Job Opportunity – Deputy Executive Director

Navajo Nation Washington Office
Washington, DC

Duties and Responsibilities:
In coordination with the Executive Director oversee operations of the Navajo Nation Washington Office (NNWO), including development and implementation of policies and operating standards; supervises staff, provides administrative direction, guidance and monitoring within the NNWO; handles personnel issues and identifies employee development requirements; determines compliance with organizational policies and procedures and evaluates staff performance ; performs work of unusual difficulty with responsibility to support the overall planning and execution of goals and objectives of the Nation; performs related work as assigned.

Assists with review, analysis and research on proposed pending legislation, and policy initiatives to ensure that legislation and policy initiatives to ensure that legislation and initiatives do not adversely affect the Navajo Nation; assists with drafting legislative bills, policy proposals and position papers and provides detailed reports on the activities of Congress to the Nation; advocates and communications extensively with congressional representatives and federal agencies to provide briefings and background on the issues and positions of the Nation; analyzes existing federal regulations to protect the interests of the Nation; analyzes legislative, policy and budgetary initiatives developed by the federal government; provides reports to the Nation outlining the political and policy ramification of these initiatives and provide strategic recommendation on how the Nation should address these initiatives.

Coordinate meetings with congressional representatives and federal officials; prepares materials and strategy for the meeting and accompanies Navajo officials in the meetings; develops public affairs campaigns and formulates coalitions with interest groups, nongovernmental organizations and other governments to further the Nation’s position; attends congressional hearings, press conferences and markups to gather important intelligence on matters of concern to the Nation; assists in the preparation of news releases and articles for publication to increase the awareness of the Nation’s needs; attends strategy meetings; keeps abreast of current events and national news regarding Native Americans; may represent the Navajo Nation at various functions.

For full job description, click here.

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Talking Stick Podcast – Conversation with Stacy Leeds

In this month’s episode of the Talking Stick, Conversation with Stacy Leeds, host Derrick Beetso (’10) gets to know visiting Professor Stacy Leeds who taught federal Indian law at ASU Law for the fall 2019 semester. The Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Dean Emeritus and Professor at the University of Arkansas discusses her recent experience as the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Distinguished Visiting Indian Law Professor at the ASU College of Law, as well as current work she is undertaking which looks at the legal underpinnings of the Indian Civil Rights Act.

Listen to the podcast here.

2020 ILP Alumni Awards – Call for Nominations

The ILP alumni awards are now open. Nominate your classmates and friends! The ILP Awards include Professional Achievement, Alumni Service Award, and Emerging Leader Award. Nominations are due February 17, 2020! Nomination materials should be sent by email to: Awards will be presented at the ILP alumni reception at Fed Bar on Monday, April 6, 2020 at Sandia Resort & Casino.

Nomination Guidelines

ILP Professional Achievement Award – This award recognizes outstanding achievement in Indian Law or Tribal Law throughout an individual’s career. The award honors ILP alumni whose achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law have brought distinction to themselves and real benefit to the Indian community. Nomination Package Requirements:

  • Describe the unique professional achievements in the field of Indian Law or Tribal Law that has brought distinction to the candidate. (maximum two pages)
  • Describe the recognized contributions made by this candidate that demonstrate a benefit to the larger community. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways in which the candidate’s achievements are truly extraordinary or exceptional. (maximum one page)
  • Provide at least two letters of support from individuals that can speak to the candidate’s impact on his or her profession.
  • Letters of support should speak to the magnitude of the individual’s impact in the practice of Indian or tribal law or in the Indian community.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Kathy Bowman (’86), Rob Rosette (’96), Diane Enos (’92), Ben Hanley (’71), Herb Yazzie (’75).

ILP Alumni Service Award – This award is given for outstanding service to the Indian Legal Program, and is awarded for extended, extraordinary service to the Indian Legal Program. Nomination Package Requirements

  • Describe the ways in which the candidate has served or supported the ILP and the ILP alumni. Examples can include serving on committees, boards, CLEs, mentoring ILP students, or other volunteer or fundraising efforts or funding commitments. (maximum one page)
  • Describe the ways this service been truly extraordinary. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has benefited the ILP. (maximum one page)
  • Please provide at least two letters of support from ILP alumni as part of the nomination package.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04), Ann Marie Downes (’94), Mary Shirley (’92) and Jeff Harmon (’05)

ILP Emerging Leader Award – This award acknowledges and encourages service to Indian Country and the ILP by alumni who are less than ten years out of law school. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in their professional career, volunteer work, and promotion or support of the ILP and/or ASU NALSA. Nomination Package Requirements.

  • Describe how the candidate has achieved professional success in their legal career.
  • Describe the candidate’s volunteer work.
  • Describe how the candidate achieved an exceptional level of service while balancing the demands of being a recent graduate. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate was proactive in efforts to become involved in ILP and/or ILP alumni activities. (maximum one page)
  • Describe how the candidate’s service has been sustained over a long period of time or how the service has been innovative or beneficial. (maximum one page)
  • Provide two letters of support from fellow ILP alumni.
  • Provide a 200 word bio of the nominee.
  • Past winners include: Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle (’09), Nikki Borchardt Campbell (’09), Steve Bodmer (’06), Elizabeth Medicine Crow (’05), Charles Galbraith (’07), Matthew Campbell (’08) and Michael Corey Hinton (’11)

Job Opportunity – General Counsel

Salt River Pima – Maricopa Indian Community, Legal Services Office
Scottsdale, Arizona

Deadline: 12/15/2019, 11:30 pm MST

Definition: Under the administrative direction of the Community Council, serves as the chief legal  advisor, representative, and counselor to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community (SRPMIC or  Community) government, including all departments, divisions, enterprises, and other entities.  Ensures that applicable laws are followed so that tribal sovereignty is protected and enhanced.  Provides assistance to avoid or prevent legal disputes and litigation and protects the Community’s  legal interests. Supervises, administers, and oversees all legal services for the Community. This is treated as an FLSA exempt job class.

Education & Experience: Bachelor’s degree and graduate of an accredited law school, with a minimum of seven (7) years of experience practicing law which included some experience in at least three or more of the following areas: federal
Indian law, employment law, commercial transactions, gaming law, leasing, and planning and zoning, A minimum of 3 years of supervisory experience and some experience/familiarity with executive, legislative, and judicial functions of tribal
government is also required.

See full job description here.

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Lady Leadership Words of Wisdom

Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen McPaul (’01) was appointed to her position in January of 2019. She then asked Kimberly Dutcher (’01) to be her Navajo Nation Deputy Attorney General. It is so inspiring to have a powerful team of ILP alumni in the Navajo Nation Department of Justice! In conjunction with their upcoming lunch lecture, we asked McPaul and Dutcher to share their thoughts on their positions and advice for our current students.

As Attorney General, what sort of impact do you hope to make for the Navajo Nation?

Doreen McPaul: I hope to make a positive difference for my tribe and my own people. At the Department of Justice, that means organizing the department in a way that best serves the needs of our clients, being responsive to client requests, and supporting our legal team so that they are enabled to provide the highest
quality of legal services to our clients.

As Deputy Attorney General, what sort of impact do you hope to make for the Navajo Nation?

Kimberly Dutcher: I hope to make an impact on the Navajo Nation by improving the Department of Justice to enable its attorneys and advocates to provide exemplary legal services to our clients, the Navajo Nation Council, the Office of the President
and Vice President and Navajo Nation departments, programs and agencies.

What strengths do you bring to the position?

Doreen McPaul: Experience, integrity and commitment.

Kimberly Dutcher: I would like to think that my experience working with other tribes, my background in organizational development and my willingness to focus on problem solving are my strengths.

What made you interested in this position?

Doreen McPaul: I’ve worked as an attorney for tribal governments for over a decade and chair a national organization committed to tribal government attorneys. The position was a natural fit for my experience and passion.

Kimberly Dutcher: I have always wanted to work for my tribe. As soon as AG McPaul contacted me about serving the Nation, I was interested!

How do you think your career has led to this position?

Doreen McPaul: My career started in the judicial branch of government practice. First as a law clerk at the Arizona Court of Appeals and then as a staff attorney for the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch in my hometown on the Navajo reservation. I moved to Albuquerque to work for a boutique Indian Law firm and to learn to practice law on behalf of tribes and tribal entities. I moved back to Arizona to teach
at the law school for a year and run the Indian Legal Clinic, before finding my
passion practicing law in-house for tribal governments.

Kimberly Dutcher: I believe that everything I have done, including prior to going to law school at ASU, led to me serving in this position. Each job I have held contributed to my experience and knowledge in different ways, and I am grateful for both positive and not so positive experiences.

How do you think your legal education at ASU Law and the ILP led you to this position?

Doreen McPaul: My education at ASU College of Law and the ILP served as the foundation for my legal career. The foresight of the law school and the Navajo Nation to develop a fellowship program to promote Navajo lawyers is the reason I was able to go to law school and the reason I chose ASU Law.

Kimberly Dutcher: First, AG McPaul and I met at an orientation for ASU and the ILP back in 1998! My legal education at ASU and the relationships I made during law school are the foundation for my legal career. Professors Rebecca Tsosie, Robert Clinton, Myles Lynk, Robert Bartels and others were instrumental to my education and development as an attorney.

What advice do you have for current students interested in similar positions?

Doreen McPaul: My advice to students is to work hard, to be prepared, to keep challenging yourself, and take advantage of all the opportunities you can and open all the doors possible, to network and build relationships, to know your strengths and weaknesses, and to follow your passions. And to do all those things with the
highest level of integrity and professionalism.

Kimberly Dutcher: You can go home again! Tribal nations have so many challenges and it is normal to want to be involved in everything, but everyone has the same 24 hours each day, so prioritize. Remember your role as an attorney and who makes decisions. While you are in law school, learn about different legal career paths and find what interests you and how you can use it to best serve your nation, if that is
what you choose to do.

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Derrick Beetso (JD’ 10) Lunch Bingo – Recording

Guest speaker and ILP alum, Derrick Beetso (JD ’10) gave an interactive and fun presentation on October 30, 2019. NCAI’s General Counsel Beetso discussed the history of the National Congress of American Indians and its role in helping shape federal Indian law and policy, his own work on behalf of NCAI and other work and priorities of the organization.

To listen to recording, click here.

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Pechanga Band Wills Clinic

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law’s Indian Legal Clinic partnered with the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians Tribal Leadership and the California Indian Legal Services on Sept. 23 and 24 in an extremely successful Indian Wills Clinic for the members of the Pechanga Band. At the event, free legal services were offered to members of the Band who wished to create wills for bequeathing their allotments. The Pechanga Indian Reservation includes a mix of trust lands, fee lands and lands owned by the Band, individual Indians and non-Indians.

Eleven members of the Band met with
three Indian Legal Clinic students on the first day of the Clinic to discuss
their estate planning needs. The students then drafted an Indian will that was ready
for execution on the following day for each of the individuals. Jennifer
Parisien, Tribal Treasurer Department Financial Analyst, coordinated the event
while Michele Fahley, Deputy General Counsel for the Band, and Mica Llerandi,
staff attorney with California Indian Legal Services, supervised the student

“Ensuring tribal members have
access to legal services in preparing Indian wills has been a long-term
priority for my office,” said Steve
, JD ’06, the Band’s General Counsel. “When our Tribal Secretary and Tribal
Treasurer reached out to me regarding adding wills to the Pechanga financial
education series, my thoughts turned immediately to the Indian Legal Program as
a possible resource to make this project a success.”

Robyn Delfino, Pechanga Band Tribal Treasurer,
explained that the Wills Clinic was part of a larger initiative sponsored by
the Tribal Treasury Department and Tribal Leadership with an aim of assisting
members by providing education about financial management and legal tools for
planning for the future.

“The amazing work that was performed
in the Wills Clinic is evidenced in the reaction of the Band’s membership,”
said Bodmer.

“The feedback from members was
extremely positive,” added Delfino, “which resulted in multiple tribal members
contacting us to ask when the next clinic would be held. The partnership
between the Tribal Leadership, California Indian Legal Services, and the Sandra
Day O’Connor College of Law’s Indian Legal Clinic was a win-win situation where
tribal members gained very valuable services while students gained very
valuable educational experiences.”

The students involved in the Wills
Clinic were universal in their appreciation for the learning opportunities the
program provided.

“I am thankful for the rewarding and
humbling experience of working with clients to prepare their wills from start
to finish,” shared Cynthia Freeman,
JD candidate ’20, “I am grateful for the first-hand practical experience, which
is a great contribution to my overall legal education.”

, JD candidate ’20, said “creating a will is a
proactive step for members to take to protect their families for generations to
come. It was an amazing experience to be able to help them with their endeavors.”

, JD candidate ’20, was happy for the
experience in counseling clients.

“From a practical standpoint, I
learned how to conduct an interview while acknowledging the very sensitive and
personal nature of estate planning,” said Bowles. “Because drafting Indian
wills is a specialty, I feel blessed to have this knowledge to apply in my
legal future.”

“The students did a tremendous job of
building the clients’ trust in the limited amount of time available to them,” said
Helen Burtis, JD ’07, the faculty associate
overseeing the students’ participation in the Wills Clinic. They prepared for
the Wills Clinic by learning about fractionalization of allotments and the
American Indian Probate Reform Act.

“Drafting Indian Wills is technically
complex, and the students were dedicated to getting the clients’ estate
planning wishes accurately incorporated into the documents,” Burtis added. “On
behalf of the Indian Legal Clinic and the Indian Legal Program, I would like to
thank Pechanga Tribal Leadership and staff as well as the members who agreed to
work with students for letting our students take part in this valuable program.”