Job Opportunity – Staff Attorney

Ramah Judicial District Court
Ramah, New Mexico

Closing Date: June 14, 2019

Duties and Responsibilities:
Under general direction of the Judges of the assigned district, performs work of considerable difficulty in providing complex legal advice and guidance; conducts legal research and drafts legal documents in support of the judges, court solicitor and court administrators; undertakes special projects for the Judicial Branch; performs related duties assigned. Provides legal guidance to judicial judges, involving numerous areas of law; utilizes a variety of research methods to find legal precedents; reviews statutes, rules, administrative orders, policies and procedures, case law, briefs and other administrative and legal documents; provides both informal and legal opinions, recommendations and legal briefs resulting from research; proposes alternatives and options to consider; drafts memoranda, decisions, judgements, orders, summaries and other legal documents. Provides advice and assistance in administrative issues, including, but not limited to, employment matters, policy issues, and impact of legislation; undertakes special legal and administrative projects, conducts legal education programs; participates in the development of training plans, curricula and educational materials and provides training; provides legal representation for the court in various legal arenas; attends meetings.

Education, Training and Experience:
A Juris Doctorate from ABA accredited law school; and two (2) years of general legal practice as a licensed attorney. Must be a current member of the Navajo Nation Bar Association. Must have a state license and be a current member of a State Bar. The applicant shall obtain an attorney license in Arizona, New Mexico or Utah within two (2) years of date of hire

See full job announcement here.

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Job Opportunity – Program Attorney

The National Judicial College (NJC) is a private, not-for-profit organization providing quality continuing education to trial judges, administrative law judges, tribal judges, military judges and court personnel.  The College also provides international judicial education.  NJC is located on the campus of the University of Nevada in Reno.

The National Tribal Judicial Center at The National Judicial College is among the first institutions to address the needs of Native American and Alaska Native tribal law judiciaries.  The curricula presented are innovative and sophisticated, designed to enhance the professional skills of tribal judges and tribal court professionals.  The Center’s main objective is to improve justice through education and technical assistance, both national in scope as well as customized for the needs of specific tribes or regions.

NJC seeks a team-oriented individual to fill the position of program attorney for the National Tribal Judicial Center.  Under the supervision of the academic director, program attorney responsibilities include developing academic courses on a variety of topics and issues especially in the area of tribal judicial education, preparing course materials, planning and conducting courses, delivering customized technical assistance to tribal courts, and seeking further funding to support the work of the National Tribal Judicial Center. 

Graduation from an ABA-accredited school of law and bar admission to any state’s bar are required.  Experience working with tribes or in tribal law is highly desired.  The successful candidate must have demonstrated excellent organizational, writing, and communication skills.  Further, the candidate must have two to five years of legal experience.  Experience in continuing adult education and/or grant administration is preferred. 

Application Method(s)

  • Application Email:
  • Apply via Mail to: The National Judicial College Attn: Human Resources Judicial College Building, M.S. 358 Reno, NV 89557

Job Opportunity – Law Clerk PT

Mille Lacs Band Tribal Court
Court of Central Jurisdiction
Onamia, MN

Closing Date: June 18, 2019

The Law Clerk is responsible for assisting the Tribal Court judiciary with legal research, drafting of court decisions and special court development projects.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Completion of one year or more at an ABA-accredited law school, including satisfactory completion of a legal research and writing course.
  • Demonstrated interest in Tribal and Federal Indian Law.
  • Strong legal writing and research skills, including utilization of online legal research database services.
  • Ability to interpret and apply laws, analyze legal documents, derive pertinent points, and record conclusions.
  • Ability to draft legal documents so as to be understood by non-law trained individuals.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Strict attention to detail.
  • Ability to read with speed and comprehension.
  • Ability to comprehend and record rapid speech.
  • Familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite and proficiency in Microsoft Word.
  • Moderate touch typing ability.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of documents, computer files and oral communications.
  • Must pass a criminal background check.
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug and alcohol test.
  • Valid driver’s license, dependable transportation and proper insurance is required.

Submit resume, cover letter, and employment application to: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Employment Coordinator 43408 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359 Fax # (320) 532-7492 e-mail to

Download full job description here.

Job Opportunity – Prosecuting Attorney

Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Nation

Location: Tribal Prosecutor’s Office
Pablo, MT

Closing Date: June 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.

