Job Opportunity – Tribal Attorney – Labor & Employment

Forest County Potawatomi Community
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Summary: Provides legal analysis and counsel on policy, on all labor and employment issues concerning the business and government operations of the Tribe.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provides legal guidance and advice involving various areas of law.
  • Reviews, researches, interprets, and prepares both written and oral opinions on a wide variety of legal issues with respect to employment, wage & hour, work safety, harassment and discrimination
  • Drafts, reviews, and approves policies and procedures, regulations, bylaws, contracts, leases, and other legal documents; researches legal issues and recommends revisions as necessary.
  • Maintains professional and technical knowledge by conducting research, attending seminars, educational workshops, classes and conferences.
  • Other duties as assigned. 

Requirements (Education, Experience, Knowledge, Skills, Abilities):

  • Juris Doctorate from an American Bar Association accredited law school; Licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin. At least three years of legal experience in tribal operations preferred.
  • Knowledge of corporate and/or governmental management and employment practices with eight years of experience in the field.
  • Research and knowledge of federal, state, tribal, and local law.
  • Ability to manage a number of priorities simultaneously.
  • Ability to work extended hours and various work schedules.
  • Seven years of experience preferred. 
  • Must maintain confidentiality.
  • Other duties as assigned.

To apply, click here.

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Job Opportunity – Deputy Associate Chief Counsel

The Resilience-Continuity and Preparedness Legal Division (RPCLD) is seeking an attorney to fill the Deputy Associate Chief Counsel (DACC) position. RPCLD is responsible for providing legal advice to the Deputy Administrator for Resilience, the Associate Administrator for Resilience, the Resilience Front Office Programs, the Grant Programs Directorate, the National Preparedness Directorate, the National Continuity Programs Directorate, and the U.S. Fire Administration. Additionally, RPCLD advises all of FEMA on Intellectual Property law. FEMA Resilience works to fulfill FEMA’s vision of a prepared and resilient nation through its programs and partnerships.

The DACC for RPCLD will report to the Associate Chief Counsel for RPCLD. The DACC will lead a team of 14 attorneys. In addition to leading the team, the DACC will provide advice to multiple SES and Political and Presidential Appointees. Accordingly, the ideal candidate must be able to quickly process a high volume of information and able to:

  • Think quickly to respond to a sudden change of information;
  • Show initiative and self-reliance to increase the effectiveness of the team; and
  • Keep an open mind and show willingness to learn new methods and techniques.

To qualify for this position at the GS-15 level, you must demonstrate:

At least five years of full-time professional legal experience gained after being admitted to the bar. The minimum four-year work experience requirement includes at least two years of specialized experience that is directly related to the position being filled. At least one of the two years of specialized experience must be at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to that of an attorney at the GS-14 level. Specialized experience for this position includes experience in emergency management and/or homeland security law. In addition, knowledge is required in FEMA laws, regulations and policies to provide expert counsel in support of complex disaster protection and national preparedness programs. Knowledge is also required of federal fiscal law, federal procurement law, federal personnel law, as well as demonstrated abilities to assess client risk. The ideal candidate must also possess excellent oral and written communication and interpersonal skills adequate to communicate effectively to Senior Executives. Additionally, supervisory experience is preferred and the ability to hold a TOP SECRET/SCI Security Clearance is required.

Application Instructions:

If you would like to be considered for this position, please send a brief cover letter explaining your interest, resume, and a writing sample no longer than 10 pages to Michelle Lienau at michelle.lienau@fema.dhs.gov by Friday, December 31, 2020.

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Indigenous Research Roundtable

Connecting Indigenous Scholars across ASU

For several years now, ASU’s Indigenous Research Roundtable (IRR) has connected Indigenous scholars and allies through a monthly seminar featuring new, cutting-edge scholarship conducted with, by and for Indigenous communities. The IRR was originally organized by Dr. Angela Gonzales from ASU’s School of Social Transformation and hosted at Tempe campus. As the ASU Downtown campus has grown to include numerous ASU colleges, schools and programs serving Indian Country—including Social Work, Journalism, Health Sciences, Law and many others—the IRR is for the first time being hosted by two downtown campus Indigenous faculty, ASU Law Professor Trevor Reed and School of Social Work Professor Felicia Mitchell.

