Happy #NationalVoterRegistrationDay!

Happy #NationalVoterRegistrationDay! Have you registered yet? Here’s a #throwback to when Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee and the ILC helped Agnes Laughter, a Navajo elder become a registered voter in 2008. “All of my heartache has changed as of this day,” said Laughter, who was 77 at the time. “I have an identity now. My thumbprint will stand. I feel fulfilled.” 💛 Register today to be #VoteReady

Building a Better Future: Tahda Ahtone (’14)

Recently, Tahda Ahtone (’14) presented a digital campaign that promotes sustainability to an ASU digital marketing class.

Ahtone is the president of JackRabbit Development, LLC and the executive director of JackRabbit Homes, Inc a registered 501(c)3. Her company focuses on sustainable community building in order to save client’s money and help save the environment. With both a for-profit and non-profit program, Ahtone said they are able to hit all sectors of the market with emphasis on education on food, water and energy, which are especially important to be addressed in Tribal communities taking sovereignty into account.

Ahtone earned both her JD and MLS degrees from ASU Law, and she was the first ever to complete both degrees in 2014. She said her degrees helped her create a network and give her more authority and credibility in her career. She highly recommends that students network while at ASU Law.

She also encourages students to not be afraid to pursue other career paths with their degrees or think out of the norm with their expertise.

“Don’t be discouraged if what you want to do is different,” Ahtone said. “At one point in my last year I had decided that I thought it would be a good idea to focus on marijuana law. It was a really new subject and was almost taboo to discuss with anyone. When I finally got the courage to discuss with someone I was practically ostracized for even mentioning it. That person, a dean, was the fool. Just as I predicted marijuana law is a huge booming market, and had I just followed my instinct and not be chastised at the law school, I would likely have been a marijuana law expert at this point.”

Where are they now? Three Times the Experience

At the time of this article’s publication, Peter Galindez, Theresa Rosier and Justine Jimmie were just three students at the ILP, studying and working together. Now, 21 years after graduation, the three were able to reflect on their path from law school to their current careers. You can read the full Q&A below.

Newspaper article that features three ILP alumni from the class of '98
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Job Opportunity – Licensed Associate Judge

Scottsdale, AZ

Full-Time -$113,636.00 – $164,772.00 Annually
Category: Court Administration / Legal / Community and Social Services
Department: Judicial

Position Summary:  Under the administrative direction of the Chief Judge, presides over criminal, civil and juvenile cases as assigned. Responsible for fair and impartial administration of justice pursuant to the judicial powers granted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and in ensuring SRPMIC adherence to applicable Federal, Tribal and other relevant laws and ordinances. The Licensed Associate Judge is appointed by the Council.  This job class is treated as FLSA Exempt.

Position Summary: Under the administrative direction of the Chief Judge, presides over criminal, civil and juvenile cases as assigned. Responsible for fair and impartial administration of justice pursuant to the judicial powers granted by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC) and in ensuring SRPMIC adherence to applicable Federal, Tribal and other relevant laws and ordinances. The Licensed Associate Judge is appointed by the Council. This job class is treated as FLSA Exempt.

Examples of Tasks
Distinguishing Features: The Licensed Associate Judge is an integral member of the judicial system and as such serves to ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice. The Licensed Associate Judge must thoroughly understand the legal system, administration of justice, interpersonal relationships, and dispute resolution as well as appropriate decision making techniques, public safety, and governmental methods of reporting. Responsible for complex and sensitive legal decisions and judicial rulings on criminal and civil cases as assigned. The Licensed Associate Judge’s work is reviewed by the Chief Judge through an annual performance review, reports, conferences and meetings. Judicial conduct is governed by Section 4-25 of the SRPMIC Code of ordinances and the SRPMIC Court Rules of Professional Conduct, Sec 2, Judicial Rules of Professional Conduct.

Minimum Qualifications
Education & Experience:
The applicant shall meet all the qualifications as set for in Chapter 4, Article 2, 4-22 (D) of the SRPMIC Code of Ordinances as amended. Such qualifications include:

  1. Being thirty (30) years of age or older;
  2. Must have graduated from an accredited law school with a Juris Doctorate;
  3. Must be a member for at least three (3) years and in good standing with a state bar association;
  4. Of good moral character and any assessment of moral character shall be consistent with the customs and traditions of the Akimel O’odham and Xalychidom Piiipaash peoples;
  5. Has never been removed for good cause as a judge in jurisdiction;
  6. Has never been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction and has not been convicted of a misdemeanor (not including violations that are generally considered civil  traffic violations) within the past 5 years; and
  7. Preference will be given to enrolled members of the Community, the Gila River Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community and the Tohono O’odham Nation.
  8. Serving a one (1) year probationary period;
  9. Having never been removed for good cause from a judge position in any jurisdiction;
  10. Being subject to SRPMIC administrative policies regarding employees except when such policies are inconsistent with the status and duties of a judge including, but not limited to, employee grievance, recruitment and selection, and underfill policies. Notwithstanding the administrative policies, Section 4-25 of the SRPMIC Code of ordinance shall apply to all removal or suspension of judges;
  11. Being subject to the SRPMIC Court Rules of Professional Conduct, Section 2 Judicial Rules of Professional conduct and as these rules may be amended.

To apply, click here.

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Job Opportunity – Staff Attorney

Navajo Nation Judicial Branch
Chinle, AZ

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.

See full job description here.

To submit application, click here.

