ILC: 2022 Year in Review

This year, Professor Helen E. Burtis (’07) helmed the Indian Legal Clinic while Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee  sharpened her focus on other projects on sabbatical. During the academic year, eleven student attorneys worked over 3600 hours handling 22 cases covering a variety of subjects and venues, including tribal, state, and federal courts. Some of the accomplishments that students realized on behalf of their clients included assisting an elder to officially enroll in her tribe after a lifetime of paperwork complications, creating bylaws for a nonprofit funding youth in the arts, and successfully starting or concluding several appointments of personal representatives in probate cases. Students also researched and recommended options to protect tribal land, to recover expenses for services not performed, and to recover debts. 

This was the first year students were able to appear in tribal courts for criminal cases since the start of the pandemic. While still not at full capacity, seven student attorneys made appearances in tribal courts for both prosecution and defense. For many students, this was their first appearance in court. 

The ILC also expanded services for Indian Wills Clinics, forging new partnerships with two tribes while continuing two existing partnerships. In September 2021, 3L student attorneys Jacob Broussard, Liliana Elliot, Lindsay Ficklin, Zaine Ristau and Dwight Witherspoon and Professor Burtis traveled to Winterhaven, California for the third Wills Clinic for the Quechan Indian Tribe and in October, the same team also provided the third Wills Clinic for the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians in Temecula, California. 

In February 2022, clinic students Gwendolyn Bell (2L), Ryan Maxey (2L), Lena Neuner (2L), Claire Newfeld (2L), Ravynn Nothstine (2L) and David Streamer (3L) and Professor Burtis traveled to Santa Rosa Rancheria, California for the first Wills Clinic for the Tachi Yokut Tribe

In March, this team remotely provided another first Wills Clinic from ASU Law to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in Connecticut. 

Overall, student attorneys created estate planning documents including wills, healthcare powers of attorney, and financial powers of attorney for 45 tribal clients during these Wills Clinics.

The ILC Team, including Native Vote Fellows Torey Dolan (’19) and Blair Tarman-Toner (’21) and Professor Ferguson-Bohnee, continues to work with tribes to protect tribal land and resources, uphold tribal sovereignty, advocate for cultural protections, support voting rights, and assist with status clarification of Tribes. Notably, Ferguson-Bohnee successfully argued and won a case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that found “intratribal disputes are generally nonjusticiable in federal courts.”

Tarman-Toner presented to the National Congress of American Indians’ Federal Recognition Task Force. Her presentation provided updates on Tribes seeking to gain federal recognition through legislative, judicial, and administrative avenues. 

____
Honore Callingham (’18)
Law Fellow, Indian Legal Clinic, ASU Law

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator Sr, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Deadline Extended – Call for articles: Special Indian Law Edition of the Arizona Attorney 2022

Deadline for 1-2 Paragraph Article Proposals: February 7, 2022

Deadline for Article Drafts: March 18, 2022

The Indian Law Section has extended the deadline for article proposals to be included in the 2022 special Indian Law edition of the Arizona Attorney magazine. Proposals should focus on an issue of interest to those who practice Indian Law. Publication in the Indian Law Edition of the Arizona Attorney magazine is a wonderful opportunity for Indian legal practitioners to showcase their expertise in the field of Indian law.  The Indian Law Section relies on you to contribute articles in order to preserve this outstanding tradition.

Past articles from the 2021 Indian Law edition were:
A View from Tribal Court: Tips for Best Practices
By M. June Harris

Thawing the Freeze: COVID-19’s Effect on the Former Bennett Freeze Area of the Navajo Nation
By Susan I. Eastman

The Words of the Talking God: Sustaining Native Nations Through the Common Law
By Joseph Austin

An Opportunity Arises: Prop. 207 and Arizona Tribes’ New Beginnings for Marijuana Legislation
By Judith Dworkin, Joe Keene, and Candace French

Epidemic Hiding in Plain Sight
By Susan Filan

Spectrum Sovereignty: The U.S. Must Recognize Indigenous Rights to Spectrum
By Darrah Blackwater

Arizona–Tribal 2021 Gaming Compact Amendments: What You Need to Know
By Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier and Ed Hermes

Bent But Not Broken – ICWA Stands: A Summary of “Brackeen v. Haaland”
By Glennas’ba Augborne Arents and April E. Olson

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 February 11, 2022.  The draft of the article for a selected proposal will be due on March 18, 2022.  Final drafts of selected articles are due by April 25, 2022.

If you would like to submit a proposal or if you have questions, please contact:

Glennas’ba Augborne Arents, Secretary, Indian Law Section
gaugborne@rothsteinlaw.com

Or

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

Success at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for the Indian Legal Clinic

The Indian Legal Clinic represented the appellants in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Case no. 21-35230, Newtok Village v. Andy Patrick) in an appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Alaska that involved defending tribal sovereignty from unlawful intrusion by federal courts.

On behalf of their clients, the clinic appealed an adverse permanent injunction issued by the District Court of Alaska and argued that tribal sovereignty to resolve intratribal disputes prevents federal courts from intervening on such matters and that the District Court of Alaska lacked jurisdiction. On December 22, 2021, the Ninth Circuit unanimously agreed with the appellants’ arguments and vacated the district court’s orders. Judge Richard C. Tallman wrote the opinion, concluding, “Continuing to enforce the permanent injunction here risks the federal court’s impermissible involvement in interpreting the Tribe’s constitution and laws.” 

Indian Legal Clinic Director Patty Ferguson-Bohnee argued the case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on November 9, 2021. Watch the recording of the oral argument. Vinnie Amato (3L) assisted with research. Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) and Jens Camp (’21) assisted in drafting the briefs before the Ninth Circuit. Dolan provided notes for the oral argument preparation, and Native Vote Fellow Blair Tarman-Toner (’21) and Dolan assisted in preparing and refining Ferguson-Bohnee’s oral argument. The ILC collaborated with co-counsel James J. Davis, Jr. of the Northern Justice Project LLC in Anchorage, Alaska.

ILP Family legacy

Native American Heritage Month

ASU's Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) president and 2L Ashleigh Fixico (Muscogee Creek Nation) rocking her mocs

As a team representing 10 tribes at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the Indian Legal Program aims to educate and celebrate on the ancestral lands of the Akimel O’odham. The program was established 33 years ago by the efforts of two ASU Law students – Gloria Kindig (’89) and LynDee Wells (’89). Over the years, we have excelled and built on that vision and created the Indian Legal Clinic, the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project, the Indian Wills Clinic, the Pathway to Law Initiative, the Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program, and the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs.

  • Kate Rosier (Comanche), ILP Executive Director and Assistant Dean of Institutional Progress
  • Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Pointe-au-Chien), ILP Faculty Director and Indian Legal Clinic Director
  • Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee), Willard H. Pedrick Distinguished Research Scholar and Director of the Rosette LLP American Indian Economic Development Program
  • Professor Stacy Leeds (Cherokee), Foundation Professor of Law and Leadership
  • Professor Trevor Reed (Hopi), Associate Professor of Law
  • Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (’94) (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Professor of Practice and Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs
  • Professor Derrick Beetso (’10) (Navajo), Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs
  • Professor Helen Burtis (’07), Faculty Associate
  • Professor Lance Morgan (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska), Faculty Associate
  • Professor Pilar Thomas (Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Arizona), Faculty Associate
  • Danielle Williams (Navajo), Program Coordinator Sr
  • Theresa Beaulieu (Stockbridge-Munsee), Program Coordinator
  • Honore Callingham (’18), Senior Specialist, Indian Legal Clinic
  • Torey Dolan (’19) (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Native Vote Policy Fellow, Indian Legal Clinic
  • Blair Tarman (’21) (Chickasaw), Native Vote Policy Fellow, Indian Legal Clinic

In addition to the JD program, we also offer a Master of Laws (LLM) program and Master of Legal Studies (MLS) program. 

We’ve expanded our presence in Nebraska, California and Washington, D.C. We are a growing network because law is a growing field. Over 375 ILP students have graduated from ASU Law and over 150 received a certificate in Indian Law. 

Today, we are proud to have 72 students representing 36 tribes: 44 JD, 1 LLM and 27 MLS. 

To our entire ILP family: Happy Native American Heritage Month!

