- Associate Dean of Institutional Climate and Equity
Professor of Law
- A.A.S 1993, San Juan College
- B.A. 1996 Fort Lewis College
- J.D. with a Certificate in Indian Law 2005, University of New Mexico School of Law
As the Assistant Director of the UNM Law Library, Sherri Thomas coordinates collection management and leads the Library Systems Group of the Law Library. She engages in management of the print and electronic collections and provides reference services to Law School students, staff, faculty, and the public. In addition to teaching the required Legal Research course, Professor Thomas created and teaches the two-credit-hour Indian Law Research course, frequently leads legal research workshops focused on specific legal topics and also presents on substantive areas of law, including Federal Indian, Tribal and Copyright Law.
Professor Thomas is Black and American Indian, and she grew up on the Dine (Navajo) Reservation. Her life in Indian country and her status as an enrolled Tiwa (Taos Pueblo) member have cultivated her concerns and interest in Indian law, history, and current indigenous issues.
Before graduating from the UNM School of Law in 2005 with a certificate in Indian Law, she worked as the Information Manager for Environmental Risk Analysis, Inc., a bio-litigation consulting firm, in San Mateo, CA. She also worked as a Database Specialist and Cataloger for Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, PC, based in Palo Alto, CA.
Introduction to Legal Research
This course focuses on transferable skills that are the building blocks in the process of gaining research proficiency. Students will gain familiarity with the legal system and legal information sources so that they are able to design efficient research strategies that allow them to find, evaluate and use sources of legal information to resolve specific legal issues.
Applied Legal Research
This course focuses on incorporating legal research into both practitioner's work and scholarly writing. It introduces legislative history and bill tracking, administrative law, court rules, and secondary sources such as practice guides and treatises and exposes students to unique resources and challenges presented by topical research areas.
When the State Bar Exam Embraces Indian Law: Teaching Experiences and Observations, 82 N.D. L. Rev. 741 (2013). Co-authored with Gloria Valencia-Weber.
Available at: UNM-DR
UNM Law Library—An Information Partner for You and Your Community, Administration for Native Americans Grant Workshop for pueblo community library staffs (2015). Co-presented with Michelle Rigual.
Case Law Updates: Dollar General, Tribal Sovereignty, Child Custody, Tribal Court Jurisdiction, and Exhaustion of Tribal Remedies, 8th Annual Tribal Leadership Conference: Transitions (2015).