Pipeline to Law Online Sessions – First Ever

The Indian Legal Program (“ILP”) and our partner schools University of California, Berkeley School of Law’s Admissions Office, and Michigan State University College of Law’s Indigenous Law and Policy Center joined with the Pre-Law Summer Institute, and Testmasters to put on the 7th Annual Native American Pathway to law program.

The Native American Pathway to Law Initiative Pre-Law Workshops was created in response to the National Native American Bar Association’s 2015 survey, “The Pursuit of Inclusion: An In-Depth Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Native American Attorneys in the Legal Profession.” The survey identified several obstacles Native students face when applying to law school and the Pathway program helps to try solve some of those problems through pre-law advising, testing assistance and mentorship. NNABA help us secure the original funding for the Pathway program and funds to support students with LSAT prep courses. 

The Pathway to Law program is very unique because the staff from three law schools work together, in a non-recruitment environment, to help students create stronger applications and select the best schools for them. The national team of admissions professionals lead the participants through sessions on the admissions timeline, personal statements, school selection, LSAT preparation, and financial aid. The students experienced a mock class taught by Professor Matthew Fletcher from MSU Law, and students were were provided the opportunity to interact with several law school deans. The team also facilitated a student panel and an attorney panel so pipeline participants could ask questions learn about different areas of the profession. 

This year’s program was held virtually over the course of 6 weeks via Zoom and supported by the Slack application. 37 students from 23 tribes and 17 states participated in our virtual program. These students’ age range from 21 to 59 and there were 29 women and 11 men. 

When asked why ASU ILP would help students get admitted to law schools other than ASU, Kate Rosier stated, “The ILP wants to support ALL Native students no matter where they decide to go to law school. The legal profession needs more Native American attorneys and the ILP wants to help make that happen. Some students may need to be close to home or have different dream schools. We are just happy to support them on their journey and hope they do great things for Indian Country.” 

If you would like to support this program, please consider a gift to the ILP c/o the Pipeline to Law program. Your gifts help purchase LSAT prep courses for students that range from $500 – $1,500 and allow us to put on more programs. Make your gift here.

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First Annual Trends in Indian Gaming Conference a Virtual Success

The Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs hosted its first annual “Trends in Indian Gaming” webinar on July 15-16.  Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Executive Director Larry Roberts welcomed a national audience of nearly 300 attorneys, students, professionals and thought leaders convening to discuss evolving Indian gaming issues.  Dean Douglas Sylvester opened the virtual conference acknowledging that ASU sits on the traditional homelands of tribal Nations. He shared ASU Law’s longstanding and enduring commitment to tribal nations and how the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs are the latest reflection of that commitment. Special Guest Ernie Stevens, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), shared NIGA’s enthusiastic support of ASU’s new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance focused degree programs and provided an overview of how tribes are again leaders in gaming during these difficult times.

The virtual conference opened with a panel focused on how tribes across the country were balancing covid-19 and reopening, which was moderated by Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Director of ASU’s Indian Legal Clinic and Clinical Professor of Law. Mohegan Tribe Vice Chairwoman Sarah Harris shared details of the Tribe’s reopening as well as its work with Federal and State officials to address the pandemic and reopening. Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community’s General Counsel William Hardacker provided an overview of how the Midwest Tribe navigated legal issues brought about by the pandemic and how the facility was operating in this changed environment. Providing a west coast perspective, Dan Little, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ Chief Intergovernmental Affairs and Tribal Affairs representative, shared the Tribe’s forward-leaning efforts to provide a safe entertainment environment and how the Tribe’s leadership in this area was acknowledged as the gold standard for reopening gaming facilities.

Day 1 of the virtual conference closed with a spirited overview of the latest developments concerning Indian gaming compacts.  Moderated by Morongo Band of Mission Indians’ General Counsel Kimberly Cluff, ASU Law alumni Brad Bledsoe Downes (’94) and Scott Crowell (’84) provided their views on the current state of play in Arizona and California regarding tribal gaming compacts.  Iowa Law Dean Kevin Washburn shared his insights from his time serving as Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs and the current state of litigation with the Oklahoma Governor and Indian tribes in Oklahoma. Attorney Andrew Caulum, who focuses on tribal gaming issues for the Solicitor’s Office in the Department of Interior, provided a timely overview of how the Department processes its review of tribal-state gaming compacts.

Participants for Day 2 of the virtual conference were welcomed by ASU Law alum Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (’94), Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs. Special guest ASU alum A. Gay Kingman, Executive Director of the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Association extended a warm welcome to the attendees and shared her support for ASU Law’s new programs.  She noted ASU’s long-standing commitment to serving the educational needs of tribal nations and tribal citizens.  Day 2 opened with a panel moderated by Burton Warrington, Indian Ave. Group, focused on the latest trends in online gaming. Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians’ General Counsel and ASU Law alum Steve Bodmer (’06) provided an update on the latest developments in California and the complexities moving forward.  NIGA Executive Director Jason Giles provided a national perspective of how tribes are approaching online gaming with the Congress. Bay Mills Indian Community Chairman Bryan Newland shared how the tribes in Michigan have worked with the State to offer online gaming under existing tribal-state compacts and to offer off-reservation online gaming under state law. Rion Ramirez, CEO, Port Madison Enterprises provided an update on how tribes in the pacific northwest are approaching online gaming and potential future hurdles. 

The virtual conference closed with a panel providing updates on actions by the Trump Administration impacting tribal nations, moderated by David Mullon, Partner, Venable LLP. Two ASU Law alumni, Charlie Galbraith (’06), Partner at Jenner & Block, and National Congress of American Indians’ General Counsel Derrick Beetso (’10), shared their insights regarding Interior and White House actions concerning tribal interests. National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) Chairman Sequoyah Simermeyer provided an update on NIGC’s efforts to assist tribal gaming operations during covid.  Department of the Interior Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs Kyle Scherer provided an overview of litigation in which the Trump Administration supported tribes, including defending the Indian Child Welfare Act. 

We extend special thanks to the National Indian Gaming Association, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community for their sponsorship of this inaugural event. These sessions will be posted in the coming weeks on ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance website – we hope you enjoy the content.

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McGirt Webinar Recording – Now available!

Did you miss our recent webinar? Recording of ” “The most significant Indian Law case of the century: McGirt v. Oklahoma” is available here

  • Professor Larry Roberts (Oneida) – Moderator, Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Program and Professor of Practice at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Stacy Leeds (Cherokee) – Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas 
  • Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee) – Faculty Director, Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program and Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law 
  • Jonodev Chaudhuri (Muscogee Creek Nation) – Ambassador, Muscogee Creek Nation, Partner, Quarles & Brady 
  • Derrick Beetso (’10) (Navajo) – General Counsel, National Congress of American Indian
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ILP & NALSA Virtual Graduation Ceremony – Today!

The ILP would like to invite the #ILPFamily to join us in celebrating the graduation of this year’s ILP students. Our virtual ceremony will be broadcast live via YouTube Premiere on  May 13 at 1:30 p.m. (MST) 

If you are unable to join us at that time, you may watch the video at a later time on the premiere page.

Set your reminders, post your congratulatory messages, live chat and tune in to watch our students graduate! 

Tune in at: law.asu.edu/ilpgrad2020

Promoting Excellence in Diversity

On Feb. 15, Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee was honored as one of five recipients of the American Bar Association’s 2020 Spirit of Excellence award in Austin, Texas. This title is awarded annually to legal professionals that demonstrate excellence and commitment to diversity in law. We are so proud that she is a part of our program, and we are grateful to the ILP alumni and friends who came to support her achievement. Congratulations! 

“I realize that the opportunities I’ve had resulted from the work and sacrifice of a lot of people who fought for those opportunities. That’s why I spend a lot of time giving back to my tribe and serving my tribe in a pro bono capacity. I think it’s awesome because I feel that when I do things, I’m not just representing myself, but I am also representing my family, my tribe and where I come from.” 

Read more here or here

ILP Alumni & Friends Reception & Awards Ceremony

On April 6, we invite you to join the Indian Legal Program faculty, staff, and students for a reception and award ceremony at the Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference. Meet the new students, learn what activities we have coming up and visit with friends and colleagues.

RSVP to ilp@asu.edu by March 30.

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Indian Law 101 – Jan. 29

Wednesday, January 29
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ak-Chin Indian Community Conference Center, Room 544
Beus Center for Law and Society, Phoenix, AZ

The new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs will host a conference on the fundamentals of Indian Law.

Topics covered:

  • History of Federal Indian Law and Policy
  • Overview of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Fundamentals of Tribal Self-Governance
  • Fundamentals of Indian Gaming

Presenters:

  • Professor Robert J. Miller
  • Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes
  • Professor Lawrence S. Roberts
  • Executive Director Jay Spaan, Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE) Tribal Consortium

Register now and receive complimentary conference materials.

Standard Registration rate of $250 ends 1/23

Register at: law.asu.edu/indianlaw101

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Wiring the Rez 2020 – Native Women and Indian Country driven work

We bring you Assistant Secretary at the Indian Affairs U.S. Department of Interior Tara Sweeney, member of the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slopes and Kimberly Teehee, Cherokee Nation Delegate-Designate, U.S. House of Representatives will be one of our keynote speakers at our upcoming Wiring the Rez: Innovative Strategies for Business Development Via E-Commerce Conference January 30-31, 2020.

See all our impactful presenters and current agenda at: law.asu.edu/wiringtherez.

Register before Standard Registration rate ends next week! 

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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