In the fall semester, the IRR featured two thought-provoking presentations showcasing the diversity of Indigenous research happening at ASU. On Nov. 4, Professors David Manuel-Navarrete and Tod D. Swanson shared their experiences establishing a new field school in partnership with Tribes in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The field school educates university students from around the world about Kichwa approaches to climate science and biodiversity while also providing a stream of sustainable income for Kichwa peoples. On Dec. 9, Professor Matt Ignacio presented the results of his groundbreaking study of harm-reduction interventions aimed at Indigenous youth who may be at risk for alcohol and other drug use.

Prof. Matt Ignacio's IRR presentation

This upcoming spring semester, the IRR will feature presentations by ASU Law Professor Robert J. Miller who will present his current research on the landmark Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma. School of Social Work Professor Shanondora Billiot will share her research on the effects of land-based healing programs on the mental health and wellbeing of Indigenous communities in Louisiana.

For more information about the Indigenous Research Roundtable or to participate in an upcoming roundtable please contact Professor Trevor Reed at t.reed@asu.edu.

Virtual Symposium on COVID-19 and Vulnerable Populations – 12/14

The coronavirus pandemic has powerfully and tragically harmed vulnerable peoples across the United States, from Native Americans in rural communities, to detainees in immigration detention centers and people incarcerated in confined spaces, to individuals with mental and physical disabilities. The Academy for Justice at Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, in conjunction with the Arizona State Law Journal Online, is hosting a Virtual Symposium on COVID-19 and Vulnerable Populations to examine and challenge the pre-existing, health-harming legal and policy obstacles that are exacerbating the danger of the COVID-19 national health crisis to vulnerable populations.

On December 14, 2020, authors will discuss their ideas and essays in roundtable discussions followed by Q&A sessions open to the public, and a keynote presentation.

More Information and Registration at: https://law.asu.edu/centers/academyforjustice/covid19-vulnerable-populations

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Beauty in Law: Torey Dolan (’19)

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month” and we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on the Beauty in Law. This brilliant Choctaw woman is a great advocate for all things Native Vote and an asset to the program, especially the Indian Legal Clinic. Here Torey reflects on her law school memories and the meaning of her work. 

Q: What does your position entail?
A: I am the Native Vote Fellow in the Arizona State University Indian Legal Clinic – I work full time issues related to Voting Rights for Native Americans in the State of Arizona. I work directly with Tribes, County, and State Officers on voting issues as well as educate the public about barriers that Native Americans face. I also worked on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project in the 2020 Election Cycle to advocate for Tribes to retain access to voting, answered calls to the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Hotline, coordinated Election Protection Volunteers on election day, and we collected data on the barriers that Native Americans faced when voting. 

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: No. I’ve always been interested in Civil Rights, but never thought about issues related to voting rights. It wasn’t until I was a student in the ASU Indian Legal Clinic working on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project that I realized this is an ongoing area of civil rights struggle that needs attention. It was then I became passionate about the work. 

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: Just do it! There are a handful of attorneys that work at the intersection of voting rights and Indian law and it would be great to get more women in this area. Start by networking and reaching out.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: On election day, through our hotline and our volunteers we learned that polling locations on the Navajo Nation did not open on time and was opened an hour late. During election day, we worked on preparing a case along with the ACLU to go to court to keep the polls open longer at the end of the day to make up for lost time. We successfully got the court order. When a voter went to vote during the extended hour the poll workers attempted to turn her away, but our volunteer encouraged her to stay as she called the hotline. I answered the hotline call and explained to the voter that she had the right to vote because of the court order. We stayed on the phone talking to the voter and poll worker, alerted the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, the Secretary of State, and the Apache County Election’s Department. We were adamant. Ultimately, the county got in touch with the poll workers and the county instructed them to let the voter cast a ballot. It was a day’s worth of work to get the court order and because of our volunteers, our team, and our efforts we were able to ensure that person voted.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating that you wished you learned in class?
A: I wish I had learned more about counseling Tribal clients when it comes to deciding when to file a lawsuit and when to pursue other diplomatic channels to solve disputes. As Native people, we know that you can be right on the law and still lose in court due to bias. Tribal governments must balance a lot of factors when deciding whether to pursue legal action, so I wish I had more experience in addressing those various concerns before graduating.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: I’m very grateful that my Indian Law professors repeatedly emphasized the nature of jurisdiction on Indian reservations. I feel comfortable analyzing state law and how it impacts Native Americans living on Tribal lands because I know the in’s and out’s of state jurisdiction on Tribal lands thanks to my professors.

