Free and open to the public. Food will be reserved to those who RSVP to ILP@asu.edu.
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.
|On Sept. 13, ILP hosted the Maricopa County Native American Voting Roundtable at the Beus Center for Law and Society. This event is part of the 2019-2020 Roundtable Project in which the county and the Elections Department are bringing in voter’s voices into the conversation of what needs to change in the election and voting process in underrepresented communities.
Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee kicked off the event and started the discussion by asking questions on what needs to be changed and how those changes be implemented to improve access to voting from Native American voters.
Several students, staff and faculty attended the event, including Professor Ferguson-Bohnee, ILC Program Coordinator Bari Barnes, Torey Dolan (’19), Brian Garcia (2L) and Hilary Edwards (1L). Edwards commented on her experience at the roundtable.
“We are participating in shaping the future of our communities by voting,” Edwards said. “I was intrigued by the purpose of the roundtable project, which is to keep an open line of communication between protected groups, underrepresented communities and the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office. It’s incredible that the MCRO has created a space to be with these various groups of people to ensure that they have a clear understanding of the changes that ultimately impact them.”
Barnes helped coordinate the roundtable, “I think these meetings are important because it’s a forum that provides communities direct access to those who shape the process for fair and equitable elections; at the same time it’s an opportunity for those governing the process to meet the folks they represent.”
NITA Motion Skills for Navajo Tribal Courts
October 1-3, 2019
Navajo Nation Museum
Window Rock, Navajo Nation
Free to All Members of the Navajo Nation Bar Association
This three-day program is designed to help you improve your courtroom motion practice skills, and is open to all practitioners barred on the Navajo Nation. With an emphasis on “learning by doing,” the first two days will focus on writing a motion based on provided case materials. The third day will focus on arguing that motion. Faculty members will discuss best practices for motion drafting, work with participants to refine their motions, and demonstrate oral argument skills. Through small group exercises, you will practice implementing these skills and receive suggestions for improvement on both your written product and oral presentation. Space is limited so please register early. Participants are expected to attend all three days. Participants who successfully complete the program may be eligible for Navajo CLE credits. The program is free to all Navajo barred practitioners.
To register please email your name and Navajo bar number to: email@example.com
For more information on NITA please visit:
Download announcement here.
What was it like to start law school?
Your professors were once law students too! We asked our Indian Legal Program faculty and staff what it was like to be a law student in their time, and our faculty responded with a variety of experiences.
Upcoming FREE 3-day Criminal Trial Advocacy Training next month!
An interactive trial seminar designed to give the attendee hands on, practical experience in the prosecution and defense of an opioid case.
For details, click here.
The Indian Legal Program at ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is proud to host the 2019 Navajo Nation Law CLE Conference on Friday, October 25, 2019.
The Navajo Nation Law CLE
Conference will offer a one day survey of Navajo law and ethics. This
conference is ideal training for attorneys practicing on and near the Navajo
Nation, tribal court advocates, tribal court practitioners, tribal court
prosecutors, tribal court defenders, tribal council members, Indian law
attorneys, tribal liaisons, government legislators, Navajo Nation Bar members,
law students, as well as teachers/professors and students of American Indian
The Conference Planning Committee welcomes proposals for 30-minute, 60-minute or 90-minute conference presentations or panel discussions. To submit a presentation proposal, please send the following information by June 17, 2019:
- Presenter(s) name, title, contact information, bio
- Title of the proposed presentation
- A brief (one paragraph) description of the presentation, how the presentation relates to Navajo Law, and a description of the presentation format (example: lecture with Q&A, panel discussion, etc.)
- A brief description of what will be or could be distributed to attendees as materials
- A two-sentence summary of the presentation for the conference program, if accepted
- Length of presentation
- Would this session qualify for Navajo Ethics?
Participants will be notified of
their selection by July 22, 2019.
Please submit your abstract
here: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject:
Navajo Law CLE Proposal
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Closing: 5/17/19 11:59 PM
Participates and as required, may preside over criminal, civil and juvenile appeal hearings as part of the SRPMIC Appellate Court. Responsible for the 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 Associate Justice is appointed by the Council.
