Experiential Learning

At IPLP, we believe your education does not stop at the classroom door. We offer students a wide variety of hands on learning opportunities, which help ensure our graduates are prepared for the practice of law.

IPLP incorporates experiential learning into many of its courses, and also offers several clinical and externship opportunities, including:

Indigenous Law Clinic
Students work on a wide variety of projects for tribal governments, from drafting codes to implementing guardian ad litem systems to writing amicus briefs.

Tribal Courts Clinic
Students serve as judicial clerks, primarily for the Navajo Supreme Court

AIPRA Will Drafting Clinic
Students draft wills for Indians who have allotted lands

International Human Rights Advocacy Workshop
Students work on our international advocacy projects, assisting indigenous peoples in the use of international human rights law and procedures.

In addition to the above options, IPLP students may wish to participate in an externship placement. Externships provide students with real-world experience under the supervision of a faculty member and a licensed attorney or a judge.

Because externships are academic courses for academic credit, they are regulated by both the ABA and the College of Law. Placements must be approved by the College of Law curriculum committee and faculty. The relevant ABA regulation is Standard 305 and it may be found here.

The faculty has pre-approved several externship placements. Students seeking these placements must meet the prerequisites and register for the externship with the registrar, but do not have to seek curriculum committee or faculty approval.

Students interested in other externship placements must complete the Ad Hoc Externship packet and submit it for approval. That packet is available here in both Word and PDF formats.

The following externships fall under the Ad Hoc Placement Rule. Students may work with IPLP faculty or staff to design their own placement, but many government and nonprofit offices have their own internship/externship programs. We have included below those sent to us, but other programs may exist.

Bureau of Justice Assistance >

The intern will be placed in the Strategic Initiatives unit of the Policy Office. SIU oversees the Tribal Justice portfolio of funding, including coordination of the Department of Justice's Consolidated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) and policy leadership and training and technical assistance on issues throughout the tribal justice system. The intern will support BJA solicitation processes, data collection and analysis, research and support the development of tools and strategies for the field.

A. Elizabeth Griffith
Associate Deputy Director for Policy
Bureau of Justice Assistance
U.S. Department of Justice
More information: www.bja.gov

The Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA) mission is to provide leadership and services in grant administration and criminal justice policy development to support local, state, and tribal justice strategies to achieve safer communities. BJA supports programs and initiatives in the areas of law enforcement, justice information sharing, countering terrorism, managing offenders, combating drug crime and abuse, adjudication, advancing tribal justice, crime prevention, protecting vulnerable populations, and capacity building.

BJA has four primary components: Policy, Programs, Planning, and the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Office. The Policy Office provides national leadership in criminal justice policy, training, and technical assistance to further the administration of justice. It also acts as a liaison to national organizations that partner with BJA to set policy and help disseminate information on best and promising practices.
Department of Justice >

The Civil Rights Division ("CRT" or "Division") of the U.S. Department of Justice was recently made aware of your internship programs. CRT is interested in sponsoring interns to provide them a unique and exciting view of the work and mission of our organization. CRT interns assist our attorneys and other specialists in a variety of assignments, including conducting legal and factual research. Interviewing witnesses, and other case-related work. We do, however, require that the individuals be currently enrolled in school and not recently graduated.

Diane Petrie
More information:

The Udall Foundation's Native American Congressional Internship Program >

The Udall Foundation provides a ten-week summer internship in Washington, D.C., for Native American and Alaska Native students who wish to learn more about the federal government and issues affecting Indian Country. The internship is fully funded: the Foundation provides round-trip airfare, housing, per diem for food and incidentals, and a stipend at the close of the program.

Interns work in congressional and agency offices where they have opportunities to research legislative issues important to tribal communities, network with key public officials and tribal advocacy groups, experience an insider's view of the federal government, and enhance their understanding of nation-building and tribal self-governance. The internship program is funded by the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy, which was founded by the Udall Foundation and The University of Arizona in 2001 as a self-determination, self-governance, and development resource for Native nations.

In 2014, the Foundation expects to award 12 Internships on the basis of merit to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who:

  • Are college juniors or seniors, recent graduates from tribal or four-year colleges, or graduate or law students;
  • Have demonstrated an interest in fields related to tribal public policy, such as tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, cultural preservation and revitalization, and Native American economic development.

Destiny Khalil
(520) 901-8561

More information:

U.S. Attorney's Office - Tucson, AZ >

Prefer outstanding legal writing and research skills. Criminal law experience and coursework a plus.

Tom Mauet
Faculty Page

Pascua Yaqui Court of Appeals >

James Hopkins
Faculty Page