Q: What is your advice for current students?
A: Get to know your professors and the people in your community. Indian law is a small field and the people around you have a wealth of knowledge. These are people that will go on to be your mentors, colleagues, adversaries in court, or just lifelong friends. Get to know them, and remember, when someone helps you make sure you help them down the road.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?
A: Sarah Crawford (’19), Blair Tarman (3L), and Rellani Ogumuro (’19)

    • Sarah Crawford has been working in Washington D.C. as an attorney at a boutique law firm that was able to help the Little Shell Band of Chippewa achieve federal recognition and is now working with them as they build their government with more capacity in their transfer from state recognized to federally recognized. I think she is very efficient in advocacy and has tremendous personal and professional knowledge of bridging the gaps between Tribal governance and federal advocacy.
    • Blair Tarman is a 3L this year in the Indian Legal Program. I was her moot court coach for the 2020 competition and was continually blown away by her work ethic, her humility, and most of all her intelligence. As a clinic student, Blair was consistently reliable and constantly striving to achieve more. I’m excited to watch her enter the Indian law profession because I know she is going to grow into a formidable advocate and I’m excited to see everything she will do for Indian Country.
    • Rellani Ogumuro is intelligent, kind, pragmatic, and passionate. She is the first person I ever met who was indigenous to a Territory of the United States and not a state. I know she has a deep love for the people of Saipan and the land and as an advocate has always talked about using her career to serve her people. I believe that she will go on to change this country’s understanding of its relationship to the people of Saipan, the Mariana Islands, and all people Indigenous to U.S. Territories.

Q: Favorite law school memory.
A: Doing moot court in 2019 with Sarah Crawford, Ana Laurel, and Meredith Duarte. We put in a lot of work, Sarah and I did not advance, but we all became really close and the friendship I have with them is an important part of my life and something I’m grateful for every day.

Review Torey’s publications:

  • “Voting in Our Voices” article
  • Co-authored “The Indian Law Bombshell: McGirt v. Oklahoma” article


Stay tuned for our next Beauty in Law series.

 

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

ILC Reflections: Hearty Experiences

Student attorneys are instrumental in the progress and movement of the Indian Legal Clinic. While they work with real clients and real issues, they gain invaluable experience for their law career. 

This has been an interesting year for everyone. In their third and last year in law school, it looks very different from their first year at ASU Law. Dustin Rector (3L) and Blair Tarman (3L) open up about their time in the Indian Legal Clinic and shed light on how this experience has better prepared them.

In his words, Dustin Rector writes:

This year, Native Vote faced a unique challenge through the COVID-19 pandemic. I helped Native Vote navigate the difficulties the pandemic created for our volunteers and helped ensure that the virus remains contained during Election Day activities. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, a consistent issue I addressed on Election Day were voter registration and provisional ballot issues. Despite these challenges, the moment that stands out to me was having the chance to return to my community in the Fort Apache Reservation and serve other tribal members. 

The reason I chose to participate in the Indian Legal Clinic was because I wanted to apply the things I have been learning in my other classes. Before entering the Indian Legal Clinic, I had a loose understanding of what trial work looked like and I did not know how to use the things I learned in my classes in the real world. The Indian Legal Clinic has helped me learn about trial skills and has helped me become more confident and comfortable in using those skills.

If you want to understand what working in a law firm looks and feels like or if you want to work in a law firm that prioritizes Native issues, then I highly recommend enrolling in the Indian Legal Clinic. I also recommend prioritizing your time and being open to new learning experiences, no matter how challenging it is. Lastly, I would like to remind interested students that it is ok to make mistakes because the Clinic Director is there to guide you at all times. 

In her words, Blair Tarman writes:

This year, I participated as an Election Protection volunteer answering phone calls for the Native Vote Hotline. It is important to protect Native voting rights because the right to vote is a fundamental right guaranteed to every American, and the First People should not be denied their right to make their voices heard. 

I came across several inquiries regarding whether or not there were any transportation services being offered to and from the polls. This goes to show how difficult it can be for voters in tribal communities to travel to their designated polling locations due to lack of personal or public transportation options. Additionally, several callers wanted to know whether it was possible for them to vote online. 