Examples for Tasks:
1. The Associate Justice will sit on an appeals panel to hear cases brought before the Appellate Court. Facilitates and ensures all applicable rules of evidence and other judicial requirements are followed by all parties involved in the tribal court’s decision.
2. As required, monitors timelines for filings of briefs, motions and/or other steps and processes within the Appellate process. Schedules briefings and determines compliance to timelines and time frames of all court procedures.3. Grants or denies requests for extensions, issues an Opinion, Memorandum or Order within established timeframes.
4. Reviews processes, procedures, rulings and other activities including verdicts/final judgments from the trial court along with requests for non-final orders or judgments. Reviews record on appeal as prepared by trial court clerk.5. Reviews briefs, memoranda and other submitted documents to evaluate and determine if applicable rules of evidence and other judicial requirements were followed by all parties involved in the tribal court’s decision.
6. May issue ancillary orders and approve/disapprove Amicus Curiae briefs requested to be filed.7. Performs other job related duties as assigned to maintain and enhance Community Appellate Court operations.
Education & Experience: The applicant shall meet all the qualifications as set for in Chapter 4, Article 2, 4-32 (2) (a), (b), (d), (e), (h), (i) and (k), as well as Section 4-88(2) of the SRPMIC Code of Ordinances as amended. Such qualifications include:
1. Must be thirty (30) years of age or older;
2. Possessing a two (2) year degree (Associate of Arts, certificate, etc.) or higher preferably in a law related field (e.g., law degree, criminal justice, administration of justice, police science, paralegal) OR having at least three (3) years consecutive bench experience within the past five (5) years of appointment to the bench;3. Must have at least five (5) years of judicial or law-related experience;
4. Preference will be given to candidates who are members of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Gila River Indian Community, the Ak-Chin Indian Community or the Tohono O’odham Nation, or other federal recognized tribe.
5. Preference will also be given to candidate with prior tribal court judicial experience.6. Having never been convicted of a felony in any jurisdiction, and having not been convicted of a misdemeanor within five (5) years of the date of the judicial application filed with the SRPMIC Council. A misdemeanor shall be conviction of the type of behavior proscribed in Chapters 6 and 10 and 16-231 through 16-236 of Chapter 16 (Dealing with DWI and Reckless Driving) of the SRPMIC’s Code of Ordinances, whether committed on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community or in another jurisdiction;
7. Be of good moral character, and in determining character, the SRPMIC Council shall consider, among other things, the laws, customs and traditions of the SRPMIC;8. Familiar with the customs and traditions of the Akimel O’odham and Xalychidom Piipaash people and how those customs and traditions can be applied to the matters pending before the Community Court;
9. Serving a one (1) year probationary period;10. Having never been removed for good cause from a judge position in any jurisdiction;
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.
“SRPMIC is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer” Preference will be given to a qualified Community Member, then a qualified Native American and then other qualified candidate.
In order to obtain consideration for Community member/Native American preference, applicant must submit a copy of Tribal Enrollment card or CIB which indicates enrollment in a Federally Recognized Native American Tribe by one of the following methods:1) attach to application2) fax (480) 362-58603) mail or hand deliver to Human Resources.
Applications may be filed online at: http://www.srpmic-nsn.gov/employment
To download full job description, click here.
AApplications are being accepted for a vacancy on Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals created by the appointment of Judge James P. Beene to the Arizona Supreme Court.
The Commission on Appellate Court Appointments will review applications, interview selected applicants, and recommend at least three nominees for the vacancy to Governor Doug Ducey, who will appoint the new judge.
The most current judicial application form (revised January 2017) can be downloaded at the Judicial Department website: www.azcourts.gov/jnc. Applications may also be obtained from the Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources Department, 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, by calling (602) 452-3311, or by sending an electronic mail request to email@example.com.
Applicants must be of good moral character and admitted to the practice of law in, and a resident of the state of Arizona for the past five years, and a resident of Maricopa County for the past three years.
A signed original application with all attachments, and a searchable .pdf version of the application and attachments must be submitted to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Human Resources Department, 1501 W. Washington, Suite 221, Phoenix, AZ, 85007, by 3:00 p.m. on May 31, 2019.
Eligible applicants who wish to be considered for this vacancy and the vacancy on the Arizona Supreme Court DO NOT need to submit two separate applications.
