Job Opportunity- Staff Attorney

Summary:
Provide legal advice and representation, document drafting and collaboration with a wide range of Swinomish Indian Tribal Community policy committees, departments and entities.

Location:
Swinomish Indian Reservation located on Fidalgo Island across the Swinomish Channel from La Conner, WA.

Qualifications:
Have experience or demonstrated expertise in one or more of the following: contract drafting and negotiation; drafting statutes, policies and procedures; and representing public or private entities; as well as expertise in at least one of the following substantive fields of law: Human Resources/Employment Law, Health Care, Real Estate, Tribal economic development or private sector commercial transactions, Social Services/Education, or Indian law. Qualified applicants must be licensed or have the ability to become licensed within six months, to practice in Washington.

Submit the following:
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community Employment Application and Office
of Tribal Attorney Application Addendum (you may request these via email); cover letter
including an explanation of the applicant’s interest in the position, along with a current resume, the names and contact information for at least three professional references, and two samples of the applicant’s own independent legal writing.

Submit requirements to:
Wendy Otto
Swinomish Indian Tribal Community
11404 Moorage Way
La Conner, Washington 98257
Tel: (360) 466-1134
Fax: (360) 466-5309
Email: wotto@swinomish.nsn.us

ILP MLS Grad Teaching at ASU

For Richard Breuninger (’13), when his mentor ASU’s American Indian Studies Program interim director and associate professor Dr. James Riding In tapped him to teach his course, Sovereignty and the Supreme Court, while he took sabbatical, he didn’t hesitate. Breuninger received encouragement from friends and colleagues, and most notably from his girlfriend, fellow Sun Devil and SPED teacher, Megan Pirehpour, who helped him realize his true calling—to be in front of the classroom. 

“There are truly no limits for the future of a student conferring an MLS and especially with an ILP concentration,” said Breuninger. “The amount of support from Kate, Ann Marie, Patty, and all the law professors, give one the confidence to support and advocate on a scholarly and top tier level. It has been the ultimate springboard into my EdD doctoral journey, as I am now within one semester of dissertation defense after I found my own voice leveraging and leaning on the degree to put me in the best possible position for the eventual outcome.”

Safeguarding education and working together to embolden partnerships is what ILP alums like Breuninger understand. He is a proud Oneida member, a triple Sun Devil and is going into his third year teaching and lecturing as a faculty associate at Arizona State University. His course instruction is undergraduate study but is hopeful to expand teaching graduate studies upon completion of his dissertation defense and conferring his terminal degree. 

This semester, he is teaching undergraduate courses: Sovereignty and the Supreme Court, Federal Indian Policy, and American Indian and Indigenous Film. While teaching remotely, he has been able to bring in guest speakers including ASU Law faculty associate Carl Artman, Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Lewis and others to “give pure insight and perspective on subject matter previously not available,” he said. Invited to his class, ILP alum and attorney Joe Keene (’12) presented on the McGirt case, its consequences and its impact on Indian law. “I enjoyed the presentation and loved speaking to the college students,” said Keene. 

“The students are extremely bright and curious about law school, so I always put the ILP at the mountain top, of course,” said Breuninger.

“It is great to see Richard thriving in the classroom,” said ILP Faculty Director Patty Ferguson-Bohnee. “Richard is engaged in very important research regarding access to higher education for tribal members. His teaching and scholarship have the potential to help guide future pipeline programs.”

He is a thoughtful and committed ally whose inclusive curriculum is positively impacting students. We appreciate you, Richard!

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Internship Opportunity-TRIBAL LIAISON SPECIALIST

TRIBAL LIAISON SPECIALIST (GRADUATE/LAW STUDENT) –
INDIAN YOUTH SERVICE CORPS (IYSC) INTERNSHIP

Start Date & End Date:
May 16, 2021 to May 14, 2022

Location:
NPS Office of Native American Affairs, Washington, DC Headquarters Office

Summary:
This Tribal Liaison Internship position will report to the Office of Native American Affairs in support of the Office of Native American Affairs for the National Park Service in Washington, DC. The long-term goal of the completion of these four projects is to bring greater relevance to the Office of Native American Affairs by providing current guidance and internal documents and information for National Park Service staff to have available as tools to provide active and robust consultations with Tribes, Tribal representatives, Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian organizations on possible undertakings, and other topics and issues related and of interest to Indian Country. Etc…

Requirements:
• Must be Native American, Alaskan Native or Native Hawaiian.
• Must be 18 to 30 years of age, or a Veteran 35 years of age or younger.
• Must have substantial experience productively working with tribal nations and indigenous communities.
• Must be able to demonstrate a degree of familiarity with fundamental concepts including tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, and federal trust responsibilities to tribal nations. Etc…

See full job announcement:

Job Opportunity – Attorney-Attorney

Attorney-Advisor – Full-Time
DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY
DHS Headquarters
Office of Chief Counsel

Open & Closing dates:
03/10/2021 to 03/09/2022

Location:
2 vacancies in Washington D.C

Summary:
This position is located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of the General Counsel, General Law Division.
The primary purpose of this position is to serve the Office of the General Counsel as a legal advisor. The individual will provide legal advice, litigation support, and training for DHS Headquarters activities and programs in the area of acquisitions and procurements within the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Requirements:
• The first professional law degree (LL.B. or JD); or
• The second professional law degree (LL.M.) AND
• Specialized professional legal experience in excess of two years that is commensurate with the duties and responsibilities of the position or two years of judicial clerkship… Etc

See full job announcement and application details:
https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/594702600

Agency contact information:
Lori Pollacci
Phone: 2023578668
Email: lori.pollacci@hq.dhs.gov

NABA-AZ Scholarship Winners

Ten ASU NALSA students received the NABA-AZ Scholarship for their academic achievement. Congratulations to all the recipients, especially our ILP students: Mariah Black Bird (3L), Brendan Clark (3L), Hilary Edwards (2L), Dallon Echo Hawk (2L), Brittany Habbart (1L), Michael LaValley (1L), Aspen Miller (3L), Taylor Norman (2L), McArthur Stant II (3L) and Ruben Zendejas (1L). 

Thank you to NABA-AZ for continuing to support Arizona law students, especially during the pandemic.

NABA-AZ will recognize all the scholarship winners on March 26 at Noon during a virtual event. Please join the event and celebrate our outstanding students.

2021 Pipeline to Law: Online Sessions

The Native American Pipeline to Law Pre-Law team will be hosting Online Sessions this summer. These sessions will help students successfully navigate the law school application process. It doesn’t matter which school you are coming from and which school you choose, we want to help you get there.

  • Develop an effective application, resume, and personal statement
  • Explore law school funding options
  • Receive test prep tips for the LSAT
  • Hear from former and current American Indian law students

Apply by May 3. Spots fill up fast!

Submit your application at: law.asu.edu/pipelinetolaw

Progress, Power, Purpose: Stacy Leeds

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month,” we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on Native women legal professionals and advocates in this Progress, Power, Purpose series. Newest to the ILP Family, Indian law scholar Stacy Leeds brings her extraordinary experiences and ideas to shape the future: first Indigenous woman to lead a law school, Dean Emeritus of the University of Arkansas School of Law, first woman to serve as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court. She is currently a Muscogee (Creek) Nation district court judge and an appellate court judge for Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation. Having paved the way for Native women in different areas, why not consult with this fierce Oklahoma Cherokee woman? Amid a global crisis, this visionary created her blog—IndigenousWell—as a platform of much-needed inclusion and to propel Indigenous women professionals and the balance work of health and wellness.

