Lauren van Schilfgaarde

Assistant Professor of Law

Lauren van Schilfgaarde (Cochiti Pueblo) is the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Tribal Legal Development Clinic Director at UCLA School of Law. van Schilfgaarde supervises live-client projects concerning tribal governance and justice systems, ethics, cultural resource protection, voting, child welfare, and more. She received her undergraduate degree at Colorado College and her law degree from UCLA School of Law.

van Schilfgaarde previously served as the Tribal Law Specialist at the Tribal Law and Policy Institute (TLPI) in West Hollywood, CA. At TLPI, van Schilfgaarde coordinated training and technical assistance to tribal courts, focusing primarily on Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts, restorative justice, tribal court infrastructure, and federal Indian law. At TLPI, van Schilfgaarde worked with over eighty tribal nations on various legal infrastructure projects. van Schilfgaarde served as a law clerk for the Native American Rights Fund and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. She was a Public Interest Fellow at American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

van Schilfgaarde currently serves as a board member for the National Native American Bar Association, as Vice-Chair for the Native American Concerns Committee of the American Bar Association, as a Commissioner for the Lawyers Network Commission of the Center for Reproductive Rights, and as a Board Member of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Child Well-being Program.


  • B.A. Colorado College, 2008
  • J.D. UCLA School of Law, 2012

Articles & Chapters

  • Using Peacemaking Circles to Indigenize Tribal Child Welfare (with Brett Lee Shelton), 11 Columbia Journal of Race and Law 681 (2021). Full Text
  • The Need for Confidentiality Within Tribal Cultural Resource Protection, UCLA School of Law Native Nations Law & Policy Center (2020). Full Text
  • Addressing the Oliphant in the Room: Domestic Violence and the Safety of American Indian and Alaska Native Children in Indian Country (with Kelly Gaines Stoner), 22 Widener Law Review 243 (2016). Full Text