Job Opportunity – Staff Attorney

Four Rivers Indian Legal Services,
a division of Southern Arizona Legal Aid, Inc.
Sacaton, AZ

Closing date: Open until filled

The person to be hired will undertake legal representation for members of the Gila
River Indian Community (GRIC) in civil actions involving family law matters,
consumer cases, housing, benefits, wills, and estate administration. Practice will
primarily be before the Gila River Indian Community Court with additional work in
the Pinal and Maricopa Superior Court systems.

Minimum Requirements:

  1. Applicants must be members of the Arizona State Bar or pass the next exam; applicants licensed two years in another jurisdiction may practice by special rule. In addition, a successful candidate should either be admitted to practice before the Gila River Community Court or be willing to apply for and be admitted to practice at GRIC within three months of hire.
  2. Preferred candidates should have advocacy experience before
    administrative tribunals or governmental agencies; education or experience
    in Indian law and policy highly preferred.
  3. Applicants must exhibit a high degree of sensitivity to the legal issues faced
    by low-income, rural, and Native populations. They should have initiative,
    excellent communication skills, and the ability to work well in a multi-cultural
  4. Ability to speak the O’otham language and familiarity with O’otham and
    Piipaash culture helpful. Bilingual English/Spanish also helpful.

See full job description: 2021 Sacaton Attorney

Cover letter, resume and three references to

Hiring Committee
Southern Arizona Legal Aid Inc.
2343 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 200
Tucson, Arizona 85719-6007

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Job Opportunity – Cultural Resources Director

Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Ridgefield, WA

Salary Range: $35 to $45 per hour DOQ
Closing Date: Open until filled

Position Summary:
The Director of the Cultural Resources Director is charged with developing long-range plans andstrategies to highlight and promote the cultural identity of the Cowlitz Tribe. The Director will actively seek to cultivateand maintain local, regional, and national relationships that advance Cowlitz identity and the mission of the Tribe. TheDirector will maintain and promote Cowlitz image and reputation, while protecting Cowlitz traditional knowledge andintellectual property.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • 5 years of supervisory experience in a capacity related to the essential job responsibilities.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage staff, budgets and schedules.
  • Demonstrated history of collaboration between diverse community partners, including government, commercial andnon-profit entities, and individuals.
  • Demonstrated history of NHPA Section 106 consultation
  • Comprehensive knowledge of Native cultures of the Pacific Northwest
  • Technology proficient across a variety of platforms and applications, including audio recording, still photographyand video production.
  • Tribal preference preferred

See full job description: Cultural Resources Director _ Ridgefield.

Please mail or fax Resume and Cover Letter to:
Cowlitz Indian Tribe
Human Resources Department
P.O. Box 2547
Longview, WA 98632
Fax: (360) 578-1641

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Job opportunity – General Attorney

Department of Homeland Security
Customs and Border Protection
Office of Chief Counsel
Washington, DC

Closing date: 02/16/2021

In this position, you will become a key member of the legal team for The Office of The Chief Counsel. Typical work assignments include:

  • Providing legal advice and services concerning the laws that relate to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) enforcement and operational functions with special emphasis on customs, immigration, investigations, national security, counter-terrorism, and intelligence law;
  • Researching the law and prepares legal memoranda, litigation reports, declarations, and other documents in civil and/or criminal litigation or other actions involving CBP;
  • Providing current information and legal advice to the field concerning significant changes and other developments in law and jurisprudence;
  • Advising policy makers and coordinating legal issues with other agencies and components within the U.S. government and in support of international engagements; and
  • Reviewing CBP regulations, policies, and other materials and develops, reviews, and delivers training or other legal presentations as appropriate to support CBP missions.

See full job announcement and application details here.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Job Opportunity – Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is a prominent tribal law firm providing 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.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is seeking candidates with 5-10 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.

Susie Taylor
HR Director
1404 Fort Crook Rd S Bellevue – NE

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

ILP Alumni partnership creates Judicial Clerkship Handbook

The Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee that includes ILP alumni teamed up and created the Judicial Clerkship Handbook to advise and encourage Native American law students interested in judicial clerkships across all levels of courts, including tribal courts. 

PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee:

  • Racheal White Hawk (’16), Chair
  • Christine Jordan, Member
  • Lydia Locklear, Member
  • Doreen McPaul (’01), Member
  • Rodina Cave Parnall (’01), Member
  • Alexander Mallory (’19), Member
  • Roshanna K. Toya, Member
  • Kateri Eisenberg

Who better to offer advice than those who have served in these positions? White Hawk, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Arizona Supreme Court; Parnall, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Mallory, current Judicial Clerk, U.S. Immigration Court, Department of Justice Honors Program; and McPaul, former Judicial Clerk, Arizona Court of Appeals and former Staff Attorney, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch.

