, state, and tribal legal issues that affect American Indian and Alaska Native populations.  The series is presented by the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and the Tribal Law and Policy Institute as part of their Project Peacemaker.
The three fall courses are:
1)  Introduction to Tribal Legal Studies.  This course provides a broad overview of the most important issues in tribal law, including the development and operation of tribal governments and court systems.  The course examines tribal common law and how it incorporates traditional dispute resolution methods such as peacemaking courts.
2)  Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing in a Tribal Context.  This course explains legal research and analysis and offers extensive practice exercises on American Indian and Alaska Native issues.  Students learn how to conduct research and analysis in a law library and online, using the Tribal Court Clearinghouse, Lexis/Nexis, and other legal resources.
3)  Federal Indian Law and Policy.  This course surveys the history of federal Indian law and policy, from European contact to the present.  It introduces students to the basic concepts of federal powers, trust responsibility, and state authority under federal Indian law.  Students also address contemporary issues such as attacks on tribal sovereignty and tribal movements toward decolonization.
Tribal Legal Studies is an innovative educational program designed to demystify the challenging field of tribal law and policy.  The instruction is enjoyable as well as informative, with a mix of audio and video presentations, Web-based research, and interaction via e-mail, chat rooms, and online blackboards.
The 10-week courses require about 40 hours of online activity and an equal amount of offline research and writing.  Students can work at their own pace in the office or at home.  Grades and college or continuing education credits are awarded upon completion.
The courses are appropriate for legal students and paralegals, journalists and analysts who write about Native issues, and professionals in tribal governments and Native organizations who wish to understand the law better.  Non-Native lawyers who want to learn more about the complexities of tribal law will benefit also.
The cost is $515 per class.  The last day of registration is Friday, Sept. 26.  For more information or to enroll, visit UCLA Extension or call (310) 206-6671.