Alum Advice: Ken Truitt

ILP Alum Ken Truitt has had experience in various legal positions since he graduated from ASU Law in 1992. Now working as the chief operating officer of Tribal Operations for the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, he oversees most of the Tribe’s programs. The ILP asked Ken to share some advice to current students as an insight into what helped lead him on his journey after graduation.

Q: What is your advice for current students?

A: “Several things come to mind.  First, and not necessarily legally related but it could really help you map out your career after school:  The Gallup organization has done decades worth of deep research into what makes good leaders good.  The research has led to several books, perhaps the best known is “Strengths Based Leadership.”  Along with the book is an online assessment tool that you get access to for buying the book.  The tool is a leadership strength diagnostic survey and is remarkably accurate at assessing your particular leadership and vocational strengths.  I wished I had come across this as a young professional starting out.  It would have helped me understand why some courses and areas in the law seem to come easy to me and why some did not.  Having a keen sense of your unique strengths early will help you in every job interview you get called for and it will help you analyze job announcements and see that some of them are not for you.

Second, recognize that law school primarily teaches you to be a life-long learner.  The law changes every day and when you are out practicing it will not be the same as it was when you were in school.  Again, this is a strategic advantage because not all other professional disciplines teach life-long learning as a component of the pedagogy.  This absolute need to staying fresh and sharp is a competitive advantage lawyers have over other professionals especially if you find yourself transitioning into non-legal executive roles.

Third, learn how to transition.  I mentioned life-long learning, here’s another way it can really help you throughout your career.  Sometimes when you get into other non-legal roles, like management, what makes you a good lawyer is not automatically going to make you great in your new non-legal role.  You will need to have an awareness of this, analyze the new role’s demands and commit to learning the new required skills and learning what parts of being a lawyer will hamper your performance there (here’s a hint, nobody likes being cross-examined, not on the stand and especially not in the workplace, ever).

Finally, learn how to network and network relentlessly.  Some of the bumps I mentioned earlier could have been much more smooth had I recognized the need to network.  Networking used to seem to me a smarmy exercise that overly ambitious and insincere people did to put themselves first in all circumstances. And as an introvert by nature I recoiled from it as well.  But networking is as simple as taking an interest in people, and then staying in touch and connected with them.  Sadly, I came to this realization late and I am working on improving in this area.”

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating that you wished you learned in class?

A: “When I was working in the state Attorney General’s Office I was lucky enough to attend one of the regional trial training programs from the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA).  The NITA program is an 11 – 14 day trial and lecture program where you get intense trial advocacy classroom lectures for the first few days along with mock opening statements and closing arguments.  And then given material to prepare and present a case before a live jury in a real courtroom with a real judge.  Early on, the mock statements are videoed and your peers and instructors, who are all trial lawyers, critique your video performance.  Being forced to watch yourself and listen to your peers’ critique is an amazingly effective way to detect vocal and body language faults and correct them.

Being forced to prepare for a trial brings home all the law school work like nothing I had experienced prior.  The rules of evidence and civil/criminal procedure, discovery review all come into focus in that 11-14 day time frame.   I was surprised as I moved into the [general counsel] role how much the NITA training increased my competency in a non-trial role.  I was able to see almost immediately evidentiary priorities as issues presented themselves that could potentially lead to litigation.  There was something to having to go through discovery and find evidence to meet the burden of proof on every element of the case, and then present that case convincingly that brought all disciplines of law into sharp focus. Having had that, I could spot issues and prioritize them much more quickly than before I had the training.

I didn’t participate in any clinical programs while at school and I don’t recall how robust the trial clinic programs were when I was at ASU, but I wished I had availed myself of whatever was available.

ASU NALSA Chapter of the Year 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, the ILP reflects on some of the biggest moments for our community. ASU NALSA won NNALSA Chapter of the Year in April 2018. NNALSA President Sarah Crawford (3L) has been working the whole year on expanding opportunities for the club and the community as a whole.

2018 held a lot of success for ASU NALSA, which opens up future opportunity and success for the club. View their Chapter of the Year Bid here, which shows their accomplishments in the past year.


“As a Native law student, I have benefited and loved the strong support system with fellow Native law students,” Sarah said. “I wish to ensure that all Native law students have a sense of this unity.”