Q: What does your current position entail?
A: Teaching, writing, helping to advance the mission of the Law School and the ILP

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: Indian law has always been an interest, but I never would have predicted the many directions my work would take

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: Always be respectful and supportive of others. Never underestimate the value in your reputation and your network.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: It’s the many moments when former students exceed their own expectations. It is very powerful to witness a big change in someone’s life trajectory and know you played an important role in that.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating law school that you wished you learned in class?
A: The complexity of what it takes to be a really great advocate. The strategy, the big picture, the importance of knowing when to be bold and when to be reserved. Law school is a great start, but there are many things that come with experience and maturity.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: Critical thinking skills coupled with the ability to communicate. It’s why law school graduates will always have the benefit of diverse career opportunities.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?

  • From Indian law scholars: Professor Maggie Blackhawk (Fond Du Lac Ojibwe) at Penn State Law
  • From Federal Indian Country Crime Prosecutors: Courtney Jordan (Cherokee)
  • From Tribal Governance Roles: ILP grad Doreen McPaul (Navajo)

Q: You are a Native American woman making history and have been the “first” in prominent areas throughout your career—first Native American woman to serve as a Law School dean, first woman justice for the Cherokee Nation’s Supreme Court—Did you ever feel like the lone Native American voice in the room? How did you overcome those adversities? For that girl/woman who is finding her rhythm and trying to carve out a space to thrive, what advice would you give her?
A: I have often been the only woman and the only Native American voice on certain issues and inside certain physical spaces, but I have rarely felt “alone” in those moments. There’s a big difference in feeling lonely (wishing you had peers around you) and being alone (separated without a connection to others). I am always connected to Indigenous issues and Indigenous people and those connections strengthen me. That being said, many of us will find ourselves in roles and circumstances where we are the perceived “voice” representing others. It’s a delicate balance to maximize the power and duty in that moment while simultaneously educating others on the diversity of viewpoints across Indian country. At the end of the day, always try to be your authentic self and don’t compromise your values. There will always be hard days and difficult situations, but in totality, look for opportunities where the positive energy far exceeds the negative energy. I have learned that when I prioritize my own mental, physical and spiritual health, I am also at the top of my game professionally, including being a better advocate for others.

Review Stacy’s publications:

  • Two draft co-authored articles published in the SSRN, “A Wealth of Sovereign Choices: Tax Implications of McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Promise of Tribal Economic Development” and “A Familiar Crossroads: McGirt v. Oklahoma and the Future of the Federal Indian Law Canon.” Please email any feedback.
  • Interviewed by Creative Native podcast about the launch of her blog, IndigenousWell and how athletics in native youth can positively impact their professional lives as leaders. 
  • Her latest tribute to Congresswoman Deb Haaland in this riveting piece, “Picking up broken glass + broken hearts.”
  • More of her amazing work on her website StacyLeeds.com.

Stay tuned for our next Progress, Power, Purpose series.

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

“Cultural Misappropriation” – Professor Reed 3/31

Professor Trevor Reed is giving a presentation on Wednesday, March 31 at 5:30-7:30pm EST for Intellectual Property Law Association on “Cultural Misappropriation.”

Register for free to join.

About the program: What is cultural misappropriation and why does it matter? Tune in for a conversation between legal experts and activists covering Copyright and Trademark issues of cultural misappropriation such as the Washington pro football team (Harjo v. Pro Football and its relationship with Matal v. Tam), fashion (Urban Outfitters v. Navajo), photography and music on reservations, and traditional knowledge labeling

Progress, Power, Purpose: Judith Dworkin

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month,” we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on Native women legal professionals and advocates in this Progress, Power, Purpose series. As an ASU Law alum who clerked for Judge William C. Canby, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and a founding faculty member of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law and the Indian Legal Program, it was for a greater purpose that she become a longtime Indian legal defender and a respected member of the ILP Advisory Council. Powerfully positioned at one of Arizona’s prestigious law firms and leading its Indian Law and Tribal Relations sector, she was recently named as one of the The Best Lawyers in America

Q: What does your current position entail?
A: I recently stepped down as the managing partner of a 35 person law firm. I am an equity shareholder and the head of the Indian law practice area. I currently supervise two Native American lawyers and I represent various tribes, tribal districts/chapters and tribal enterprises in both transactional and litigation work.