Q:  What is the importance of this project?

A: This Judicial Clerkship Handbook is a product of the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee, which consists of current and former Native American judicial clerks. The Handbook provides the unique perspective and advice of such judicial clerks about the sometimes mystifying judicial clerkship application process and is targeted toward Native American pre-law and law school students. Such students comprise an important audience because Native Americans are vastly underrepresented as not only judicial clerks but also as judges in America, and there has long been a connection between clerking in the judiciary and eventually becoming a judge.  It is, therefore, essential that Native Americans are able to obtain clerkships and thereby participate in the pipeline to the judiciary. Ultimately, the Handbook seeks to improve America’s judicial systems by ensuring the rich diversity of the American people is reflected in such systems, including the people indigenous to this land.  The Handbook also includes robust sections discussing tribal court clerkships, ensuring that students are made aware of such clerkships and funding opportunities as well as ensuring that tribal courts are included in the discussion about judicial systems in America. 

Q: What made you decide to create the handbook?

A: Each year, the PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee selects several Native American students to attend the American Bar Association’s Judicial Clerkship Program, which connects students with judges and provides information to students about the clerkship experience and application process.  Such students must submit application materials to the Committee that are similar to what students would submit for a judicial clerkship application. We noticed that some students needed assistance with their application materials, so we decided to create this resource to assist those and other students in need of guidance. We also recognized that many judicial clerkship handbooks did not discuss tribal courts and did not include the unique perspective of Native American students or advice regarding how to discuss a student’s federal Indian law experience or valuable experiences that might be different from the typical judicial clerkship applicant. Each year, we will provide this Handbook to Native American pre-law students as a resource and to the National Native American Law Students Association.  We think it is important that Native American pre-law students in particular be made aware of judicial clerkships so they can better align their law school experience with becoming a judicial clerk if they wish to pursue such a path.

Q: What are you most anticipating moving forward with this project?

A: We hope Native American students will find the Handbook helpful in applying for judicial clerkships and that the number of Native Americans clerking and becoming judges will increase over time.  We also plan to continue improving the Handbook each year. As part of this Handbook, we are also starting a mentoring program in the fall of 2021 by connecting current and former Native American judicial clerks with Native American pre-law and law school students.  We hope this Handbook will help mentees prepare for, and mentors provide guidance about, the judicial clerkship application process.


Racheal White Hawk (’16)
Associate Attorney, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP
Rodina Cave Parnall (’01)
Director, Pre-Law Summer Institute, American Indian Law Center, Inc.

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

New Faculty Associate & New MLS Course

This upcoming summer, the Indian Legal Program (ILP) is expanding the Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program with a new course on civil jurisdiction in Indian Country. Paul Spruhan joins as faculty associate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law. Spruhan is the Assistant Attorney General for the Litigation Unit of the Navajo Nation Department of Justice in Window Rock, Arizona.

This new course compliments the current curriculum offered to ILP students enrolled in the MLS program as it will allow an in-depth and comprehensive study on the foundational laws that have shaped civil jurisdiction in Indian Country today. This course will examine the relationship between the circuit courts and the United States Supreme Court in the development of binding case law that directly impacts the reach and impact of tribal sovereignty.

“Issues of civil jurisdiction in Indian Country are complex but vital for the development of tribal sovereignty,” said Spruhan. “This class will discuss the important federal cases and statutes and apply those cases to real world situations, so that tribal leaders and others within and outside Indian Country can understand the framework created by federal Indian law to make the important policy decisions that affect tribal communities.”

Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) is the Director of the Masters of Legal Studies for ILP and works on the development of curriculum for the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs for the MLS and LL.M programs. Professor Bledsoe Downes is excited to expand ILP’s online Federal Indian Law courses for the MLS program. There are now three Indian law MLS emphasis areas and this new course developed and taught by Spruhan is an important addition to each of these study areas. “Paul’s expertise in this area and talent for the online classroom are the perfect fit for the Indian Legal Program and our new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs,” said Bledsoe Downes. “We also anticipate MLS students from other emphasis areas pursing this course, which is a great way to expose more of our student body to the field of Federal Indian Law and to improve understating of tribal governments and tribal sovereignty.”

Please join ILP in welcoming Paul Spruhan to the ILP family!

DesiRae Deschine
Attorney, Navajo Nation Department of Justice

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin