Job Opportunity: Staff Attorney

Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians
Odanah, WI

Application Requirements:
• Must submit complete Bad River Tribal Application and Resume
• Transcripts
• Salary requirement
• 3 letters of recommendation
• Writing sample and
• Copy of Active license to practice law or eligibility to apply for Wisconsin State Bar Admission

Summary: The Staff Attorney works with the tribal government in all areas of Tribal law and Federal Indian law.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
Advising on issues involving the delivery of government services to Tribal members, including jurisdiction, tribal property, civil rights, environmental law, and interpretation of social and family services and health services delivery to community members including child welfare services. Responsibilities may range from reviewing and editing draft documents to the provision of brief counsel and services to tribal government programs in meeting preparation or meeting settings, representing the Tribe in Tribal, state, and federal court, to advising and developing codes and policies for tribal government decision-making.
Qualification Requirements To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skills, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions. The person in this position must be self-motivated and able to work with minimal direction.

See job announcement for full description and application details.

Job Opportunities: The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe

Lower Elwha Klallam Justice Center
Port Angeles, WA
 
The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is dedicated to fully exercising its sovereignty to prevent and reduce criminal activity and victimization on the Reservation. At the same time, pursuant to the Lower Elwha Constitution, Article VII, Bill of Rights, the Lower Elwha Judicial Code §§ 1.2, 6.11(3)(c), and the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, 25 U.S.C. § 1302(a)(8), the Tribe is dedicated to affording due process to all persons subject to the Tribe’s authority.

Tribal Defense Attorney job announcement 

  • Closing Date: February 17, 2023

Chief Judge job announcement

  • Closing Date: February 18, 2023

Tribal Deputy Prosecutor job announcement

  • Closing Date: February 17, 2023

Job Opportunity: Legislative Policy Advisor

Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP
Washington, D.C.

Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP is looking for a motivated, energetic individual to join its legislative and health policy team in its Washington, DC office. Hobbs Straus is a national law firm dedicated to promoting and defending the interests of Indian tribal governments and organizations.

The Legislative Policy Advisor is a non-attorney position who will work with attorneys and legislative staff from across the firm on behalf of our tribal clients to advance the scope and quality of tribal health services. Duties include assisting attorney and legislative staff in outreach to Capitol Hill and federal agencies, attending and covering health policy meetings, researching and working on Indian health policy and drafting reports to clients. Applicants must have strong research, writing and communication skills. Prior legislative experience preferred but not required. Salary based on experience.

Educational requirements: B.A. or higher.

To apply: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume to Ms. Robin Branthover at rbranthover@hobbsstraus.com.

Thank you for your interest in Hobbs, Straus, Dean & Walker, LLP.
www.hobbsstraus.com

Inclusion power

Indian Country's representation

On Jan. 10, the Indian Legal Program hosted a special dinner for students to meet Bryan Newland, Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior. A full year of serving in a prominent position, Assistant Secretary Newland leans on his experiences and centers tribal community as part of the strategy. He understands the challenges Tribes face and the importance of ensuring Indigenous People are protected, included and represented at every level, for every decision.  

We were also joined by Secretary Newland’s team who share that vision: Rose Petoskey, Joaquin Gallegos, Stephanie Sfiridis (’16), Sam Kohn, Senior-Counselor to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs and Katherine Isom-Clause, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development, as well as Shannon Estenoz, Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Steve Simpson, Senior Attorney with the Solicitor’s Office. ILP students learned about the work the Department of Interior does on behalf of Tribes and how hard each have worked to be in a position where they can drive change. 

“Having Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland and his team visit was such an honor,” said 2L Sophie Staires. “What struck me about all of them was the genuine interest they showed in all of us students—who we are, and what we want to do. Talking with them made it easier for me to picture myself in those roles, and I really needed that. Assistant Secretary Newland really impressed upon me that I am right where I need to be, that I am capable and that I will get to where I want to be.”

“It was nice to know that even though law school can be a real challenge sometimes, the opportunities to do great things for Indian Country outweighs that,” said 2L Chelsi Tsosie. “It was quite motivating to relate to someone in a position as high as his.” 

Thank you to the Department of the Interior for this special visit. We appreciate all that you do for Indian Country! 

Job Opportunity: Associate

Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC
Associate

Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC is seeking a motivated, self-driven, and ambitious full-time associate. Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC is a 100% Indian owned boutique law firm providing legal services exclusively to Indian tribes, tribal business enterprises, tribal agencies, and tribal entrepreneurs. Our firm provides services in the area of Indian law, business transactions, economic development, finance, gaming, and all areas of tribal government. We are proud to assist as day-to-day general or special counsel for tribes and corporate counsel for tribal business.

See full job description.

 

Please submit information via email to gina@vtklaw.com. Please contact Gina Ortiz at 480-428-4590 with any questions. Experience and/or education in transactional, business, economic development, or gaming preferred. Native American hiring preference will be provided to qualified attorneys.

Call for articles: Special Indian Law edition of the Arizona Attorney 2023

Deadline: February 28, 2023

The Indian Law Section is soliciting proposals for articles to be included in the 2023 special Indian Law edition of the Arizona Attorney magazine. The proposal should focus on an issue of interest to those who practice Indian Law.

Either a short or a long article may be proposed. Generally, a long article will be between 2,000 and 2,500 words (in a Microsoft Word document, about 9 to 12 pages including endnotes) and will be about 3 to 4 pages in the magazine. A short article will be approximately 1,500 words and typically will be 2 pages in the magazine.

The proposal should provide the following information: author’s name and contact information (e-mail address, phone number, and name of employer/firm); the subject matter of the article (e.g., ICWA, NAGPRA, Water Rights, Land Use, Tribal Sovereignty, etc.); the anticipated title; and a concise summary of the thesis of the article.

Proposal authors will be notified on whether their proposed article has been accepted by March 10, 2023. The draft of the article for a selected proposal will be due on April 7, 2023. Final drafts of selected articles are due by May 5, 2023.

Past articles from the 2022 Indian Law edition were:

McGirt v. OklahomaThe Most Impactful Indian Law Case in a Century?
By Professor Robert J. Miller

ICWA- The Gold Standard: Golden Nuggets of Evidence from Arizona
By Tara Hubbard & Fred Urbina

Indigenous Erasure in Public Schools: Critical Race Theory, Discriminatory Policies, and Remedies for Students
By Mia Montoya Hammersley, Adriana M. Orman & Wouter Zwart

“Authentic” From Time Immemorial: Reforming Rule of Evidence 902 To Reflect Tribal Sovereignty
By Henry Oostrom-Shah

The Cabazon Decision, 35 Years On
By Glenn M. Feldman

Tribal Labor and Employment Law: The Evolution of the Navajo Preference in Employment Act
By Paul Spruhan

Indian Law From Behind the Bench
By Alexander Mallory (’19)

Oral History on Trial
By Robert Alan Hershey

If you would like to submit a proposal or if you have questions, please contact
Glennas’ba Augborne Arents (’16), Secretary, Indian Law Section
gaugborne@rothsteinlaw.com

OR

Hon. June Harris, Member-at-Large, Indian Law Section
JHarris@sc.pima.gov

Where are they now? Feat. Shea Backus (’03)

Shea Backus (’03) is a shareholder of Backus | Burden, a civil / commercial litigation firm in Las Vegas, Nevada. Shea has been elected to serve as an Assemblywoman in the Nevada State Legislature representing District 37. This is her second time to serve. She will have the honor to chair Revenue and serve as vice-chair of Ways & Means.

Q: What has your journey been like since you graduated?

A: It is almost 20 years since I graduated, and it does not feel that long. I have been in private practice since graduating. I started working for my dad’s small firm in Las Vegas right after law school, and am now a shareholder. I have had the privilege of being able to practice in the State of Nevada, as well as three tribal courts.

Four years ago, I decided to run for our state legislature. I won in 2018, lost in 2020 and won in 2022. I’m looking forward to serve my second regular session starting February 6, after serving in one regular session in 2019 and two special sessions in 2020. From my service in 2019, I was appointed to the Uniform Law Commission. Since then, I have been a Commissioner for Nevada. I am proudly on a study committee looking at a uniform or model code addressing issues related to the Indian Child Welfare Act. I am also exploring a bill to address any issues pertaining to ICWA in light of pending matters before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Q: What is the most valuable lesson you learned in the classroom that has helped you in your career?

A: Legal Writing! ASU’s legal writing program definitely prepared me for the practice of law.

Q: Is there anything you’ve learned after graduating that you wished you learned in class?

A: The difference between practicing law and studying in law school. This is more on me and less on the law school. At the time I was at ASU, I had no idea that I would be a litigator, so I never took any classes that would have prepared me for the litigation world.

Q: What originally made you choose ASU Law?

A: Reputation, ILP and closeness to home.

Q: Who was your favorite law professor, and why?

A: Professor Clinton. While I thought he was terrifying as my Indian Law professor, I came to appreciate him through his involvement with ILP and then as a professor of an Indian Gaming course that I took.

Q: What is your advice for current students?

A: Develop your legal writing and research skills while you are in law school as this will provide a great foundation to being a respected practitioner. Also, work harder than your opponent and you will succeed! 

Q: What do you want people to know about you?

A: I am truly proud of setting history by serving in the first female majority state legislature in U.S. history. When I won a seat that a lot of people thought I could not win because of my political party, it created the pathway to that majority female legislature.  I am also humbled and surprised to be the first female, enrolled in a tribe, to serve in the Nevada State Legislature. This has provided me with an understanding in addressing bills that can impact our tribal communities and urban Indians.

ENTRY LEVEL PROSECUTING ATTORNEY

FACTOR I: GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF WORK

This is a professional position for an entry level attorney with the primary responsibility, through specialized training and skill to represent the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and its governmental departments in the Tribal Court, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and, when necessary, at public hearings. The position will independently present cases in the Tribal Court. The Incumbent shall, under the general direction of managing attorney, act as legal advisor and staff counselor to the Tribes for the Tribal Prosecutor’s Office with respect to the following matters which are not all inclusive:

  • Act as Tribal Prosecutor in Criminal and civil matters as required.
  • Act as counsel for the Tribes in Tribal Fish and Game cases;
  • The attorney will compose legal materials, conduct legal research, and effectively communicate with legal professionals and other interested parties in criminal matters and Tribal Fish and Game matters arising from duties assigned;
  • Represent Tribal interests routinely litigated in Tribal Court or Tribal Court alternative dispute resolution mechanisms;
  • Attorney shall conduct communications and liaison with federal, state and local governmental agencies and with private corporations, firms, or individuals in carrying out an authorized assignment, in conformity with practices necessary to property, conduct legal business, and to testify on behalf of the Tribes at such public hearings as may be deemed necessary to perform the duties assigned;
  • The Attorney will be expected to act as Tribal Prosecutor for and on behalf of the Tribes in Tribal Court proceedings, but may be required to appear as such before other courts, tribunals, departments, agencies and committees of Congress and the State legislatures as requested by Council;
  • Attorney shall provide technical assistance to Tribal Law and Order with regards to state, federal and local policies and regulations and the Tribal Law and Order Code;
  • Attorney must have working knowledge and competency with case management software (Advologix strongly preferred);
  • Perform all legal assignments designated by the Managing Attorney and/or Tribal Council.

o A primary responsibility of the position will be reviewing reports and drafting complaints

FACTOR II: DIRECTION RECEIVED

The position is under the general supervision of the Managing Attorney. The position uses experienced judgment and discretion to prioritize assignments and determines the best method to accomplish work within the deadlines established by the Prosecutors Office, the CSKT Laws Codified, Federal Law and Montana Code Annotated. In addition, the position performs work as instructed and seeks guidance from the supervisor as needed.

FACTOR III: SUPERVISION EXERCISED

None.

FACTOR IV: WORKING RELATIONSHIPS

This position interacts with various members of the judiciary, representing the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes in Tribal Court matters and with internal and external defense attorneys and the Tribal Membership. The position persuades, defends, discusses and justifies decision before and from the Court. Decisions based on the work of the incumbent may impact or have potential impact on the Tribal government. The incumbent is authorized to conduct communications and liaisons with federal, state and local government agencies, and with private corporations, firms, or individuals in carry out authorized assignments, in conformity with practices necessary to properly conduct legal business, and to testify on behalf of the Tribes at such public hearings as may be deemed necessary to perform the duties assigned. The incumbents acts as an official representative of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes.

FACTOR V: WORKING CONDITIONS

Exposure to office and Court environments with normal effort required.

FACTOR VI: QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENTS

Training: This position requires specialized knowledge acquired through intensive academic preparation at college level and/or legal educational institution. Must be a graduate of an ABA approved law school with a juris doctor or equivalent degree and admitted to practice law in the State of Montana or must be admitted to practice law in the State of Montana within six months of hiring.

Knowledge: Must have knowledge of general legal principles, criminal law and procedures, court procedures, law enforcement procedures, Federal law, Tribal Court and Indian law. Must have knowledge of the social and cultural lifestyles of the reservation community; knowledge of legal research methods, knowledge of basic legal writing and document preparation. Knowledge and working experience with word processing and related computer programs such as Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Office, LexisNexis and Practice Panther or similar case management software.

Skills: Must have strong communication skills and ability to effectively communicate with and make arguments and presentations before the Tribal Court forum. Must have the ability to compose legal materials, conduct legal research, and have effective interview techniques. Must have the ability to present cases in the Tribal Court form independently.

Abilities: Applicant must have no criminal convictions other than minor traffic infractions for which the punishment does not include the possibility of a jail sentence. The successful applicant, if not already employed by the Tribes must pass a pre-hire drug test and serve a mandatory six (6) months probationary period.

Your vote, your voice

2022 is another year that has seen Arizona Native voters and their rights disproportionally challenged on the ballot. “Native advocates say voter ID rules in Proposition 309 could disenfranchise Arizona Indigenous voters,” said Native Vote fellow Torey Dolan (’19) in her interview with the AZ Central. The article discusses the impact that Proposition 309 will have on Tribal communities if passed. Proposition 309 would limit the forms of identification that are acceptable for in-person voting and would eliminate many forms of Tribal identification that voters currently rely on.

Despite this ballot measure and redistricting issues, the Indian Legal Clinic’s Native Vote Election Protection team organized and strategized with its partners to remain steadfast leading up to Election Day. Dolan presented at the Tribal leaders meeting hosted by the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona and discussed the propositions’ impacts on Tribal communities and Native voters.

Indian Legal Clinic student attorneys Mallory Moore (3L) and Autumn Shone (3L) led and conducted two trainings for volunteers.

This year, 66 volunteers served as Election Protectors stationed at multiple polling locations to assist voters at 9 Tribal communities: the Ak-Chin Indian Community, the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the Gila River Indian Community, the Navajo Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the San Carlos Apache Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the White Mountain Apache Tribe.

On Election Day, the Native Vote team worked with the Navajo Nation to assist in emergency litigation due to delays in the opening of a polling location in Many Farms, Arizona. Katherine Belzowski, an attorney with the Navajo Nation Department of Justice Economic and Community Development Unit, said “The Indian Legal Clinic was instrumental to the Navajo Nation’s success in the 2022 Election. ILC worked with the Navajo Department of Justice (NDOJ) to monitor state polling locations across the Nation. With ILC’s assistance NDOJ was able to timely investigate and respond every concern submitted to the ILC and NDOJ voting hotline.” 

Thank you to all volunteers, advocates and allies for serving as Election Protectors and organizing the Native Vote power! With your help, we were able to assist voters through the hotline and in the field, ensuring that Native voters were able to cast ballots free from intimidation and without undue challenges. This year’s ILC Native Vote leadership team includes dedicated ILP Native Vote Fellows Torey Dolan (’19) and Blair Tarman-Toner (’20), student attorney leads Mallory Moore (3L) and Autumn Shone (3L), and student attorneys Chad Edwards (3L), Brittany Habbart (3L), Michael LaValley (3L), and Ruben Zendejas (3L), under the supervision of Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee.

Visiting Judge Humetewa’s courtroom

On Nov. 11, ILP students met with Honorable Judge Diane Humetewa (’93), a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, and her law clerks, including ILP alum Alexander Mallory (’19). Judge Humetewa is a member of the Hopi Tribe and became the first Native American woman to reach a federal bench in 2014. Students learned about her law school experiences, legal career and advocacy work in public service, and her commitment to building inclusion and diversity.

“She encouraged us to approach law school with a positive attitude, and to focus on the bigger picture when things get tough,” said Shandiin Hererra (1L). “This bigger picture focuses on how each of us can be impactful in Indian Country and/or be a strong advocate in spaces where Indigenous attorneys are seldom present.”

Visiting student Kelsey Haake (3L) enjoyed hearing about Judge Humetewa’s background. “While I find law school to be so exhausting and daunting at times, it was really nice to hear that even someone with so much success and an incredible career had moments in law school where they struggled,” said Haake.

During the visit, Judge Humetewa gave the students a tour of her courtroom and chambers.

Judge Humetewa welcomed open questions, genuinely listened and made their presence felt. We appreciate you, Judge Humetewa! Thank you for arranging this meeting and hosting our students.

While at the Sandra Day O’Connor U.S. Courthouse, we ran into ILP grad Zachary Cain (’00). Cain currently serves as a federal public defender.