Professor Jeanette Wolfley

Contact Information

Ph.: 505-277-3010
Fax: 505-277-1597
Office: 3415

Jeanette Wolfley

Assistant Professor of Law
B.A., University of Minnesota (1979)
J.D., University of New Mexico (1982)
Member of the Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming Bars

Resume SSRN


Jeanette Wolfley, enrolled in the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, joined the University of New Mexico Law School in fall 2013. She teaches federal Indian law, Indian water rights, federal jurisdiction and Tribal natural and cultural resources courses.

Prior to joining the School of Law faculty, Professor Wolfley practiced law for over 30 years representing exclusively Tribal clients’ interests in a wide variety of matters including, federal Indian law issues, tribal law, water law adjudications and implementations of water settlement agreements, environmental and land use regulation, hunting and fishing treaty rights, gaming law, taxation, employment rights, and natural -cultural resource protection.

She has a wealth of litigation experience before federal, tribal and state courts, legislation work before Congress and state legislatures, and administrative law practice before federal administrative agencies. Wolfley served as General Counsel for the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes from 1988 to 1996 before serving as special counsel. Prior to her general counsel work she worked with the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colorado where she served as Staff Attorney and Deputy Director for six years, 1982 - 1988. Just prior to joining the law school she was in private practice representing tribal clients, 1996 – 2013.

Her academic interests include a variety of Indian law issues, Indian voting rights and natural and cultural resource protection matters.


Federal Jurisdiction

Federal Jurisdiction

This course explores the role of the federal courts, the nature of federal judicial power, its clashes with Congress, and its relationship with state and tribal legislative and judicial systems. The course will focus on civil rights, environmental, and Indian law cases as the primary vehicles for this analysis.

Indian Law

Indian Law

This course examines the power of the Indian tribes and the relationships among tribes, states, and the United States. Emphasis will be given to jurisdictional interfaces and conflicts among the three sovereignties.

Indian Water Law

Indian Water Law

Indian Water Law will explore the jurisprudential origins of the role of Indian tribes as governments, and tribal entitlements in property and land. After a review of the historical under-pinnings of tribal sovereignty, the course will explore contemporary issues confronting tribes and pueblos relating to the development and use of their waters. This aspect of the course will develop a working knowledge of the Winters doctrine, quantification of Indian water rights, and finally the potential environmental and economic development solutions that may be integrated into global water right settlements.

The Future of Voting Rights in Indian Country Following Shelby County and Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (2014). UCLA Law Review, Forthcoming; UNM School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-16. Available at SSRN:

Tribal Environmental Programs: Providing Meaningful Involvement and Fair Treatment (2014). Journal of Environmental Law & Litigation, Forthcoming; UNM School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-15. Available at SSRN: