FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 2, 2015
Director of Marketing and Communications
Oklahoma City University School of Law
(OKLAHOMA CITY – April 2, 2015) –The Chickasaw Nation has given two major gifts to the Oklahoma City University School of Law capital campaign, making the Nation the project’s largest donor to date. In gratitude for the contribution, the law school named the law library after the Chickasaw Nation.
“We are very pleased to work with Oklahoma City University School of Law in their efforts to expand on their outstanding history teaching Indian law and policy,” said Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby. “This new location will enable the school to expand the existing programs, giving students the opportunity to master their coursework while providing needed services to the community.”
The Law Library’s most prominent collection is the Native American Collection. It includes more than 4,400 print volumes and 8,600 pieces of microfiche. The collection was recently expanded to include resources for pro se patrons researching Native American legal issues.
The collection primarily focuses on Oklahoma tribes and includes materials by and about Native Americans of the Great Plains, Southwest and Five Civilized Tribes. The collection also contains tribal codes, constitutions, case law of tribal courts, and relevant state and federal materials. The collection is not limited to legal materials and includes works addressing all aspects of Native American life, history, and culture.
“I’m proud of our Indian Law programs and the work our law students are doing with and on behalf of native communities,” said Dean Valerie K. Couch. “The generosity from our friends at the Chickasaw Nation will have a lasting impact for generations of students who leave here to practice law in Indian country.”
In addition to the law library’s Native American Collection, Oklahoma City University School of Law has had a robust Indian law program dating back to the late 80s. The newly renamed American Indian Law and Sovereignty Center is continuing the mission of the Native American Legal Resource Center (NALRC) and expanding its focus to include tribal governance and leadership development in Indian Country.
The American Indian Wills Clinic, which launched in 2009, is housed in the Sovereignty Center. The Wills Clinic gives law students experience drafting wills and other estate documents for American Indians who own an interest in Indian land in Oklahoma. In 2014 alone, students drafted wills for 116 clients.
Additionally, the law school offers a certificate in American Indian Law.
“We are humbled and deeply grateful to the Chickasaw Nation and Governor Bill Anoatubby for this extraordinary commitment to the university and downtown Oklahoma City,” said OCU President Robert H. Henry. “The Nation’s ongoing support not only makes a difference in the lives of our students today, but will be transformative for the university’s future.”
Oklahoma City University School of Law consistently ranks in the top three law schools in the country for American Indian enrollment.