Community Briefing: Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans

Public Conference Call with Chair Catherine E. Lhamon & Commissioner Karen K. Narasaki

Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans
Thursday, December 20, 2018, 1:00 pm ET

On December 20, 2018, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will release Broken Promises: Continuing Federal Funding Shortfall for Native Americans. The Commission evaluates whether the federal government is meeting its trust responsibilities, and examines budgets and spending of federal agencies that sponsor Native American and Native Hawaiian programs, including the Departments of Health and Human Services, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Education.

Prompted by concerns raised by Native American communities and Members of Congress, Broken Promises revisits our 2003 report, A Quiet Crisis: Federal Funding and Unmet Needs in Indian Country, which similarly evaluated expenditures of federal agencies on Native American programs. In Quiet Crisis, Commission majority found that funding for services critical to Native Americans was disproportionally lower than that for other populations. Broken Promises, based on expert and public input, and extensive research and analysis, will offer actionable recommendations to the President, Congress, and numerous federal agencies.

Catherine E. Lhamon, Chair, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights
Karen K. Narasaki, Commissioner, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights

Thursday, December 20, 2018 | 1:00 pm ET

Public teleconference | Call-in line: 855-719-5012 | Conference ID: 4729980.

Callers will have the opportunity to ask questions about the report. Participants are encouraged to RSVP to


Established in 1957 by the Civil Rights Act, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is the only independent, bipartisan federal agency charged with advising the President and Congress on civil rights matters. Our 51 state Advisory Committees offer a broad perspective on civil rights concerns at state and local levels, and recommend actions to address them. The Commission: in our 7th decade, a continuing legacy of influence in civil rights.

Pipeline to Law Workshop at UC Berkeley School of Law – June 26-30

Summer 2019, the Native American Pipeline to Law team will host a 5-day session to help students better understand the law school admissions process at UC Berkeley School of Law in Berkeley, California. Housing provided and a limited number of LSAT Prep courses will be available for participating students. Space is limited, register soon!

To submit your application, click here.

June 26-30, 2019
Application deadline: May 1, 2019

Job Opportunity: Commissioner Recruitment – Superior Court in Maricopa County

The Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County is accepting applications for appointment as a Commissioner. One or more appointments may be made from this recruitment. The position(s) is full-time (80 hours per two-week pay period) although the Court may, upon good cause, permit part-time employment. As Judicial employees of the Court, Commissioners are not permitted to practice law.

The selected Commissioners may function as a Plea Officer, or be assigned to the Early Disposition Court, Initial Appearance Court or Juvenile Advisory Hearings. The selected Commissioners may also be assigned and/or assist with work or hear matters in other Court departments, including Civil, Family Court, Juvenile, Criminal, Probate, Mental Health, Tax or Justice Courts. The Court may also create a list of qualified applicants from which vacancies may be filled without additional announcement or recruitment.

Applications will be screened and selected candidates will be interviewed by a special Court Nominating Committee and referred to the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court. The Presiding Judge will make the final appointment(s).

Application Procedure and Timetable:
Applicants who have previously applied will need to re-apply to receive consideration.

Applicants may obtain the application form and instructions by going to

All applicants must deliver the original (see application instructions) of the completed application to Judicial Branch Human Resources, 101 West Jefferson, East Court Building, 3rd Floor, Suite B, Phoenix, Arizona 85003 no later than 3:00 PM on Friday, January 25, 2019. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For additional information call Valerie Quintana at 602-506-0075. Applicants are encouraged to deliver applications and references as early as possible.

The Court may publish the names of applicants for the position of Commissioner to solicit public comment.

Qualifications: A candidate for this position must be a United States citizen, a duly licensed member of the State Bar of Arizona, and a resident of the State of Arizona, for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding his or her appointment. Applicants need not be a resident at the time of their application, however, under A.R.S. 12-211 (B) must be a resident of Maricopa County when appointed. Achievement or distinction in various areas of the law and litigation consistent with the duties of this Commissioner position is desirable.

Commissioners serve from time to time as judges pro tempore in the course of their regular duties. The Arizona Constitution, Article VI, §22 requires that judicial nominees must be at least 30 years of age, of good moral character, and admitted to the practice of law in and a resident of the State for five years immediately preceding appointment.

