Fun Facts – Faculty Law School Experience Pt. 2: Meet Our New Professors!

Have you heard the news? Our #ILPfamily is growing! We’ve recently added three new members to our team. We asked Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes, Professor Lawrence Roberts and Distinguished Visiting Indian Law Professor Stacy Leeds about their experience as law students and how they feel starting out at a new school. Here is their full responses to our questions.

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October 2019 Faculty Updates

Our faculty has been involved in all sorts of exciting projects and actions! In a new style, here is a synopsis of our faculty’s recent activities.

  • Professor Robert Miller presented on a panel at Missouri History Center on Sept. 24 in St. Louis at the Lewis & Clark National Trail Heritage Foundation’s 50th Annual meeting about Indian nations, the Doctrine of Discovery and Lewis & Clark
  • Miller spoke on Sept. 22 at the 50th Annual Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation meeting in St. Louis at the Missouri History Museum. He was on a panel entitled “Lewis and Clark through Indian eyes.” He presented the subject “Lewis and Clark: Agents of American Empire.”
  • On Oct. 3, Miller gave a lunch time presentation on tribal courts to the Lewis & Clark Law School NALSA and Students for Eliminating Environmental Discrimination.
  • On Oct. 3, Miller emceed at the Oregon Native American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner.
  • Miller was announced as the recipient of the Pedrick Scholarship on Oct. 10 as one of the notable faculty honorees that bring extensive experience and knowledge to ASU Law. Congratulations! Read the full article here.
  • Miller continues to work diligently on his law review articles on Nazis and American Indian Law, tribal courts and General Ely Parker [Seneca], despite being on sabbatical. Always working hard!
  • On Sept. 24, Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee was on a panel at the Climate Defenders: Indigenous Climate Leadership in North America held in New York City. She spoke with other indigenous climate activists about the climate issues at hand and potential solutions that could address these problems. Watch the recorded livestream here.
  • On Sept. 24, Ferguson-Bohnee appeared in KJZZ’s broadcast “Native American Voters in Arizona Prep for 2020” to talk about common issues native voters face and the importance of taking voter action. Read the article and listen to the broadcast here.
  • Ferguson-Bohnee and Torey Dolan (’19) attended the First Nations Voting Rights Conference—Planting for the Future on Sept. 25-27 organized by the Rural Utah Project and held at the University of Utah College of Law. Ferguson-Bohnee moderated panels on the Voting Rights Act and You and Voter Protection. She also participated on a panel focused on Early Voting, Satellite Elections Office and Mail-In Ballots. The goal of the conference was to discuss strategies for equal representation, preparation for the 2020 Census, redistricting and rural addressing projects to ensure that every Native Vote is counted.
  • On Oct. 1, Ferguson-Bohnee participated in the subcommittee discussion Voting Rights and Elections Administration in Arizona. Watch the recorded livestream here. The second panel starts around 1:09:00.
  • On Sept. 13, Professor Trevor Reed gave the lunch lecture, Sonic Sovereignty: Performing Hopi Authority at Öngtupqa (Grand Canyon), to ASU School of Music faculty and students.
  • On Sept. 20, Reed presented Copyright and Our Ancestors’ Voices at Council for Museum Anthropology Biennial Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  • On Oct. 2, Reed presented Listening to Our Modern Lives at Music, Modernity and Indigenous Peoples symposium at Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
  • On Oct. 4, Reed presented Cultural Appropriation and Fair Use: Why the Forgotten Factor Matters at the Marquette Law School Seventh Annual Junior Faculty Works in Progress Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
  • From Sept. 30 to Oct. 1, Professor Stacy Leeds presented Indigenous Land Tenure Systems in the United States and the Cherokee Legacy of Allotment: Highlighting UNDRIP Conformity Challenges as part of the United Nations Seminar of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the Right to Land for Centre for Human Rights at the University of Pretoria in South Africa.
  • Leeds was also newly appointed to the American Bar Association Advisory Committee for the Commission on Youth at Risk for the 2019-2020 committee.

Job Opportunity: Associate Litigation Attorney

Associate Litigation Attorney

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP

Associate Litigation Attorney
Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP is seeking candidates with 3+ years of litigation experience to join our metropolitan Omaha, Nebraska office. The right candidate will have the opportunity to work on cases in a variety of areas including constitutional law, environmental law, real estate, employment, tax issues, corporate/business matters, and complex federal, state and tribal court litigation at both trial and appellate levels.

Big Fire Law & Policy Group LLP provides legal representation and advocacy in a broad range of services, with an emphasis in tribal law and federal Indian law serving tribal nations, tribal business enterprises and tribal organizations throughout the United States.

Requirements
•Active admission to any state bar
•Degree from an accredited U.S. Law School
•Attention to detail and demonstrated ability to follow standard procedures
•Comprehensive knowledge of litigation
•Ability to effectively interact, orally and in writing
•Licensed attorney with 3 years of experience in general civil litigation
•Self-starter with the ability to manage multiple competing priorities with a “roll up yoursleeves” and team-oriented attitude
•Exceptional organizational skills, juggling priorities and adhering to strict deadlines
•First-rate academic credentials and references
•Superior research, writing and analytical skills and technology oriented
 

Preferred
•Knowledge of or experience working with Indian law or tribal courts
•Experience with Microsoft Office and cloud-based computer environment
Job Type: Full-time

Benefits:
Competitive salary
Health insurance
Dental insurance
LTD & Life insurance
Unlimited paid time off for attorneys (billable time requirement apply)
401K with match
Work -life balance and employee wellness promoted environment

Please send your cover letter and resume to: bbaker@bigfirelaw.com

www.bigfirelaw.com

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Fresh Starts – Hearing from our incoming 1Ls and transfer students

As we head into the fall 2019 semester, we welcome 12 new students into our Indian Legal Program! Law school can offer the keys to a successful future in law and the beginnings of life-long friendships, according to alumni. But what view do our new students have on starting at the ILP, ASU Law and law school in general? Five of our students shared their thoughts.

ASU Law 2019 Orientation

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Job Opportunity – Attorney General

Tohono O’odham Nation
Sells, Arizona

Closing date: September 3, 2019

Position Summary: The attorney general provides legal advice and representation to all officials, agencies, departments, divisions and branches of the Tohono O’odham Nation, a federally recognized Indian tribe with 2.8 million acres of reservation land in Southern Arizona. The attorney general represents the Nation in all legal proceedings, and in other matters that affect the legal interests of the Nation; advises senior management and tribal officials; and supervises assistant attorneys general and contract attorneys. (Job description available at http://tolc-nsn.org)

Minimum Qualifications: Juris doctorate from an accredited law school, a licensed attorney admitted to practice before the highest court of a state of the United States, three years of supervisory experience and ten years of experience in the practice of law. If appointed, must be admitted to State Bar of Arizona within 18 months. Subject to background investigation.

Indian Preference:
Preference in filling vacancies will be given to (1) enrolled members of the Tohono O’odham Nation, (2) enrolled members of other tribal nations or tribes, (3) other candidates.

Application Process:
Interested applicants should email a completed application form (available at http://tolc-nsn.org), resume, letter of interest, and three writing samples. Writing samples must include at least one pleading or substantive memorandum filed in court. Only electronic submissions will be accepted. Please provide all application materials to:
ATTN: Julianna Saraficio, Legislative Assistant
Tohono O’odham Legislative Branch
Julianna.Saraficio@tonation-nsn.gov
(520) 383-5260 (office)

Download job announcement: AttorneyGeneral_Job_Announcement.updated.

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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.