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About Christine Zuni Cruz

Christine Zuni Cruz came to the UNM law school in 1993 to establish the Southwest Indian Law Clinic, which provides students with a hands-on opportunity to practice Indian Law. She had served as a tribal judge, a tribal gaming commissioner and been in private practice for ten years.

In her research and teaching, Zuni Cruz, a member of Isleta Pueblo, explores law and culture, including the impact of law on Indian families, the practice of Indian Law and lawyering for native communities and the internal traditional and modern law of indigenous peoples domestically and internationally. In 2001, she traveled to Greenland where she helped teach an intensive course on international indigenous human rights at the International Training Center of Indigenous Peoples.

She currently serves as an associate justice on the Isleta Appellate Court. Previously, she was a tribal court judge with the Pueblo of Laguna, the Pueblo of Taos. She also was presiding judge with the Isleta Court of Tax Appeals and an appellate judge with the Southwest Intertribal Court of Appeals.

Zuni Cruz, the first pueblo woman to earn tenure as a law professor, is editor-in-chief of the Tribal Law Journal, an on-line law journal dedicated to the internal law of indigenous peoples.


Present Professor of Law, Associate Dean for the Indian Law Program, University of New Mexico School of Law

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Honors and Awards

  • Member of the New Mexico Bar
  • Dickason Professor


  • Indian Law
  • International Advocacy for Indigenous Peoples
  • Law of Indigenous Peoples
  • Pueblo Indian Law
  • Southwest Indian Law Clinic
  • Tribal Courts
  • Tribal Law Journal


1982 J.D., University of New Mexico
1980 B.A., Stanford University

Contact Information

UNM School of Law
1117 Stanford NE
Office: 1123
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Ph.: 505-277-1007


Books and Book Chapters (3)

Presentations (1)

Scholarly Articles (13)