Note: Commissioners are required to file an annual financial disclosure statement.

For job announcement, click here. For recruitment flyer, click here.

Job Opportunity – SW Staff Attorney

Michigan Indian Legal Services

POSITION: Michigan Indian Legal Services (MILS) has an opening for a staff attorney to work out of tribal offices in southwest Michigan.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM: MILS, is a statewide provider of free legal services to low income Indians and Indian tribes. MILS represents Indian individuals, families, tribes and organizations in cases that span a range of tribal and federal Indian law cases.

QUALIFICATIONS: The ideal applicant will be licensed to practice law in Michigan or eligible to be admitted by waiver and have three to five years relevant experience. Applicants must possess both written and oral advocacy skills as well as a demonstrated commitment to protecting the rights of American Indians. MILS will accept applications from candidates with all levels of experience.

BENEFITS: This is a full time position for an initial term of at least one year, with a salary from $44,000 to $55,000 depending on experience. MILS offers a generous health benefit and vacation/sick leave package.

MILS is an equal opportunity employer and encourages minorities, women and persons with disabilities to apply.

Application Information
Application Method(s)

  • Application Email:
  • Apply via Mail to: 814 S. Garfield Avenue, Ste. A Traverse City, MI 49686

Thank You from the ILP 2018

The ILP was able to exceed our goal of 118 donors, raising over $30,000 in donations, through the Pitchfunder campaign for our 30th anniversary. In our new era of self-sufficiency, your donations are more important than ever. The ILP hopes to continue to expand program opportunities for our amazing students through your generous donations and provide scholarships and accessibility to many more students to come.

To the friends of the ILP, this video comes from all of ILP’s students, staff and faculty as a huge thank you for always supporting our program! The people shown are only a handful of the students and faculty that your donations will benefit.

We’d also like to wish our ILP family happy holidays and happy new year! If you’re still in the spirit of giving, it’s not too late to donate to the ILP before 2018 ends. Donate here. Thank you for your contribution!


Pathways to the Legal Profession: Identifying, Advising, and Supporting Native American Pre-Law Students

February 5-6, 2019
Isleta Resort and Casino
Pueblo of Isleta, NM

The American Indian Law Center, Inc. and the Native American Pipeline to Law Initiative are pleased to announce that registration is open for our Pre-Law Advisors Training.  This training is designed for advisors to Native American pre-law students- this includes Native Studies educators, tribal educators, pre-law advisors, or those who may work with Native students and may direct them to law school.

PLSI 2019 Conference_SavetheDateThe registration fee is waived for representatives from Tribal Education Departments, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and schools with Native American student enrollment.  A limited number of travel reimbursements are still available.  Details on the reimbursement, lodging, and the schedule are provided on the registration webpage.

Topics include:

  • The Need for Native Attorneys
  • Identifying Native Students for Law School
  • The Nuts and Bolts of the Law School Application
  • Advising on Personal Statements, Resume Writing, and Supplemental Statements
  • Financing a Law School Education
  • LSAT Overview
  • Mock Law School Application Overview
  • Advising on Law School Selection

For agenda and registration, visit:

Questions? Contact Rodina Cave Parnall, Pre-Law Summer Institute Director at

Job Opportunities – Havasupai Tribe

Havasupai Tribe

Chief Judge
Closing Date: Open until filled

Position Summary: The Tribal Chief Judge presides over a broad range of civil and criminal cases for the Havasupai Tribal Court. This position would require an individual to review a broad range of civil and criminal matters, and render decisions under Havasupai laws. The Tribal Chief Judge must have the ability to remain unbiased and ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice in the Havasupai Courts.

To download full job description, click here.

General Counsel
Flagstaff, Arizona
Closing Date: January 11, 2019

Position Summary: The General Counsel is the principal legal counsel of the Havasupai Tribe and reports directly to the Havasupai Tribal Council. The General Counsel provides professional legal counsel and representation to the Havasupai Tribal government as indicated by the Tribal Council. The General Counsel works closely and independently with the Tribal Council and the Tribal Government staff. Finally, the General Counsel assists the Tribal Council in managing the work of the Tribe’s outside legal counsel.

The Havasupai Tribe is establishing a remote office in Flagstaff, Arizona for professional staff.

To download full job description, click here.