TU’s College of Law is a leading research center for Native American law and history. The Native American Law Center is enhanced by Tulsa’s proximity to 35 major tribal headquarters, lying within the original borders of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Established as a center in 2000, the Native American Law Center builds on the concentration established in 1990. The Center’s mission is to provide resources for the study and teaching of legal issues concerning Indian tribes and other indigenous peoples worldwide.
TU Law’s unmatched resources include:
Specialized library collection in Indian and indigenous law
Full-time professors with expertise in Indian law
Gilcrease Museum (managed by TU), a nationally renowned museum of Native American art and artifacts, providing academic and research opportunities
Judicial internship with Courts of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation
Opportunities to work with nearby tribal governments
TU’s College of Law has an active Native American Law Students’ Association (NALSA), which is affiliated with the National NALSA. Members are active in community programs, meet regularly for social activities, and attend the Federal Bar Association’s annual Indian Law Conference. The FBA’s annual conference includes the annual National NALSA meeting, as well as a job fair and networking opportunities.
Moot Court Competition
TU NALSA students also participate in an intramural Native American Law Moot Court competition. Winners of that competition represent TU at the National Native American Law Moot Court Competition, which is sponsored by National NALSA. The TU Law intramural competition, from which the teams for the national competition are chosen, is open to all law students.
TU boasts faculty with nationally recognized expertise in Indian law. Since its inception, the Center faculty have published and speak regularly in their areas of specialization, and were involved in the revision of Felix S. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the premier treatise in the field.
Indian law is an integrated and integral part of TU’s library collections, which include the Mabee Legal Information Center (MLIC) and the McFarlin Library. Together, these libraries provide virtually any materials a student needs to write and study in the field. The MLIC features a strong collection of works related to American Indian and Indigenous Peoples law. The collection contains both primary and secondary works, including treaties, US government documents, tribal codes and tribal court decisions. The collection also features a wealth of treatises exploring both domestic and international approaches to Indian law issues.
The importance of Indian law at TU is illustrated by the MLIC’s decision to include a special room devoted to Native American law, which both houses many of the MLIC’s Indian law resources and serves as a meeting and study area for students. The main Indian law collection is located in an area immediately adjacent to the Native American law room in the Indigenous Peoples Law Collection.
In addition to the materials held at the MLIC, law students also have access to McFarlin, the main university library, which is a short three-minute walk from the law school. McFarlin is a major center of scholarly resources for the systematic study of Indian law, history and policy.
With institutional roots stemming from the Presbyterian School for Indian Girls, The University of Tulsa honors its historic commitment to Indian scholarship by housing the Alice Robertson collection (which includes the personal papers of Samuel Worcester, the Osage Allotment Cards and the Wounded Knee Papers of Kent Frizzell). McFarlin’s collection also contains many documents related to the Indian Claims Commission, including a variety of indices and digests, the papers of Commissioner Brantley Blue and the personal papers of John T. Vance. The library also holds the J.B. Milam Library of Cherokee History, which consists of some 2,000 titles. It includes tribal and US government documents, almost all books written about the Cherokees before 1950, books printed in Cherokee and a number of important manuscripts.
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