The Commission may, at its discretion, use the applications filed for this vacancy to nominate candidates for any additional vacancies known to the Commission before the screening meeting for this vacancy is held.
All meetings of the Commission on Appellate Court Appointments are open to the public. Meeting dates will be announced.
The new judge will be paid $154,533.75 annually.
Law school is tough enough, why pursue joint degrees? Will this serve Indian Country? Again, we asked our alumni.
- Robert A. Rosette (’96), Partner and founder of Rosette, LLP
- Marlene Ray (’97), business manager and philanthropist
- Perry Riggs (’98), Deputy Executive Director, Navajo Nation Washington Office
- Theresa Rosier (’98), Deputy General Counsel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
- Verrin Kewenvoyouma (’04), attorney, business advisor, and owner of Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC
- Courtney Monteiro (’06), Senior Vice President, Sovereign Finance, LLC
- Bartley Harris (’08), Attorney, Four Rivers Indian Legal Services
- Kris Beecher (2L), student and Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Navajo Housing Authority
What is your current occupation and how long have you held that position?
Theresa Rosier: Deputy General Counsel, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Marlene Ray: Currently, along with managing two family businesses, my focus has been on philanthropy and volunteering which has included tutoring/mentoring Native American high school students and managing the Ray Jones Scholarship Fund benefiting California Indians pursuing postsecondary higher education. It is a great honor and privilege to be able to encourage and assist young Native people pursuing higher education either in college or trade, planting seeds for generation after generation benefiting their families, their communities and all Native peoples.
Verrin Kewenvoyouma: I am an attorney, business advisor, and owner of Kewenvoyouma Law, PLLC. We are a boutique law firm which provides legal and business counsel to Indian tribes and their enterprises, primarily in the areas of corporate transactions. I have been the sole and managing partner of our firm for nine years. Prior to that, I briefly worked for another boutique law firm, KPMG, and a large national bank doing commercial finance.
Kris Beecher: I am currently a JD/MBA law student starting my last year of law school in the fall of 2019. Additionally, I also serve as Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Navajo Housing Authority, a position I have held since July 2017.
How have your concurrent MBA and JD degrees affected your career? Do you wish you had chosen a different field?
Theresa Rosier: The dual JD/MBA degree was an extremely helpful degree to obtain prior to starting my career. The additional exposure that I had at the WP Carey School of Business has helped me in the following ways: 1) I am very comfortable with public speaking, and I always credit that the my MBA training, 2) I work in the area of Indian economic development, and the MBA helps me work through the business side of the transactions, even though I am acting in an attorney capacity, and 3) the MBA program’s emphasis on team work has helped me shepherd large projects and manage staff in an effective manner.
Marlene Ray: As the first member of my Tribe (Table Mountain Rancheria) to graduate from college (Stanford University) and then to pursue a professional degree, I decided to pursue a joint JD/MBA degree because of the legal issues and business interests that Tribes encounter and knowing in some way I would be representing and advocating for Native peoples or businesses in my career and personal life. At the time, I thought a business degree would complement and enhance my participation in the Indian Legal Program and my interest in environmental and natural resources law, a decision that was proven true for me.
After graduation from law school, I returned to Alaska to work on an environmental case in the legal department at BP Exploration (Alaska), a company I had worked for during college summers. My focus in law school in environmental and natural resources law were a great foundation for my work and interests in Alaska. From Alaska, I moved to Portland, Oregon, to pursue an L.L.M. in Environmental and Natural Resources Law at Lewis and Clark Law School. Although I did not finish the program, I gained greater knowledge of the natural resources issues facing Tribes in the northwest as well as a new perspective on the economic, historical and legal context of Tribes in the northwest. Upon returning to California, I was elected onto my Tribe’s board of directors at our casino, an experience that engaged the knowledge I had garnered from law school and business school as well as my previous work.
Verrin Kewenvoyouma: While law school and experience can train you to become a good lawyer, neither legal experience nor law school train you to be a good business person. My MBA has been instrumental for me to not only manage my own firm, but to provide fully competent business advice to my clients. My joint degrees have paid off ten-fold: I have been able to raise my family (and extended family), doing the job I love, and now have opportunities to create opportunity within my own community and the communities within which I work. In short, my own career has been a means to an ends to create opportunity not only for myself, but to empower others as well. When you combine business and legal experience it is not zero sum game: you will find ways to create value for your clients and the people with whom they do business.