This is a professional position requiring specialized knowledge and skill to represent and act as legal counsel for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and its governmental departments in the Tribal Court and such other forums, including other courts, tribunals, alternative dispute mechanisms, and agencies as necessary. The incumbent shall be a fully licensed member in good standing of the State Bar of Montana and admitted, or eligible for admission, to practice in the Tribal Court of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. The general work is a litigation position and the incumbent shall have necessary education, training, and skills to represent the Tribes in court independently. To the end, the incumbent shall act on behalf of the Tribes with respect to the following matters which are not all-inclusive.

Minimum Qualifications (as reflected on the tribal employment application):

  • Must be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Montana. If not admitted, must become admitted within six (6) months of hire to maintain employment.
  • Applicant must have no criminal convictions other than minor traffic infractions for which the punishment does not include the possibility of a jail sentence.
  • Weekend and off-hour work and occasional Court appearances required.


  1. Completed Tribal employment application. (Resumes may be submitted but may not replace or supplement the official tribal application.)
  2. Copies of relevant licenses, academic transcripts and relevant training certificates.
  3. Provide a writing sample.
  4. Proof of enrollment from a federally recognized Tribe if other than CSKT.
  5. If you are claiming Veteran’s Preference, a copy of the DD214 must be submitted with the application.

Download job announcement and full job description here.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact Cory Clairmont @ (406) 675-2700, ext. 1041. FAX (406) 675-2711 or E-Mail:

ILP Alumni with Concurrent Degrees: Part 2

In an earlier post, we talked to some of our alumni with concurrent degrees. Again, we reached out to our alumni to ask them why they chose to pursue concurrent degrees and how it has affected their career after graduation. Below are the responses from Perry Riggs (’98) and Courtney Monteiro (’06). You can read our first installment on our blog here.

  • Robert A. Rosette (’96), Partner and founder of Rosette, LLP
  • Marlene Ray (’97), business manager and philanthropist
  • Perry Riggs (’98), Deputy Executive Director, Navajo Nation Washington Office
  • Theresa Rosier (’98), Deputy General Counsel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
  • Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04), attorney, business advisor, and owner of Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC
  • Courtney Monteiro (’06), Senior Vice President, Sovereign Finance, LLC
  • Bartley Harris (’08), Attorney, Four Rivers Indian Legal Services
  • Kris Beecher (2L), student and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Navajo Housing Authority

What is your current occupation and how long have you held that position? 

Perry Riggs: I am currently the Deputy Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. I’ve held this position for almost three years, but I have worked for this office for about five years.

Courtney Monteiro: I am the Senior Vice President of Sovereign Finance. I helped start the company in August 2008 and have been with the company ever since. Prior life was as an Investment Banker at JPMorgan Securities.

How have your concurrent MBA and JD degrees affected your career? Do you wish you had chosen a different field? 

Perry Riggs: I think having both degrees has made me more marketable in the early stages of my career. Having an MBA has also helped me do my job as an attorney. I have been a licensed attorney for almost 20 years now and about 18 of those years has been spent within tribal government. Nowadays, Indian tribes are doing so many different things, especially economically, that you now have to know things from a business perspective. As an attorney, I have been involved in finance, investments, commercial transactions, construction, tribal enterprises, gaming, procurement, budgets, appropriations, economic development, and a number of other areas. With an MBA, it allowed me to see the issues involved from a business perspective allowing me to provide better advice and services to the tribe, as well as their enterprises.

I do not wish I had chosen a different field. Being an attorney is a very difficult job, but it has its rewards.

Courtney Monteiro: I’m a bit of an anomaly. My JD/MBA helped me realize that I preferred the business side of the equation to the legal. As such, when I received offer letters and considered my options, I was partial to proceeding outside of a traditional career in law. That said, I could not have excelled in my career without the work that was put in going through the legal portion of my education. I have zero regrets regarding my career choice. In fact, I couldn’t have imagined being in the position I am in when I was in school and I am grateful to have had the opportunities that I have had. I certainly would not have been prepared for where my career has taken me without all facets of my educational career, including my time spent at the law school. 

In what ways do you use your knowledge of law in your career and everyday life? 

Perry Riggs: I have been utilizing my knowledge of the law pretty much throughout the length of my career. I worked 12 and a half years as in-house counsel for an Indian tribe, one and a half years as counsel within Congress, one year as outside counsel, and five years in my current position working on behalf of my tribe in its representation to Congress and the Executive Administration. This all requires legal knowledge. In everyday life, I use the analytical skills often for problem solving, but the legal knowledge only in specific circumstances.

Courtney Monteiro: My firm provides financial and investment advisory work to tribal clients. While I am not in a position where I am drafting legal opinions or doing legal research, the time I spent both in law school and during my clerkships have been an invaluable component to ensuring that my client efforts receive the best advice possible. Sometimes this is as simple as providing them with access to legal resources that are made available to me through the many friends and colleagues, mostly graduates of the ILP program, that are providing exceptional legal advice throughout Indian Country. 

Would you recommend a law degree or concurrent degrees to prospective students? What would you say to a student considering earning these degrees? 

Perry Riggs: Although it would depend on your circumstances and goals, I would definitely recommend a law degree or concurrent degree. Not only is the legal knowledge you gain from law school helpful, but the legal training also dramatically improves your logical and analytical abilities, as well as your ability to think strategically in resolving issues and problems. 

Courtney Monteiro: I unquestionably and without hesitation would recommend that students that are able, take the time to pursue both degrees. I couldn’t tell you how many of my legal colleagues express to me how they should have taken the extra time to get their MBA. The addition of the skills that are developed as part of the MBA are an invaluable addition to any lawyers resume, and quite frankly develop a series of life skills that are valuable in and of themselves. In addition, and if that is not enough justification, being able to secure an MBA in one year rather than two as is typical, is incentive in and of itself.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Perry Riggs: I would say, if you are thinking about a legal career, do not take it too lightly. And, especially, do not make the decision based on simply wanting the title of an attorney. It is a difficult job and it requires a lot of work. But, at the same time, in my practice area of Indian law, you are involved with working with some of the brightest people and working on some interesting and difficult issues while pushing the cause of Indian tribes and Indian people. It has its own rewards.

In regards to the Indian legal program at ASU, it has expanded much further than when I was in law school. They are doing a lot of great work. I still see a number of people who were in the ILP program during my time at ASU and some of the work they are doing now is amazing. Due to our connection with the ILP, these people remain life-long friends and colleagues.  

ASU Navajo Nation Law CLE: Call for Presentations

The Indian Legal Program at ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is proud to host the 2019 Navajo Nation Law CLE Conference on Friday, October 25, 2019.

The Navajo Nation Law CLE Conference will offer a one day survey of Navajo law and ethics. This conference is ideal training for attorneys practicing on and near the Navajo Nation, tribal court advocates, tribal court practitioners, tribal court prosecutors, tribal court defenders, tribal council members, Indian law attorneys, tribal liaisons, government legislators, Navajo Nation Bar members, law students, as well as teachers/professors and students of American Indian studies.

The Conference Planning Committee welcomes proposals for 30-minute, 60-minute or 90-minute conference presentations or panel discussions. To submit a presentation proposal, please send the following information by June 17, 2019:

  • Presenter(s) name, title, contact information, bio
  • Title of the proposed presentation
  • A brief (one paragraph) description of the presentation, how the presentation relates to Navajo Law, and a description of the presentation format (example: lecture with Q&A, panel discussion, etc.)
  • A brief description of what will be or could be distributed to attendees as materials
  • A two-sentence summary of the presentation for the conference program, if accepted
  • Length of presentation
  • Would this session qualify for Navajo Ethics?

Participants will be notified of their selection by July 22, 2019.

Please submit your abstract here: Subject: Navajo Law CLE Proposal

Job Opportunity – General Counsel

Position Summary:
With the Tribe and its Constitutional government as the client, the General Counsel works under the primary supervision and direction of the Tribal Board. The General Counsel also provides legal services to the Tribal government’s Executive Director for operational direction consistent with the laws, budgets and policy directives enacted by the Tribal Council. The position entails performing a broad range of legal work for all departments and divisions of the Tribal government, as well as, appearing in Courts of the Tribal Court, Michigan State Courts and federal courts on behalf of the Tribe as authorized and directed.

Job Complexity:
Provide timely legal advice/counsel to, and draft legal opinions for, the Tribal Board, its subdivisions, instrumentalities, departments and various business entities on a broad range of legal issues.