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: After I received a Ph.D. I taught water resources management at two research universities and then left to obtain a law degree. I have been interested in this practice area since law school.

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: My advice for any woman is to work hard, be prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the job done. You will be noticed as someone that senior lawyers and clients can rely on. In addition, learn what work style the senior lawyer has and be available.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: Probably one of the most fulfilling was ensuring that DNA People’s Legal Services didn’t fail because of the failures of the CEO and the CFO. Through hard work, lots of overtime and making difficult decisions, we managed to keep the doors open for this Legal Services organization. As a result I was awarded the Foundation for Justice Award.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating law school that you wished you learned in class?
A: It’s been a long time since I was in law school. The social media stuff wasn’t around and I would like to do a better job at that.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: How to read cases and summarize the decisions.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?
A: Patty Ferguson, Candace French (’17) , and Hilary Tompkins.

Review Judy’s publications:

Continue to Progress, Power, Purpose series.

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Progress, Power, Purpose: Gloria Kindig (’89)

Women's History Month

In celebrating “Women’s History Month,” we turned to some of the women of the ILP to shed light on Native women legal professionals and advocates in this Progress, Power, Purpose series. ILP Family started when a small handful of Native law students at ASU wanted to change the narrative at the time—for a university in a state with a large Native American population, there were only a few Native American students attending ASU Law. The focus on expanding opportunities was vital for these few Native law students. They became the representation and changemakers who drafted the proposal, formed a committee and gained the support of law professors and then Dean Paul Bender to establish the ILP. Gloria Kindig with her classmate LynDee Wells (’89) are the determined women whose thoughtful vision led to the creation of the Indian Legal Program and its 32 year legacy. “The two of us combined were a force that would not be denied,” Gloria candidly wrote as she recounted the formation of ILP for our 30th anniversary in 2018. 

Q: What does your current position entail?: 
A: Well, since I’m totally retired these days, my time is my own.  I gave up all my visiting Judicial positions in 2019.  Just in time to be part of the social distancing, stay at home crowd of 2020.

On a serious side, giving up my judicial career and leaving the legal field behind has been interesting.  In some ways it felt like I was wasting my legal education.  But, on the other hand, I firmly believe that at some point everyone needs to step to the side.  If we don’t, then where will the up and coming women find opportunities?  They deserve the opportunity to shine.

Q: Were you always interested in this kind of work?
A: The short answer is no.  Prior to going to law school I had a career as a Mining Engineer up in Wyoming, with a bit of farming on the side.  Should I mention that I was one of the first female Mining Engineers and to my knowledge, the first Native American Mining Engineer back then?  I must admit that it was interesting, if hard, to be standing alone in a career field that needed a bit of diversity.   But times were changing and the mining industry was suffering a major downturn, a good time for a change.

Should it be Law school or Veterinary school?  A hard choice, but Law school it was.  A Native student at ASU picked up the phone and convinced me that ASU Law School was the place for me.  Given my prior career I thought that a practice in water law, mineral law, or mining law would be a good fit.  But life has a way of changing things.  A summer position at a firm that specialized in mining and water law convinced me that I needed a new direction.

I graduated without a clear direction and ended up taking a Deputy Prosecutor position in Navajo County.  Concluding, after a few years, that I was being underpaid, I asked for an increase.  The County Prosecutor denied my requested, but stated I could present my request, on my own, to the Board of Supervisors.  The Board of Supervisors heard my request, but without the support of the County Prosecutor it was denied.  Being a firm believer in equal pay for equal work it was time to move on.

