Director of Law and Indigenous Peoples Program and Senior Advisor to the Administration and Faculty
B.A. 1980, Stanford University
J.D. 1982, The University of New Mexico
Member of the New Mexico Bar
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.