Job Opportunity – Practicing Attorney & 3Ls

Job Description: The Gallup Office of the New Mexico Law Office of the Public Defender is hiring both practicing attorneys and 3Ls interested in a career in indigent defense. Depending on experience, the attorney would be expected to handle a wide variety of misdemeanor and/or felony cases, meeting with clients, interviewing witnesses, developing strategy, researching, briefing, and arguing motions, and conducting jury trials. Additionally, consistent with our offices belief in holistic representation, attorneys would be expected to assist our on-site case manager with the social needs of our clients, including addiction recovery, mental health, and familial relations, as they relate to our clients’ cases. Expect significant responsibility and trial experience early and often. Few public defender offices in the country can offer the sort of experience that our newer attorneys get on a regular basis.

Gallup is a small city in western New Mexico on the border of the Navajo Nation and the Zuni Pueblo. Approximately 75% of the people in the county (and therefore, our clients) are Native American. Thus, in addition to the typical slate of criminal law issues that most public defenders face, our cases often involve complex and sensitive issues of Federal Indian Law.

Located in the high desert of the Colorado Plateau, Gallup enjoys easy access to world class (and uncrowded) hiking, fishing, biking, camping, climbing, skiing, and other outdoor recreation. It is a world-renowned capital of Native American arts and culture, home of the Gallup Indian Ceremonial every year in August.

Minimum Qualifications: For practicing attorneys, being a member in good standing of any state’s bar and willing to obtain a Limited License to practice from the New Mexico Supreme Court.  For current 3Ls, a willingness to take the New Mexico Bar Exam.

To Apply: A full description of the position for practicing attorneys is available here.

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Indigenous People’s Day 2019 – Students’ Thoughts

Every year, more cities and states pass orders to formally recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day (IPD) on the second Monday of October as opposed to the federally observed Columbus Day. We asked some of our students their thoughts on this topic. These are the answers we received. Happy Indigenous Peoples’ Day!

Our 12 students who took the “Federal Advocacy for the Tribal Client” class in Washington, D.C., also shared their thoughts in an Instagram takeover. Check out our highlight @ilpatasu

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Happy #NationalVoterRegistrationDay!

Happy #NationalVoterRegistrationDay! Have you registered yet? Here’s a #throwback to when Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee and the ILC helped Agnes Laughter, a Navajo elder become a registered voter in 2008. “All of my heartache has changed as of this day,” said Laughter, who was 77 at the time. “I have an identity now. My thumbprint will stand. I feel fulfilled.” 💛 Register today to be #VoteReady

Job Opportunity – Law Clerk PT

Mille Lacs Band Tribal Court
Court of Central Jurisdiction
Onamia, MN

Closing Date: June 18, 2019

Summary:
The Law Clerk is responsible for assisting the Tribal Court judiciary with legal research, drafting of court decisions and special court development projects.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Completion of one year or more at an ABA-accredited law school, including satisfactory completion of a legal research and writing course.
  • Demonstrated interest in Tribal and Federal Indian Law.
  • Strong legal writing and research skills, including utilization of online legal research database services.
  • Ability to interpret and apply laws, analyze legal documents, derive pertinent points, and record conclusions.
  • Ability to draft legal documents so as to be understood by non-law trained individuals.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision.
  • Strict attention to detail.
  • Ability to read with speed and comprehension.
  • Ability to comprehend and record rapid speech.
  • Familiarity with the Microsoft Office Suite and proficiency in Microsoft Word.
  • Moderate touch typing ability.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality of documents, computer files and oral communications.
  • Must pass a criminal background check.
  • Must pass a pre-employment drug and alcohol test.
  • Valid driver’s license, dependable transportation and proper insurance is required.

Submit resume, cover letter, and employment application to: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Employment Coordinator 43408 Oodena Dr. Onamia, MN 56359 Fax # (320) 532-7492 e-mail to hr@millelacsband.com

Download full job description here.

ASU Navajo Nation Law CLE: Call for Presentations

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 studies.

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: ilp@asu.edu Subject: Navajo Law CLE Proposal

ILP Professors & their Tribal Ties

We are so much stronger when we know effective work is being done so close to home and our ILP faculty are truly instrumental in their work and with their tribes.

Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Pointe-au-Chien) has been advocating for her tribe to be federally recognized for years. 

Beside the 573 federally recognized tribes, Pointe-au-Chien is one of the nearly 300 who have not been permitted that status according to federal criteria. Federal recognition allows for self-government and other permits that are restricted from federally unrecognized tribes.

Ferguson-Bohnee is featured in an MSNBC video that discusses the need for tribal recognition, which Pointe-au-Chien has been pursuing for over 20 years. Watch the full video here.

In The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma: Resilience through Adversity, Professor Robert Miller (Eastern Shawnee) wrote the chapter, “Tribal, Federal, and State Laws Impacting the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, 1812 to 1945,” in which he discussed the legal and constitutional history of his tribe. 

Despite the distinct laws that separated the Eastern Shawnee Tribe into at least five separate nations in the 18th century, the Mixed Band of Senecas and Shawnees “operated under established governmental leaders, laws, governing mechanisms and traditional practices” in the early 19th century. 

While going through the history when the U.S. government began to take over, Miller notes every important legal development and act made by the tribal governments and the federal government that has been recorded.

“The Eastern Shawnee Tribe has governed itself and its people since time immemorial,” Miller said in his chapter. “The Eastern Shawnee people are citizens of three political entities: the United States, the states in which they are domiciled and the Eastern Shawnee Tribe. The Eastern Shawnee nation continues today to exercise its inherent sovereign powers and to govern its territory, its citizens and all who enter its jurisdiction.”

Professor Trevor Reed (Hopi) has conducted extensive research about his tribe’s struggle to reclaim culture from museums, archives, universities, government institutions, and more.
In his upcoming publication Reclaiming Ownership of the Indigenous Voice: The Hopi Music Repatriation Project in the Oxford Handbook of Musical Repatriation, Reed discusses his efforts to reclaim Hopi ceremonial song recordings and their associated intellectual property rights back to the Hopi Tribe.

In his repatriation work, he poses the following questions: “is repatriation best conceived through an appeal to property principles, or are there other principles of ownership and circulation on which repatriation might be more effectively based? And, if Indigenous principles should be the basis for the ownership and circulation of the archived Indigenous voice, to what extent should repatriating institutions be engaged in Indigenous “community politics” as part of their repatriation efforts?” More on this publication will be coming soon.

ILP Alumni with Concurrent Degrees

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
Marlene Jones Ray (’97) is a business manager and philanthropist.

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.

Kris Beecher (2L) is a current student pursuing his MBA and JD degrees,

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.

Native American Pipeline to Law Workshop at UC Berkeley: Still Accepting Applications

This is a great opportunity for students to learn about law school, admissions criteria, LSAT prep, and more. Registration is free, food and lodging is provided, and a limited number of LSAT Prep courses will be available for participating students. It does not matter which school the student wishes to attend: these sessions are geared to help all students. 

Date: June 26-30, 2019
Location: UC Berkeley School of Law
                 Boalt Hall, 225 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, CA 94720 (map)
For more information, visit: law.asu.edu/pipelinetolaw
Deadline: May 1, 2019
Questions? Contact Kate Rosier at 480-965-6204

Read about current law students who completed one of the Pipeline to Law Workshops and highly encourage others to register and participate. Read their stories.

April Olson (JD ’06) Lunch Lecture – Recording

Guest speaker and ILP alum, April Olson (’06) gave an insightful lecture, “A Story from the Standing Rock protest: Prosecution and defense of a water protector.”

In 2016, the fight for clean water and the indigenous led resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) caught the attention of the world. At the heart of the movement, was opposition to the DAPL, a pipeline projected to run close to the Standing Rock Reservation that threatened its clean water and sacred sites. No-DAPL demonstrators drew the ire of officials and law enforcement and numerous individuals engaging in peaceful protests were arrested and prosecuted for serious crimes in state and federal courts. This presentation talked about one of the many stories from Standing Rock and will follow the prosecution of one water protector from his arrest to his challenge before the North Dakota Supreme Court. Please see Corrected Opinion in North Dakota Supreme Court No. 20180171 (State v. Herbert) if you want to read more about the case.

To listen to recording, click here.