While working as an Associate General Counsel for the Hopi Tribe I was offered the position of Chief Judge for the Hopi Tribal Court, the beginning of my Judicial Career.  During this time there was some discussion in the County about changing the way Judges were elected, changing from at-large elections to district elections.  Finding out that no Native American woman had ever tried to be elected to the Navajo County Superior Court Bench inspired me to give it a try.  I soon found myself on the Superior Court Bench.

After eight years on the Bench I lost my reelection bid and had to find a new career.  I became a visiting Judge in a number of Tribal Courts as well as a Judge ProTem in Apache County Superior Court, until I fully retired in 2019.

Q: What advice do you have for Native American women who want to work in this area?
A: Whether a person becomes a Tribal Judge, a State Court Judge, or a Federal Court Judge they must always remember to put all their personal bias aside when they put their Judicial robes on.  They should also remember to give each individual and case their full attention.  Yes, it might be the eighth, tenth, or more divorce case you, as a Judge, are hearing that day, but it is the only divorce case the individuals are involved in at the moment.  The individuals are important, the case is important and they deserve your full attention.

I would also suggest that they learn the art of truly listening.  Yes, listening is an art and takes practice.

Finally I would suggest that they study as many different areas of the law as they can in law school, the cases a judge hears, especial a Tribal or State Judge, are diverse and can cover so many different areas of the law.

Q: What is your proudest career moment?
A: I must say that my proudest moment happened when I was still a student at ASU.  It was the day the ASU Faculty approved the Indian Legal Program.  When I joined the ASU Law school student body in 1986 there was not an Indian Legal Program.  Just a class or two titled “Indian Law,” this in a state with such a large Native American Land base and population.  A fellow Native American student and I found this unacceptable.  Working with the Dean and some faculty members the Indian Legal Program was drafted, accepted and implemented in the course of two years.

My second proudest moment in my legal career came when I was able to defy all odds and win an at-large election to the Navajo County Superior Court bench.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?
A: Remember that I was in law school before there was an ILP, before there was much coverage of Indian Law as it related and relates to all the major areas of law.  It was also a time when there were very few Native American law students at ASU. 

Not always being a welcomed student taught me to pay attention at all times, to be prepared at all times, to control my feelings at all times. And rather than react with anger, turn negative words and experiences into opportunities to teach others or at least show them the other side of the coin. Good training for a Judge, be attentive, listen, don’t display bias, don’t react to the outbursts of others.

Q: Who are three Native American women law professionals and/or advocates who should be on our radar right now?
A: I don’t really know of any up and comers, my failing not theirs. I have been out of the ‘loop’ for a long time now. But I’m sure that all the many ILP women are people to watch. They will surely do great things in their careers. Be it a legal career or a career in which their ILP experience and life experience can make a difference and improve the lives of others.

Q: In your career, did you ever feel like the lone Native American voice in the room?  How did you overcome those adversities?  For that girl/woman who is finding her rhythm and trying to carve out a space to thrive, what advice would you give her?
A: In both of my careers not only have I felt that I was the lone Native American and lone female voice in the room, I was in fact the lone Native American and female in the room. 

The key was not viewing it as an adversity. Viewing something as adversities results in the desire to overcome or fight the problem. I always found that I might have to voice my opinion time and time again, but if I refused to react in haste and anger, sooner or later, I could usually wear the others down. One also needs to be willing to draw that line in the sand and if others cross it, one needs to not only be willing to get up and walk out or away, but actually get up and walk away.  Worked for me, but also resulted in a few career changes, which worked out for the better in the long run. 

My advice may seem strange and frankly, I never realized that I was doing it until a friend, coworker pointed it out.  But people need to learn to carry their “community” within themselves. If you don’t, you face the risk of doing things to please others, to impress others, to let others disrupt the rhythm of your life and force you into the box they think you belong in.

Stay tuned for our next Progress, Power, Purpose series.

________

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law