ILP Alumni with Concurrent Degrees: Part 2

In an earlier post, we talked to some of our alumni with concurrent degrees. Again, we reached out to our alumni to ask them why they chose to pursue concurrent degrees and how it has affected their career after graduation. Below are the responses from Perry Riggs (’98) and Courtney Monteiro (’06). You can read our first installment on our blog here.

  • 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? 

Perry Riggs: I am currently the Deputy Executive Director of the Navajo Nation Washington Office. I’ve held this position for almost three years, but I have worked for this office for about five years.

Courtney Monteiro: I am the Senior Vice President of Sovereign Finance. I helped start the company in August 2008 and have been with the company ever since. Prior life was as an Investment Banker at JPMorgan Securities.

How have your concurrent MBA and JD degrees affected your career? Do you wish you had chosen a different field? 

Perry Riggs: I think having both degrees has made me more marketable in the early stages of my career. Having an MBA has also helped me do my job as an attorney. I have been a licensed attorney for almost 20 years now and about 18 of those years has been spent within tribal government. Nowadays, Indian tribes are doing so many different things, especially economically, that you now have to know things from a business perspective. As an attorney, I have been involved in finance, investments, commercial transactions, construction, tribal enterprises, gaming, procurement, budgets, appropriations, economic development, and a number of other areas. With an MBA, it allowed me to see the issues involved from a business perspective allowing me to provide better advice and services to the tribe, as well as their enterprises.

I do not wish I had chosen a different field. Being an attorney is a very difficult job, but it has its rewards.

Courtney Monteiro: I’m a bit of an anomaly. My JD/MBA helped me realize that I preferred the business side of the equation to the legal. As such, when I received offer letters and considered my options, I was partial to proceeding outside of a traditional career in law. That said, I could not have excelled in my career without the work that was put in going through the legal portion of my education. I have zero regrets regarding my career choice. In fact, I couldn’t have imagined being in the position I am in when I was in school and I am grateful to have had the opportunities that I have had. I certainly would not have been prepared for where my career has taken me without all facets of my educational career, including my time spent at the law school. 

In what ways do you use your knowledge of law in your career and everyday life? 

Perry Riggs: I have been utilizing my knowledge of the law pretty much throughout the length of my career. I worked 12 and a half years as in-house counsel for an Indian tribe, one and a half years as counsel within Congress, one year as outside counsel, and five years in my current position working on behalf of my tribe in its representation to Congress and the Executive Administration. This all requires legal knowledge. In everyday life, I use the analytical skills often for problem solving, but the legal knowledge only in specific circumstances.

Courtney Monteiro: My firm provides financial and investment advisory work to tribal clients. While I am not in a position where I am drafting legal opinions or doing legal research, the time I spent both in law school and during my clerkships have been an invaluable component to ensuring that my client efforts receive the best advice possible. Sometimes this is as simple as providing them with access to legal resources that are made available to me through the many friends and colleagues, mostly graduates of the ILP program, that are providing exceptional legal advice throughout Indian Country. 

Would you recommend a law degree or concurrent degrees to prospective students? What would you say to a student considering earning these degrees? 

Perry Riggs: Although it would depend on your circumstances and goals, I would definitely recommend a law degree or concurrent degree. Not only is the legal knowledge you gain from law school helpful, but the legal training also dramatically improves your logical and analytical abilities, as well as your ability to think strategically in resolving issues and problems. 

Courtney Monteiro: I unquestionably and without hesitation would recommend that students that are able, take the time to pursue both degrees. I couldn’t tell you how many of my legal colleagues express to me how they should have taken the extra time to get their MBA. The addition of the skills that are developed as part of the MBA are an invaluable addition to any lawyers resume, and quite frankly develop a series of life skills that are valuable in and of themselves. In addition, and if that is not enough justification, being able to secure an MBA in one year rather than two as is typical, is incentive in and of itself.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Perry Riggs: I would say, if you are thinking about a legal career, do not take it too lightly. And, especially, do not make the decision based on simply wanting the title of an attorney. It is a difficult job and it requires a lot of work. But, at the same time, in my practice area of Indian law, you are involved with working with some of the brightest people and working on some interesting and difficult issues while pushing the cause of Indian tribes and Indian people. It has its own rewards.

In regards to the Indian legal program at ASU, it has expanded much further than when I was in law school. They are doing a lot of great work. I still see a number of people who were in the ILP program during my time at ASU and some of the work they are doing now is amazing. Due to our connection with the ILP, these people remain life-long friends and colleagues.  

