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 who are experts 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
- Indian law courses
- Jess Green Scholarship
- Utsey Family Scholarship
Native American Law Student Association
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 members with nationally recognized expertise in Indian law. The Center faculty publish 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.
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Native American Law Center
Professor Royster is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of Indian environmental law, water law and mineral development. She co-authored the leading textbook on Native American natural resources law and is published extensively on a variety of Indian law topics. In addition to her role as a contributing author of Felix S. Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, she also serves on the editorial board for the treatise. Her article in the Tulsa Law Review entitled Mineral Development in Indian Country: The Evolution of Tribal Control Over Mineral Resources was cited by Justice Souter in his dissent in the 2003 US Supreme Court case of United States v. Navajo Nation.
Vicki J. Limas
Professor of Law
Co-Director, Native American Law Center
Professor Limas is the leading national expert on labor and employment law in Indian country. She has published articles on the juxtaposition of tribal sovereign rights and individual civil rights in suits by employees and on the applicability of federal labor and employment laws to Indian nations. She is a contributing author to the 2005 Revisions of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law. Professor Limas is an adjunct settlement judge in the US District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma and an arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Assistant Professor of Law
Professor Hoss will join TU Law in summer 2020, and she will focus her teaching on Indian law, legislation and property. Hoss’s research includes collecting and analyzing state laws that support or require consultation or engagement with tribes, with an eye on facilitating intergovernmental partnerships. Hoss also has extensive experience in health law, in particular with regard to the intersection of tribal and federal laws and their impact on tribal health outcomes.
Gary D. Allison, Professor of Law
Garrick Bailey, Professor of Anthropology
Marianne Blair, Professor of Law
John Coward, Professor and Chair of the Communication Department
Janet K. Levit, Professor of Law
Marla E. Mansfield, Professor of Law, Emerita
James P. Ronda, H. G. Barnard Chair in Western American History, Emeritus
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.