I chose to participate in the Indian Legal Clinic because I wanted to gain practical experience working with real clients. This experience has taught me so much about working with tribal clients and serving tribal communities. I cannot overstate how much I have learned from participating in the Indian Legal Clinic. 

If I could offer any advice to someone considering enrolling in the ILC, it would be this: Do it. The ILC offers a unique opportunity for students to learn by doing. Being personally responsible for  cases and knowing that clients are depending upon you will only render you more motivated to give your best effort. 

____
Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Arizona Native Vote Changemakers

The Indian Legal Clinic student attorneys, ILP affiliates and volunteers worked on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project (AZNVEP) for months to prepare for the general election on Nov. 3. The number of this year’s Election Protection volunteers made for a great success despite the circumstances! We had 100 volunteers, which is more than in past years, who assisted Native voters at over 60 polling locations in Arizona on Election Day through the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project. The ILC team included Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) as lead, Brendan Clark (3L), Aspen Miller (3L), Dustin Rector (3L), MacArthur Stant (3L),and Blair Tarman (3L) under the supervision of Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee. Student attorneys provided virtual training sessions for volunteers, ran the hotline and interacted with voters on-site.

Through partnerships with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ), the Arizona Election Protection Coalition and volunteers, Native Vote served as an important resource for hundreds of Native voters during the 2020 election. Over 250 Native American voters called the Native Vote Election Protection hotline for assistance on Election Day, and many voters called prior to the election to check voter registration and polling locations, and answered questions regarding general election information.  

With the extraordinary commitment from volunteers—ILP students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends—an Election Protection volunteer was on-site and available at the following locations: Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, Pascua Yaqui, Yavapai Apache, Yavapai Prescott, Quechan, Cocopah Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. 

We thank our ASU community for the support, which released the ASU Now article on election day that highlighted the greater work of Native Vote as well as the innovative Polling Locator Tool created just this year with US Digital Response. Watch the video  to see how this tool was used by Native voters.

Two of our ILC students Miller and Stant who traveled to Hopi and Navajo Nation were highlighted in an Arizona Republic article

Ferguson-Bohnee was quoted in the Center for Public Integrity article and Arizona Republic articles here and here

On Nov. 11, Dolan was interviewed by Native America Calling to give a recap about Native Vote. She was also quoted in The State Press articles here and here

Find more coverage from Ferguson-Bohnee, Dolan and Brian Garcia (’20) in this VICE article, which included Arizona Native Vote assisting with extension hours to a polling site. 

We appreciate our partners and all who volunteered across Indian Country to ensure Arizona’s tribal communities and tribal members had access to the polls!

Professor Reed published his article in the SSRN

Professor Trevor Reed has released his article, Fair Use As Cultural Appropriation, to the SSRN.

Abstract: Over the last four decades, scholars from diverse disciplines have documented a wide variety of cultural appropriations from Indigenous peoples and the harms these inflict. And yet, there are currently no federal laws other than copyright that limit the appropriation of song, dance, oral history, and other forms of intangible culture. Copyright is admittedly an imperfect fit for combatting cultural appropriations – it is a porous form of protection, allowing some publicly beneficial uses of protected works without the consent of the copyright owner under certain exceptions, foremost being copyright’s fair use doctrine. This article evaluates fair use as a gate-keeping mechanism for unauthorized uses of culture. As codified in the 1976 Copyright Revision Act, the fair use doctrine’s four-part test is supposed to help fact finders determine whether an unauthorized use of another’s work is reasonable in light of copyright’s goals of promoting cultural production. But, while the fair use test has evolved to address questions about the purpose behind an appropriation, the amount and substance of the work used, and the effects of the appropriation on the market for the work, the vital inquiry about the “nature” of the original work and the impact of unauthorized appropriation on its creative environment has been all but forgotten by lower federal courts. Combining doctrinal analysis, settler-colonial theory, and ethnographic fieldwork involving ongoing appropriations of copyrightable Indigenous culture, this article shows how this “forgotten factor” in the fair use analysis is key to assessing the real impacts unauthorized appropriations have on culturally diverse forms of creativity. Thus, if we are committed to the development of creativity in all of its varieties and natures, a rehabilitation of the forgotten factor is both urgent and necessary.

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