Job Opportunity – General Counsel

Position Summary:
With the Tribe and its Constitutional government as the client, the General Counsel works under the primary supervision and direction of the Tribal Board. The General Counsel also provides legal services to the Tribal government’s Executive Director for operational direction consistent with the laws, budgets and policy directives enacted by the Tribal Council. The position entails performing a broad range of legal work for all departments and divisions of the Tribal government, as well as, appearing in Courts of the Tribal Court, Michigan State Courts and federal courts on behalf of the Tribe as authorized and directed.

Job Complexity:
Provide timely legal advice/counsel to, and draft legal opinions for, the Tribal Board, its subdivisions, instrumentalities, departments and various business entities on a broad range of legal issues.

  • Prepare legal memoranda and conducts legal research as requested.
  • Prepare drafts of resolutions, Tribal laws, regulations, and policies for Tribal Board’s approval.
  • Works with Department Leaders to create policies/procedures to guide implementation of government functions and operations to assure compliance with applicable laws and conditions of grants, contracts and other agreements.
  • Serves as the Director of the Tribe’s Legal Department, allocates work for the efficient operation of the Department and supervises the work of subordinate attorneys and legal support staff.
  • Supervision of work performed by the Tribe’s outside/contract attorneys, and participation in such work, to help achieve successful completion of assigned work within budgetary constraints.
  • Oversees the implementation of regulations and compliance by all Tribal departments with federal and state regulations for various functions of the government.
  • Establish and maintain necessary professional relationships with Team Members, Tribal Members, Tribal Management and other Tribal Government Employers.
  • Manage the delivery of legal services to all areas of the Tribal government, Enterprises, and Kewadin Casino’s to ensure services and functions are performed in a timely manner by appropriate personnel consistent with Tribal business needs.
  • Prepares and manages the budget for the Legal Department of the Tribe.
  • Represents the Tribe in negotiation and implementation of inter-governmental agreements with the United States, State of Michigan, local governments and their respective agencies and instrumentalities.
  • At the request of the Tribal Board, attends public meetings of Tribal members to present and explain proposed or adopted actions of the Tribal Boardl and other instrumentalities of the Tribal government.
  • Attend various community and programmatic events and meetings as needed to share information and support team’s work.
  • Attend Tribal Board meetings, workgroups and prep sessions as requested to provide legal advice and support.
  • Responsible for monitoring federal and state legislature affecting the Tribe.
  • All other duties as assigned consistent with ethical limitations applicable to licensed attorneys.

For full job description, click here.

Apply online: www.saulttribe.com

Job Opportunity – Public Defender

Public Defender, Position #2019-01610
City of Glendale
Glendale, AZ

Salary: $45,000.00 Annually

Description:

Note: First review of applications – May 6, 2019. Provide representation to defendants of the Glendale City Court.

Essential Functions:

  1. Must have strong working knowledge of substantive criminal law, criminal procedure, and rules of evidence.
  2. Must be able to conduct the defense of clients in a professional, skilled manner consistent with standards set forth in the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct and case law defining the duties of defense counsel in criminal cases.
  3. Must have the ability to manage a high-volume caseload while maintaining adequate levels of communication and attention to individual clients.
  4. No more than 400 cases will be assigned to the Attorney during the term of the agreement, Treatment Court defendants will not be counted toward the maximum 400 cases annually assigned.
  5. Must be able to make regularly scheduled court appearances; conduct case evaluation, investigation and preparation including but not limited to witness interviews, legal research, motion preparation, and related work as required; provide qualified and approved substitute counsel when unable to make regularly scheduled court appearances.
  6. Must provide personal consultation with Defendants prior to pretrial disposition conferences unless extraordinary circumstances prevent such a meeting.
  7. Attorney must use reasonable diligence in maintaining personal contact with each Defendant until the Defendant’s case or cases are terminated, and notify Defendants of official court action resulting from Defendant’s nonappearance at scheduled court sessions. Occasional unscheduled matters may arise.
  8. Must be adept in negotiating and recognizing appropriate settlements and plea agreements.
  9. Must have the ability to recognize potential conflicts of interest requiring recusal.
  10. Must have substantial experience in completing jury and bench trials.
  11. Must be experienced or knowledgeable in filing appeals to Superior Court, the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court.
  12. Must have considerable experience representing defendants charged with DUI and domestic violence related offenses.
  13. Must have internet and email access and the ability to respond to electronic communications within 24 hours.
  14. Must be willing to consult with in-custody defendants in the Glendale City Jail.
    MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS & SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS:
    Experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney Graduation from an accredited school of law. Must be an active member in good standing with the Arizona State Bar Association.

Minimum Qualifications & Special Requirements:
Experience as a practicing criminal defense attorney Graduation from an accredited school of law. Must be an active member in good standing with the Arizona State Bar Association.