Celebrating NALSA

Twelve ASU Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) students received the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ) Scholarship for their academic achievement at the “NABA-AZ Seven Generations Virtual Awards Event and Silent Auction.” Congratulations to all the recipients, especially our ILP students: Hilary Edwards (3L), Dallon Echo Hawk (3L), Brittany Habbart (2L), Michael LaValley (2L), Victorialyn McCarthy (1L), Brianna Minjarez (3L), Cierra Moore (3L), Lena Neuner (2L), Taylor Norman (2L), Autumn Shone (2L), Alexandra Trousdale (1L) and Ruben Zendejas (2L). 

“NABA-AZ is proud to support these talented law students,” said NABA-AZ President and ILP Executive Director Kate Rosier. “The future is bright!”

We appreciate the committed support of NABA-AZ.

ILP serving on the NABA-AZ Board

The Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ) recently announced its 2021-2022 board of directors. Congratulations to this year’s ILP leadership: ILP Executive Director Kate Rosier, president; Meredith Gaylord (’19), president-elect; Bartley Harris (’08), treasurer; and Professor Pilar Thomas, secretary. Other ASU ILP board members include Jason Croxton (’10), ILP Faculty Director Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Simon Goldenberg (’17), Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04) and Kevin Pooley (’15). 

We appreciate ILP representation on the board!

____

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator Sr, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Indian Law Representation

In the Arizona Attorney Magazine

In the recent edition of the Arizona Attorney Magazine, you’ll see the Special Focus on Indian Law that includes publications by our ILP family.

ILP advisory council member Judith M. Dworkin, Joe Keene (’12) and Candace French (’17) published an article “An Opportunity Arises: Prop 207 and Arizona Tribes’ New Beginnings for Marijuana Legalization.” 

Ed Hermes (’13) co-authored an article “Arizona—Tribal 2021 Gaming Compact Amendments: What you need to know” with Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier.

Glennas’ba Augborne (’16) and April Olson (’06) published an article “Bent, But Not Broken—ICWA Stands: A Summary of Brackeen v. Haaland.”

Simon Goldenberg (’17) and Hermes joined the Bar Leadership Institute of the State Bar of Arizona Bar.

In this collection, our ILP family, who reflect on history and what our ancestors endured, have a stronghold of treating knowledge as a community endeavor, something to be protected and shaped by Indian legal advocacy work. We are proud of the goodwill work that they produce and their committed service to Indian Country.

____

Danielle Williams
Program Coordinator Sr, Indian Legal Program, ASU Law

Impacting the next gen

This past semester ILP Executive Director and Assistant Dean of Institutional Progress Kate Rosier and Assistant Dean Ray English of ASU Law’s Office of Career and Employment Service joined forces to co-teach an undergraduate course LAW 394: Law School Foundations. The course was created to provide students with the opportunity to explore and develop the skills necessary to apply to law school and succeed in law school. This diverse roster took part in an intensive LSAT preparation course, and students learned about the law school application process and application strategies. They were also given the opportunity to network with law school administrators, law students, lawyers and judges. 

“I feel like the course provided students with a great foundation upon which to develop their critical thinking skills and to pursue admission into law school,” said English. “My favorite memories surround oral arguments. Students did amazingly well, considering many had never made an oral argument before.”

Over the course of the semester, the students were exposed to legal constructions of the courts in the United States and Arizona, including the function of courts and judges. Students participated in legal analysis exercises, draft legal memorandums and made oral arguments.

“It was a rewarding experience to work with talented and motivated students in the class,” said Rosier. “It was fun to demystify the law school admissions process and direct them with helpful tips.”

The course was initially designed to be in-person but due to a global pandemic, Rosier and English quickly took action and reworked the course to meet the needs of the students. By the end of the semester, they realized the course exceeded their expectations. “Kate and I make a great team! I am looking forward to working with her to improve the course.”

“I think the biggest accomplishment is that all of the students attended every session, even though I made everyone turn on their cameras,” he said. By the end of the semester, two students secured summer internships with Honorable David B. Gass of the Arizona Court of Appeals, Division One.

This course was based on the course previously taught by Jeremiah Chin (’15) and Dr. Bryan Brayboy. We appreciate their great work and forward thinking.    

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