Fun Facts – Faculty Law School Experience Pt. 2: Meet Our New Professors!

Have you heard the news? Our #ILPfamily is growing! We’ve recently added three new members to our team. We asked Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Professor Lawrence Roberts and Distinguished Visiting Indian Law Professor Stacy Leeds about their experience as law students and how they feel starting out at a new school. Here is their full responses to our questions.

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October 2019 Faculty Updates

Our faculty has been involved in all sorts of exciting projects and actions! In a new style, here is a synopsis of our faculty’s recent activities.

  • Professor Robert Miller presented on a panel at Missouri History Center on Sept. 24 in St. Louis at the Lewis & Clark National Trail Heritage Foundation’s 50th Annual meeting about Indian nations, the Doctrine of Discovery and Lewis & Clark
  • Miller spoke on Sept. 22 at the 50th Annual Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation meeting in St. Louis at the Missouri History Museum. He was on a panel entitled “Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes.” He presented the subject “Lewis and Clark: Agents of American Empire.”
  • On Oct. 3, Miller gave a lunch time presentation on tribal courts to the Lewis & Clark Law School NALSA and Students for Eliminating Environmental Discrimination.
  • On Oct. 3, Miller emceed at the Oregon Native American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.
  • Miller was announced as the recipient of the Pedrick Scholarship on Oct. 10 as one of the notable faculty honorees that bring extensive experience and knowledge to ASU Law. Congratulations! Read the full article here.
  • Miller continues to work diligently on his law review articles on Nazis and American Indian Law, tribal courts and General Ely Parker [Seneca], despite being on sabbatical. Always working hard!
  • On Sept. 24, Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee was on a panel at the Climate Defenders: Indigenous Climate Leadership in North America held in New York City. She spoke with other indigenous climate activists about the climate issues at hand and potential solutions that could address these problems. Watch the recorded livestream here.
  • On Sept. 24, Ferguson-Bohnee appeared in KJZZ’s broadcast “Native American Voters in Arizona Prep for 2020” to talk about common issues native voters face and the importance of taking voter action. Read the article and listen to the broadcast here.
  • Ferguson-Bohnee and Torey Dolan (’19) attended the First Nations Voting Rights Conference—Planting for the Future on Sept. 25-27 organized by the Rural Utah Project and held at the University of Utah College of Law. Ferguson-Bohnee moderated panels on the Voting Rights Act and You and Voter Protection. She also participated on a panel focused on Early Voting, Satellite Elections Office and Mail-In Ballots. The goal of the conference was to discuss strategies for equal representation, preparation for the 2020 Census, redistricting and rural addressing projects to ensure that every Native Vote is counted.
  • On Oct. 1, Ferguson-Bohnee participated in the subcommittee discussion Voting Rights and Elections Administration in Arizona. Watch the recorded livestream here. The second panel starts around 1:09:00.
  • On Sept. 13, Professor Trevor Reed gave the lunch lecture, Sonic Sovereignty: Performing Hopi Authority at Öngtupqa (Grand Canyon), to ASU School of Music faculty and students.
  • On Sept. 20, Reed presented Copyright and Our Ancestors’ Voices at Council for Museum Anthropology Biennial Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • On Oct. 2, Reed presented Listening to Our Modern Lives at Music, Modernity and Indigenous Peoples symposium at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • On Oct. 4, Reed presented Cultural Appropriation and Fair Use: Why the Forgotten Factor Matters at the Marquette Law School Seventh Annual Junior Faculty Works in Progress Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • From Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, Professor Stacy Leeds presented Indigenous Land Tenure Systems in the United States and the Cherokee Legacy of Allotment: Highlighting UNDRIP Conformity Challenges as part of the United Nations Seminar of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the Right to Land for Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
  • Leeds was also newly appointed to the American Bar Association Advisory Committee for the Commission on Youth at Risk for the 2019-2020 committee.

Job Opportunity – Attorney General

Tohono O’odham Legislative Branch
Sells, Arizona

POSITION SUMMARY: The attorney general provides legal advice and representation to all officials, agencies, departments, divisions and branches of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a federally recognized Indian tribe with 2.8 million acres of reservation land in Southern Arizona. The attorney general represents the Nation in all legal proceedings, and in other matters that affect the legal interests of the Nation; advises senior management and tribal officials; and supervises assistant attorneys general and contract attorneys. (Job description available at

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Juris doctorate from an accredited law school, a licensed attorney admitted to practice before the highest court of a state of the United States, three years of supervisory experience and ten years of experience in the practice of law. If appointed, must be admitted to State Bar of Arizona within 18 months. Subject to background investigation.

Preference in filling vacancies will be given to (1) enrolled members of the Tohono O’odham Nation, (2) enrolled members of other tribal nations or tribes, (3) other candidates.

Interested applicants should email a completed application form (available at, resume, letter of interest, and three writing samples. Writing samples must include at least one pleading or substantive memorandum filed in court. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please provide all application materials to:
ATTN: Julianna Saraficio, Legislative Assistant
Tohono O’odham Legislative Branch
(520) 383-5260 (office)

Download full job description here.

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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, or check out the summary in our latest newsletter.

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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