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MSU College of Law



October 6, 2010


MSU Law Presents Indigenous Law Conference on "Persuasion and Ideology"

East Lansing, MI — Legal experts from around the nation will gather at Michigan State University College of Law on Friday and Saturday, October 8 and 9, for the Indigenous Law & Policy Center’s Seventh Annual Indigenous Law Conference. “Persuasion and Ideology: Ideologically Divisive Cases in the Appellate Courts” will examine the roles of politics and persuasion in a variety of contexts, including federal Indian law, tribal courts, and cases involving religious freedom, race and equal protection, and criminal justice.

This year’s conference theme is inspired by How Judges Think, by Judge Richard A. Posner; Are Judges Political? An Empirical Investigation of the Federal Judiciary, by Professors Cass R. Sunstein, David Schkade, Lisa M. Ellman, and Andres Sawicki; and Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges, by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Bryan A. Garner.

The conference will feature keynote speakers William A. Thorne, Jr., a judge on the Utah Court of Appeals, and Philip S. (“Sam”) Deloria, director of the American Indian Graduate Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The following are among the distinguished group of jurists and scholars who will participate in the conference’s five panel discussions:

  • Douglas Laycock, newly-elected MSU Law Board of Trustees member and professor at the University of Virginia School of Law
  • Paul Finkelman, professor at Albany Law School
  • Jeannine Bell, professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law
  • Raymond Austin, former Navajo Supreme Court Justice and Distinguished Jurist in Residence for the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona
  • Matthew L.M. Fletcher, professor and director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center at MSU Law

For more information about the conference, visit

The Indigenous Law & Policy Center is the heart of the MSU Law Indigenous Law Program. The Center has two goals: to train law students to work in Indian Country, and to provide services to institutional clients such as Indian tribes, tribal courts, and other tribal organizations on a wide variety of legal and policy questions. The Center’s “Turtle Talk” blog is a popular and influential source for up-to-the-minute updates and analysis on Indian law and politics. The blog is followed by tribal citizens; indigenous law scholars; and tribal, state, and federal leaders.

Michigan State University College of Law is a leading institution of legal education with a long history of creating practice-ready attorneys. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law's commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320B Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

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