  • Prepare legal memoranda and conducts legal research as requested.
  • Prepare drafts of resolutions, Tribal laws, regulations, and policies for Tribal Board’s approval.
  • Works with Department Leaders to create policies/procedures to guide implementation of government functions and operations to assure compliance with applicable laws and conditions of grants, contracts and other agreements.
  • Serves as the Director of the Tribe’s Legal Department, allocates work for the efficient operation of the Department and supervises the work of subordinate attorneys and legal support staff.
  • Supervision of work performed by the Tribe’s outside/contract attorneys, and participation in such work, to help achieve successful completion of assigned work within budgetary constraints.
  • Oversees the implementation of regulations and compliance by all Tribal departments with federal and state regulations for various functions of the government.
  • Establish and maintain necessary professional relationships with Team Members, Tribal Members, Tribal Management and other Tribal Government Employers.
  • Manage the delivery of legal services to all areas of the Tribal government, Enterprises, and Kewadin Casino’s to ensure services and functions are performed in a timely manner by appropriate personnel consistent with Tribal business needs.
  • Prepares and manages the budget for the Legal Department of the Tribe.
  • Represents the Tribe in negotiation and implementation of inter-governmental agreements with the United States, State of Michigan, local governments and their respective agencies and instrumentalities.
  • At the request of the Tribal Board, attends public meetings of Tribal members to present and explain proposed or adopted actions of the Tribal Boardl and other instrumentalities of the Tribal government.
  • Attend various community and programmatic events and meetings as needed to share information and support team’s work.
  • Attend Tribal Board meetings, workgroups and prep sessions as requested to provide legal advice and support.
  • Responsible for monitoring federal and state legislature affecting the Tribe.
  • All other duties as assigned consistent with ethical limitations applicable to licensed attorneys.

For full job description, click here.

Apply online:

Job Opportunity – Chief Legislative Counsel

The Navajo Nation
Office of Legislative Counsel/ Window Rock, AZ

Closing Date:6/10/2019 5:00 p.m.

Duties and Responsibilities:
Under administrative direction of the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council, performs work of unusual difficulty in serving as chief legal counsel to the Navajo Nation Council and the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch; directs all legal and administrative affairs of the Office of Legislative Counsel; provides comprehensive legal guidance and advice to the Navajo Nation Council, standing committees, boards, commissions, and the Legislative Branch; coordinates legal advice and opinions with the Department of Justice and other attorneys providing legal services to the Nation; provides advice and counsel, including interpretation of tribal, state and federal laws and regulations; performs complex legal research and analysis of laws, legal precedents and policies; provides legislative branch representation in mediation and administrative hearings; provides training and orientation in specific laws and their application. Drafts, reviews and prepares proposed legislation, reports, legal documents and correspondence for the Navajo Nation Council and entities of the Legislative Branch; codifies Navajo Nation laws, rules and regulations; develops an annual work plan and budget for the Office of Legislative Counsel; attends meetings, training and seminars in support of continuing legal education requirements; prepares and submits activity reports to the Office of the Speaker.

Qualification Requirements: (Education, Experience, and Training)

  • A Juris Doctorate; and twelve (12) years professional experience in practice of law which must include two (2) years working directly with or for a legislative body, four (4) years working with a tribal government, two (2) years working for the Navajo Nation government as an attorney or four (4) years providing legal representation to entities or individuals subject to the laws of the Navajo Nation; and four (4) years working in a supervisory capacity of which two (2) years must include supervising senior-level attorneys.
  • State licensed and current admission to the Navajo Nation Bar Association.

Special Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
Knowledge of: federal, state and Navajo Nation laws and regulations relating to administrative and regulatory functions; Navajo Nation, state and federal statutory laws and regulations affecting tribal governments and Navajo members; Fundamental Law; the procedures and rules required for administrative, legislative and judicial hearings; the methods and techniques of legal research and analysis, lobbying and presenting cases in court. Skill in: analyzing and organizing facts, evidence and precedents; developing an appropriate argument or defense and presenting supportive materials; verbal and written communication. Ability to: establish and maintain effective working relations with Navajo Nation Council delegates, executive staff, court officials, governmental officials, political figures and the general public; exercise initiative and good judgment in creating, interpreting and applying law, policies, regulations, procedures and administrative methods; objectively and analytically devise practical solutions quickly and effectively.

Knowledge of: federal, state and Navajo Nation laws and regulations relating to administrative and regulatory functions; Navajo Nation, state and federal statutory laws and regulations affecting tribal governments and Navajo members; Fundamental Law; the procedures and rules required for administrative, legislative and judicial hearings; the methods and techniques of legal research and analysis, lobbying and presenting cases in court. Skill in: analyzing and organizing facts, evidence and precedents; developing an appropriate argument or defense and presenting supportive materials; verbal and written communication. Ability to: establish and maintain effective working relations with Navajo Nation Council delegates, executive staff, court officials, governmental officials, political figures and the general public; exercise initiative and good judgment in creating, interpreting and applying law, policies, regulations, procedures and administrative methods; objectively and analytically devise practical solutions quickly and effectively.

For full job description, click here.