Applications may be filed online at: http://www.glendaleaz.com
5850 W. Glendale Ave.
Glendale, AZ 85301
623-930-2270
dburson@glendaleaz.com

To download job announcement, click here.

20th Annual ILP Alumni & Friends Awards Ceremony & Reception April 11, 2019 in Albuquerque

20th Annual ILP Alumni & Friend Awards Ceremony and Reception
Hummingbird Room, Sandia Resort & Casino, Albuquerque, NM
Thursday, April 11, 2019   / 5:30 – 8:00 pm
(following the Fed Bar Assn Indian Law Conference

The ILP is proud to announce the ILP Alums who will be recognized with an Award of Excellence for their distinguished service in Indian Country.

  • Nikki Borchardt Campbell (Class of 2009), Executive
    Director at the National American Indian Court Judges Association will be
    awarded with the Emerging Leader Award.
  • Carolyn Angus-Hornbuckle (Class of 2009), Director of
    Public Health Policy and Programs at the National Indian Health Board – will
    also be awarded with the Emerging Leader Award.
  • Verrin T. Kewenvoyouma (Class of 2004), Managing
    Partner at Kewenvoyouma, PLLC, will be awarded with the Alumni Service Award.

The faculty & staff hope you will join us, to gather with friends and colleagues, honor our award recipients and meet the ILP’s current students of Indian law. 

Sponsored by:

Job Opportunity – Associate Tribal Attorney III

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
Leech Lake Tribal Justice Cetnter
Cass Lake, MN

Summary: The Associate Tribal Attorney has the primary responsibility of assisting the Legal Department Director with analysis for ongoing legal cases and issues in a broad spectrum of practice areas central to the needs of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The Associate Tribal Attorney is also responsible for preparing and analyzing contracts, legal documents, Tribal Codes, Ordinances, and Resolutions.
Education Requirements and Experience

Education Requirements and Experience:
Juris Doctorate Degree.
Entry-level candidate with 0 to 3 years of experience preferred, but all qualified applicants will be considered.
A strong knowledge and understanding of a variety of issues, including but not limited to matters of business law, insurance law, tax law, corporate law, finance law, contract law, gaming law, employment law, environmental law.
Strong governmental and administrative skills, knowledge and abilities.
Strong oral and written communication and people skills.
Strong understanding of unique ethical questions related to the attorney-client relationship.

For full job description, click here.

Visit www.llojibwe.org/jobs/llbojobs.html to apply.

NHA – Request for Proposals

Navajo Housing Authority

PROCUREMENT DEPARTMENT
ADVERTISEMENT – REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
RFP# 445 and #446 Professional Legal Services

The Navajo Housing Authority (NHA) is requesting proposals for two (2) separate solicitations from qualified law firms to provide legal services for the Navajo Housing Authority. Detailed information may be obtained from the NHA Procurement Department at Route N54, Old Coalmine Road in Ft. Defiance, Arizona or via email to: tcook@hooghan.org and requesting for Advertised RFP# 445 and 446 Professional Legal Services. All Proposals must be received by the NHA Procurement Department by April 3, 2019 @ 4:45PM MST. No faxed or emailed proposals will be accepted. This invitation is unrestricted; however, preference shall be given to Indian Organization and Indian Owned Economic Enterprises in accordance with 24 CFR 1000.48, 1000.50 and 1000.52.

Download PDF Advertisement – Request for Proposals

Job Opportunity – Assistant General Counsel

Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Closing Date: March 7, 2019

DEFINITION/PURPOSE:
Provide legal advice to the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation Tribal Council, tribal departments and economic enterprises. Represent the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in matters brought in Tribal, State and Federal court.

TASKS:
Serves as legal advisor to the Tribal Council, tribal government departments and economic enterprises; Provides legal advice and analysis of tribal, state and Federal laws and regulations, specifically in relation to water and environmental law and policies; Drafts and revises the Tribal Constitution, Law and Order Code, other tribal laws, ordinances, and policies; Works at hours and times outside of normal business hours and days; Drafts, reviews and recommends changes to various contracts; Reviews other agreements, proposals; Represents the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Tribal, State and Federal court actions; Performs other duties as assigned or required.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS/EDUCATION:
1) An attorney in good standing licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona; 2) Two (2) years legal experience working for a federally recognized Indian tribe or in the area of Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law; and 3) Current valid AZ driver’s license; and 4) Meet FMYN insurance standards.

SUBMIT APPLICATION TO:
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation
Human Resources Department
Attn: Recruiter
P O Box 17779
Fountain Hills, AZ 85269
Phone: 480-789-7138
Fax: 480-816-0419
Email: recruiter@ftmcdowell.org

See full job description here.