Kris Beecher: While working on these degrees I have had the benefit of taking certain aspects of what I have learned in both disciplines and applying them in near real-time to my duties as a commissioner. I do not believe that I could have picked a better match as far as my education and the direction of my career.
In what ways do you use your knowledge of law in your career and everyday life?
Theresa Rosier: I am an attorney and work with the law every day. I often say, that I am professional problem solver. Most of my day is working across the table with experts from various fields who all are working towards a common goal/result. We have to work together to get that project or goal done for the client.
Marlene Ray: Throughout the years, all of my professional and personal experiences have in some way been enriched and informed by the degrees I earned at Stanford University, ASU Law and ASU W.P. Carey School of Business as well as by the people, mentors, classmates and colleagues I’ve met as a result of attending college, law school and business school. As I mentor young Native students either getting ready to begin college or considering a post-graduate degree, I encourage them to consider their vast array of options, research different programs and schools, talk with current students in the program or school they’re considering, visit the program in action, figure out a budget, know there are people and resources to help them, and most importantly, to believe in themselves that their heart’s desire is important, worthy and possible.
Verrin Kewenvoyouma: A wise lawyer once told me, “you can not become a good business and transaction lawyer unless you’ve done some litigation in those areas as well.” Even in scenarios where all parties have the best of intentions, as lawyers, we are trained to see the world in the most challenging ways and draft to those situations. Indeed, in litigation contract matters I have seen those situations come to life. While we can’t move through the world walking on egg shells, I’ve found that no matter the scenario, business, law, or otherwise, if you approach a situation recognizing all foreseeable options, very importantly, the solutions as well, you’ll be well prepared for anything. In short, think of all the challenges and benefits of your decisions, and be prepared.
Kris Beecher: Whether I am working on projects as a commissioner or advocating for issues that I care about, my knowledge of the law informs my decisions and the way I approach potential situations. With a background in both business and law, I have a much broader range of understanding of why and how people and businesses make the decisions they do.
Would you recommend a law degree or concurrent degrees to prospective students? What would you say to a student considering earning these degrees?
Theresa Rosier: I ask people what they really want to do, if they tell me that they want to be a prosecutor, litigator, tax attorney, etc., then, I recommend that they only attend the law school. If people talk about promoting business in underserved communities, working with non-profits, or they are more open minded in their professional goals, I recommend that they explore either the joint degree or the MBA degree (without the legal degree). The MBA program at ASU is fantastic, and can open so many doors to people. If you want to be a litigator, the MBA program doesn’t add a lot of value. If you want to work in an in-house setting or in the commercial transaction setting, the MBA is extremely helpful.M
Verrin Kewenvoyouma: I highly recommend the joint JD and MBA program for anyone who may be pursuing a career in business, business law, or seeks to manage a firm. While I can attach a price tag to the one extra year I spent in grad school to earn my MBA, the value has been immeasurable and continues to pay off. I would also be happy to speak to any student who may be considering these degrees.
Kris Beecher: I would absolutely recommend any prospective JD student to consider any of the concurrent degrees available at their school. A great way to set yourself apart from the rest of the law students you will be graduating with is earning a concurrent degree. Having a broader background of education would only be an asset moving forward.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Verrin Kewenvoyouma: Much of law school is structured on the individual, and that make sense: you are the only one who has to take the LSAT and pass the bar exam. The analytical skills you learn have to be developed on an individual basis. However, in business school, much like life and in a law practice, there is definitely much more comradery and team orientated projects. You quickly learn how to leverage your own strengths and weaknesses to work with other people for the best outcome of your collective colleagues and clients. I think the experience of both programs creates a good contrast of what you should experience in life after school and in practice. Along those lines, the relationships I made in both programs, and especially in the ILP, I still value very much today. On a daily basis I work with folks who were graduates of the program, and today, in fact, I’ve spoken to no less than four ASU ILP grads on varying matters.
Kris Beecher: If I could go back and do it all over again, I would make the exact same decision to pursue a JD/MBA. In fact, I would probably advocate harder for more of my colleagues in law school to pursue the MBA component.