Headshot of Jo Carrillo

Jo Carrillo

Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Indigenous Law Center

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Jo Carrillo, J.D., J.S.D., is Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the UC Law SF Indigenous Law Center, which was established in 2021. Carrillo publishes and teaches on topics of property, including tribal property interests, federal Indian law, marital property systems, consumer rights, and legal humanities. Currently, her legal research is focused on land advocacy efforts for Indigenous communities. In the last decade, Carrillo worked to better understand and advance the field of California community property law, both as law and as colonial artifact. She is the editor and author of several books on California community property law, and the author of many articles on property related issues.

Carrillo’s current work as Director of the Indigenous Law Center includes teaching and research on land advocacy and redress for California Indigenous communities. As Director of the Indigenous Law Center, Carrillo has as one of her main goals to co-teach seminars that bring tribal leaders, tribal attorneys, and tribal scholars into the law school classroom to discuss issues of importance to their tribal communities. Carrillo has designed, organized, and co-taught Indigenous Law Center Seminars on Continuing Threads (coordinated with the Continuing Thread Exhibit at the SF Arts Commission), Land Acknowledgements, and Enhanced Access to Land. Planned seminars are Redress for Genocide and Indigenous Feminism.

Professor Carrillo has served as The Lillian and Harry Hastings Research Chair at UC Law SF. She served on the Herbert Jacob Book Prize Selection Committee, and she was on the Board of Authors of a past edition of the Felix Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law. Although her permanent academic appointment is at UC Law SF, Professor Carrillo has held two visiting appointments: Visiting Professor of Law at Stanford Law School (1998-99), where she taught Federal Indian Law, Property, and Trusts and Estates; and Visiting Scholar at The Center for the Study of Law & Society, University of California, Berkeley (2006-07). Professor Carrillo is an elected member of the American Law Institute. She has a lifelong interest in the intersection of law, literature, and society. She is a longtime member of the Modern Language Association, a former Trustee of the Law and Society Association, and a peer reviewer for different academic journals, including the American Indian Law Review, the Law & Society Review, and the Journal of Science Fiction.


  • Stanford Law School
    J.S.D., Law

  • University of New Mexico
    J.D., Law

  • Stanford University
    B.A., Undergraduate Studies


  • Chip Robertson Scholarly Publications Fund Award
    Awarded by UC Law SF College of the Law.

  • Outstanding Mentor Award to American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian Students
    Awarded by Stanford University.

  • Roger J. Traynor Scholarly Publication Award
    Awarded for outstanding scholarly achievement by UC Law SF College of the Law.

  • Mediator Certification
    Conferred by the Center for Mediation in Law.

  • Outstanding Service & Achievement Award
    Awarded by UC Law SF 1066 Faculty Foundation.

  • Hastings Research Chair
    Awarded by UC Law SF College of the Law.

Selected Scholarship


  • Property
  • Community Property
  • California Community Property
  • American Indian Law