Tribal Court Justice Studies

Tribal Court Justice Studies

As tribal courts tackle more issues and cases within their own communities, the need for highly-trained graduates in tribal court justice grows.

The passage of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 further expanded the reach of many tribes to handle enhanced-sentencing in criminal cases including processing felony matters in their own tribal courts. This change has brought-about in great part, the increased need for tribal court-specific training not only in advocacy, but in the skills required to work in tribal court.

When Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community tribal leaders met with Scottsdale Community College (SCC), they developed a strong program together that would serve the needs of multiple tribes - and it’s the only one like it in the entire state.

The Tribal Court Justice Program (TCJ) is designed as a 32-35 credit hour certificate that offers a practical, hands-on curriculum that provides graduates with the knowledge and tools needed to succeed in a variety of roles within tribal court settings, whether as tribal court advocates, attorneys, staff, paralegals, law enforcement officers, court clerks, or other Court administration.

Program Code

5831 Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Tribal Court Justice Studies

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Program Contacts

Natali Segovia, Esq., Tribal Court Justice Program Director and Faculty
Phone: (480) 423-6369

Ana Cuddington, American Indian Program Director
Phone: (480) 423-6531

Walter Olsen, Justice Studies Program Director and Residential Faculty
Phone: (480) 423-6742

Program Notes: Set up an advising meeting by contacting TCJ Program Director, Natali Segovia, for more information by emailing

Transfer Options

Transfer of credits may vary depending on the institution. While the certificate may not transfer to university programs, specific courses may transfer as electives. Contact an Academic Advisor or the TCJ Program Director for more information on credit transfer.

Career Outlook

SCC’s Tribal Court Justice program is a practical, hands-on curriculum designed so graduates can enter the workforce immediately upon completion, prepared to tackle a variety of roles.

The program is run as a small cohort – students thus establish a strong network from the outset, and during the program, interface with tribal court advocates, attorneys, and judges in Indian country, gaining valuable insight into the legal profession and professions within the realm of tribal courts.

Graduates of past cohorts have gone on to work in a wide range of career paths serving tribal communities, including working as tribal court advocates, in education, staff/management, court administration, and have also continued seeking advanced degrees, including Masters and Doctorates.