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Job Opportunity – ILP Program Coordinator

Indian Legal Program, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
Phoenix, AZ

Closing Date: September 23, 2019

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law seeks a dynamic, self-starter for the position of Program Coordinator.  The successful candidate will provide administrative support and assist with program development to the Indian Legal Program (ILP) which includes the Indian Legal Clinic (ILC) and faculty support.

Essential Duties
The successful candidate will be responsible for and have duties in the following areas:

  • Coordinate events and conferences for the ILP and ILC including registration, venue, food and guest speaker travel arrangements.
  • Train and supervise student workers for the ILP and ILC.
  • Coordinate information for the ILP monthly newsletter in SalesForce and event advertising campaign, including creative planning, compiling and editing content.
  • Monitor and update promotional and digital communication material via program’s website, blog and social media platforms to enhance marketing efforts.Assist ILP Executive Director and Faculty Director with various projects.
  • Prepare classroom materials, notes, course descriptions, examinations, best/model answers, grade sheets, and posting of Canvas notices and assignments for both ILP and program.
  • Assist with research and maintenance of databases for both ILP and ILC programs.
  • Support calendar and scheduling for ILP Executive Director, faculty/committee members of ILP.
  • Prepare/generate correspondence, manuscripts, routine letters and memos.
  • Arrange necessary and extensive travel reservations and itineraries; anticipate and prepare background material as needed; complete travel documentation process including entering trips into the Concur Travel System and the College of Law travel approval site to seek reimbursement for traveler.
  • Assist in monitoring the ILP budget and paying bills.
  • Interact and serve as liaison with students, faculty, staff and outside community agencies.
  • Open and review incoming mail and respond to routine inquiries.
  • Prepare special/recurring reports containing sensitive information.
  • Physical presence at the workplace is an essential function/requirement of this position.
  • Other duties as assigned that support the goals of the department, College of Law and ASU.

Download full job description here.

Please apply at: https://cfo.asu.edu/applicant and follow the instructions under Non-ASU Employees Job Opportunities. > Click on Advanced Search and enter Requisition ID: 55558BR and then click the Search button to the right. Then, click on results for 55558BR  to open position posting and click Apply to job button at the bottom of page. You will be asked to submit your resume, cover letter and three references.

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Successful Pechanga Band Wills Clinic

On Sept. 23 and 24, Indian Legal Clinic students Cynthia Freeman (3L), Shayla Bowles (3L) and Cora Tso (3L) took part in the Pechanga Band Wills Clinic, led by Professor Helen Burtis (’07). The ILC partnered with the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Tribal Leadership and the California Indian Legal Services to offer free legal services to the members of the Pechanga Band who wished to create wills for bequeathing their allotments.“The students did a tremendous job of building the clients’ trust in the limited amount of time available to them,” said Burtis. “Drafting Indian Wills is technically complex, and the students were dedicated to getting the clients’ estate planning wishes accurately incorporated into the documents.”

Read the full article on our blog here.

Native Vote Roundtable

On Sept. 13, ILP hosted the Maricopa County Native American Voting Roundtable at the Beus Center for Law and Society. This event is part of the 2019-2020 Roundtable Project in which the county and the Elections Department are bringing in voter’s voices into the conversation of what needs to change in the election and voting process in underrepresented communities. 

Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee kicked off the event and started the discussion by asking questions on what needs to be changed and how those changes be implemented to improve access to voting from Native American voters.

Several students, staff and faculty attended the event, including Professor Ferguson-Bohnee, ILC Program Coordinator Bari Barnes, Torey Dolan (’19), Brian Garcia (2L) and Hilary Edwards (1L). Edwards commented on her experience at the roundtable.

“We are participating in shaping the future of our communities by voting,” Edwards said. “I was intrigued by the purpose of the roundtable project, which is to keep an open line of communication between protected groups, underrepresented communities and the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. It’s incredible that the MCRO has created a space to be with these various groups of people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the changes that ultimately impact them.” 

Barnes helped coordinate the roundtable, “I think these meetings are important because it’s a forum that provides communities direct access to those who shape the process for fair and equitable elections; at the same time it’s an opportunity for those governing the process to meet the folks they represent.”

Job Opportunity: Associate Litigation Attorney

Associate Litigation Attorney

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP

Associate Litigation Attorney
Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is seeking candidates with 3+ years of litigation experience to join our metropolitan Omaha, Nebraska office. The right candidate will have the opportunity to work on cases in a variety of areas including constitutional law, environmental law, real estate, employment, tax issues, corporate/business matters, and complex federal, state and tribal court litigation at both trial and appellate levels.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP provides legal representation and advocacy in a broad range of services, with an emphasis in tribal law and federal Indian law serving tribal nations, tribal business enterprises and tribal organizations throughout the United States.

•Active admission to any state bar
•Degree from an accredited U.S. Law School
•Attention to detail and demonstrated ability to follow standard procedures
•Comprehensive knowledge of litigation
•Ability to effectively interact, orally and in writing
•Licensed attorney with 3 years of experience in general civil litigation
•Self-starter with the ability to manage multiple competing priorities with a “roll up yoursleeves” and team-oriented attitude
•Exceptional organizational skills, juggling priorities and adhering to strict deadlines
•First-rate academic credentials and references
•Superior research, writing and analytical skills and technology oriented

•Knowledge of or experience working with Indian law or tribal courts
•Experience with Microsoft Office and cloud-based computer environment
Job Type: Full-time

Competitive salary
Health insurance
Dental insurance
LTD & Life insurance
Unlimited paid time off for attorneys (billable time requirement apply)
401K with match
Work -life balance and employee wellness promoted environment

Please send your cover letter and resume to: bbaker@bigfirelaw.com