Pathways to the Legal Profession: Pre-Law Advisor Training Conference

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Learn more and register here.

About the Conference

The Pathways to the Legal Profession Conference aims to increase the number of competitive Native law school applicants nationwide. Recent scholarship by the American Bar Association and others establishes that Native Americans are disproportionately underrepresented in the legal profession. We encourage advisors, educators, and school administrators to attend this training to help identify, advise, and support the next generation of indigenous attorneys.


Advisors with an array of titles and responsibilities are encouraged to attend.  This includes community members such as teachers and youth mentors, as well as those who specifically advise American Indian and Alaska Native students interested in applying to law school.


Lodging and travel reimbursements are available for Tribal Education Departments and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Update: New Mexico Annual Indian Law Section CLE (DATE CHANGED!)

The Indian Law Section of the New Mexico State Bar is hosting its annual CLE on Monday, December 10 from 9am to 12:15pm. The Indian Law Section’s annual program will focus on topics that will help the Indian law practitioner on a daily basis. This program will include updates on legal developments in 2018, covering case law, statutes, regulations and executive actions. The program will also include a presentation on effective legal writing strategies and tips and cover legal ethics involved in practicing Indian law. To register, please click here.

New Mexico’s Children’s Law Institute Conference Call for Presentations

2019 Call for Workshop Proposals

I was just asked to speak at this event, and they also forwarded the call for presentations. So submit something, and we can hang out while we educate!

We are looking for 1.5 hour long workshops that relate to child welfare, juvenile justice, service providers, advocates, educators, and legal professionals in those systems. Workshops can be geared toward one or more professions. We are seeking intermediate and advanced presentations for experienced professionals and volunteers. Academic paper proposals are not likely to be accepted.

The New Mexico Children’s Law Institute (CLI) is seeking proposals for inspirational, skill building, and solution focused workshops for the 26th annual conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, January 9-11, 2019.

Deadline for proposal submission is August 17, 2018


Bar Preparation Scholarship Announcement (New Mexico)

To support and promote the practice of Indian Law in New Mexico and to help defray the costs of preparing for and taking the New Mexico bar examination, the Indian Law Section of the State Bar of New Mexico annually awards scholarships to third-year law students who intend to practice Indian Law in New Mexico. Students who will graduate in 2018 and take the bar examination within one year of graduation may apply. The 2018 Bar Scholarship will award up to a total of $4,000 or more in scholarships, which is subject to change based on the number of applicants, student interest and Indian Law Section resources. Applications must be postmarked no later than March 31, 2018.

Conner & Taggart on the Impact of Gaming on Indian Nations Nationally

Thaddieus W. Conner and William A. Taggart have published “Assessing the Impact of Indian Gaming on American Indian Nations: Is the House Winning?” in Social Science Quarterly. Send me an email if you need a copy.

Abstract here:

Objective. The objective of this article is to examine the impact of Indian gaming on reservation conditions in the contiguous American states following passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. Methods. Utilizing 1990 and 2000 Census data for 330 Indian nations, a pretest/posttest design permits a comparison of nongaming nations to three different types of gaming nations on eight economic measures, while controlling for multiple tribal characteristics and considering the effects of certain state contextual factors confronting nations due to location. Results. The analysis reveals (1) that the overall impact of gaming, while generally positive, is not as extensive after controlling for certain tribal features, (2) that there are differential effects evident across the three types of gaming nations, and (3) that the state context makes a difference in influencing the relationship between gaming and reservation conditions. The most substantial impacts are for a small subset of nations with Class III gaming and making per capita payments to their members in larger, wealthier states prohibiting non-Indian casinos. Conclusion. These results challenge some of the core assumptions about Indian gaming radically changing the poor economic conditions endemic to Indian country.

You may recall these authors previously published a paper focused on New Mexico.

Wall Street Journal article on protections for Mount Taylor in NM

The article describes struggles between the Acoma Pueblo, Pueblo of Laguna, Zuni, and Navajo and ranchers regarding whether Mt. Taylor should be protected from mining because of its sacred character.

“Indian Education in New Mexico 2025” A Report



From the executive summary:

This study indicates that best practices in Indian education entail providing a culturally responsive education for Native students. Culturally responsive education requires systemic reform and transformation in educational ideologies. Such a task is not easily accomplished in a rigid public school structure that is
bound by state and federal laws.

New Mexico’s Sex Offender Law Not Applicable in Indian Country

The New Mexico Court of Appeals ruled that Indians living in Indian Country, not employed or in school outside of Indian Country who were convicted of sex offenses in a court other than a New Mexico court, are not required to register on the New Mexico sex offender list as required by New Mexico law.

The specific question presented then is whether the two statutes [42 U.S.C. § 14071 (1998), as amended by “Megan’s Law” ]can be deemed an express statement by Congress that state sex offender registration laws shall apply in Indian country. We hold that they cannot. The language of the statutes betrays no indication that Congress intended the term “resident” by itself to override historically recognized and accepted limits on the reach of state criminal and regulatory law in Indian country. The type of language specifically referring to Indians and Indian
tribes which would support a conclusion that Congress intended to override tribal sovereignty is simply missing.

New York Times coverage


Conner & Taggart on the Impact of Gaming on New Mexico Tribes

Thaddieus W. Conner and William A. Taggart have published “The Impact of Gaming on the Indian Nations of New Mexico” in the Social Science Quarterly (conner-taggart-the-impact-of-gaming-on-nm-tribes). Here is the abstract:


This study examines the economic and social impact of Indian gaming on the residents of the 22 pueblos and tribes in New Mexico.


We employ a naturally occurring quasi-experimental design that classifies each of the Indian Nations into one of two groups, gaming and nongaming, depending on the continuous operation of a “Las Vegas” style casino for multiple years in the 1990s. For these two groups we compare aggregate, primarily U.S. Census, data spanning 25 indicators in both 1990 and 2000.


Although improvements were evident for both groups, nine of the 12 economic measures and six of the 13 social measures revealed a growing disparity favoring gaming nations during the 1990s, while six other measures suggested declining but continuing differences. These findings persisted in light of controls for population and urbanization, though many of the economic differences disappeared for the rural nations.


Gaming has had a positive economic and social impact on the gaming pueblos and tribes in New Mexico, especially for the more urbanized nations. The gaming nations are enjoying higher incomes, lower levels of poverty, and improvements in selected social areas compared to those nations opting not to pursue casino gaming in the 1990s.