ILP Alumni partnership creates Judicial Clerkship Handbook

The Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee that includes ILP alumni teamed up and created the Judicial Clerkship Handbook to advise and encourage Native American law students interested in judicial clerkships across all levels of courts, including tribal courts. 

PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee:

  • Racheal White Hawk (’16), Chair
  • Christine Jordan, Member
  • Lydia Locklear, Member
  • Doreen McPaul (’01), Member
  • Rodina Cave Parnall (’01), Member
  • Alexander Mallory (’19), Member
  • Roshanna K. Toya, Member
  • Kateri Eisenberg

Who better to offer advice than those who have served in these positions? White Hawk, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Arizona Supreme Court; Parnall, former Judicial Clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit; Mallory, current Judicial Clerk, U.S. Immigration Court, Department of Justice Honors Program; and McPaul, former Judicial Clerk, Arizona Court of Appeals and former Staff Attorney, Navajo Nation Judicial Branch.

Q:  What is the importance of this project?

A: This Judicial Clerkship Handbook is a product of the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) Judicial Clerkship Committee, which consists of current and former Native American judicial clerks. The Handbook provides the unique perspective and advice of such judicial clerks about the sometimes mystifying judicial clerkship application process and is targeted toward Native American pre-law and law school students. Such students comprise an important audience because Native Americans are vastly underrepresented as not only judicial clerks but also as judges in America, and there has long been a connection between clerking in the judiciary and eventually becoming a judge.  It is, therefore, essential that Native Americans are able to obtain clerkships and thereby participate in the pipeline to the judiciary. Ultimately, the Handbook seeks to improve America’s judicial systems by ensuring the rich diversity of the American people is reflected in such systems, including the people indigenous to this land.  The Handbook also includes robust sections discussing tribal court clerkships, ensuring that students are made aware of such clerkships and funding opportunities as well as ensuring that tribal courts are included in the discussion about judicial systems in America. 

Q: What made you decide to create the handbook?

A: Each year, the PLSI Judicial Clerkship Committee selects several Native American students to attend the American Bar Association’s Judicial Clerkship Program, which connects students with judges and provides information to students about the clerkship experience and application process.  Such students must submit application materials to the Committee that are similar to what students would submit for a judicial clerkship application. We noticed that some students needed assistance with their application materials, so we decided to create this resource to assist those and other students in need of guidance. We also recognized that many judicial clerkship handbooks did not discuss tribal courts and did not include the unique perspective of Native American students or advice regarding how to discuss a student’s federal Indian law experience or valuable experiences that might be different from the typical judicial clerkship applicant. Each year, we will provide this Handbook to Native American pre-law students as a resource and to the National Native American Law Students Association.  We think it is important that Native American pre-law students in particular be made aware of judicial clerkships so they can better align their law school experience with becoming a judicial clerk if they wish to pursue such a path.

Q: What are you most anticipating moving forward with this project?

A: We hope Native American students will find the Handbook helpful in applying for judicial clerkships and that the number of Native Americans clerking and becoming judges will increase over time.  We also plan to continue improving the Handbook each year. As part of this Handbook, we are also starting a mentoring program in the fall of 2021 by connecting current and former Native American judicial clerks with Native American pre-law and law school students.  We hope this Handbook will help mentees prepare for, and mentors provide guidance about, the judicial clerkship application process.

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Racheal White Hawk (’16)
Associate Attorney, Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch, LLP
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Rodina Cave Parnall (’01)
Director, Pre-Law Summer Institute, American Indian Law Center, Inc.

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Arizona Native Vote Changemakers

The Indian Legal Clinic student attorneys, ILP affiliates and volunteers worked on the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project (AZNVEP) for months to prepare for the general election on Nov. 3. The number of this year’s Election Protection volunteers made for a great success despite the circumstances! We had 100 volunteers, which is more than in past years, who assisted Native voters at over 60 polling locations in Arizona on Election Day through the Arizona Native Vote Election Protection Project. The ILC team included Native Vote Fellow Torey Dolan (’19) as lead, Brendan Clark (3L), Aspen Miller (3L), Dustin Rector (3L), MacArthur Stant (3L),and Blair Tarman (3L) under the supervision of Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee. Student attorneys provided virtual training sessions for volunteers, ran the hotline and interacted with voters on-site.

Through partnerships with the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona (ITCA), the Native American Bar Association of Arizona (NABA-AZ), the Arizona Election Protection Coalition and volunteers, Native Vote served as an important resource for hundreds of Native voters during the 2020 election. Over 250 Native American voters called the Native Vote Election Protection hotline for assistance on Election Day, and many voters called prior to the election to check voter registration and polling locations, and answered questions regarding general election information.  

With the extraordinary commitment from volunteers—ILP students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends—an Election Protection volunteer was on-site and available at the following locations: Navajo Nation, Hopi Tribe, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community, Gila River Indian Community, Tohono O’odham Nation, White Mountain Apache, San Carlos Apache, Pascua Yaqui, Yavapai Apache, Yavapai Prescott, Quechan, Cocopah Indian Tribe, Colorado River Indian Tribes, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, and the Ak-Chin Indian Community. 

We thank our ASU community for the support, which released the ASU Now article on election day that highlighted the greater work of Native Vote as well as the innovative Polling Locator Tool created just this year with US Digital Response. Watch the video  to see how this tool was used by Native voters.

Two of our ILC students Miller and Stant who traveled to Hopi and Navajo Nation were highlighted in an Arizona Republic article

Ferguson-Bohnee was quoted in the Center for Public Integrity article and Arizona Republic articles here and here

On Nov. 11, Dolan was interviewed by Native America Calling to give a recap about Native Vote. She was also quoted in The State Press articles here and here

Find more coverage from Ferguson-Bohnee, Dolan and Brian Garcia (’20) in this VICE article, which included Arizona Native Vote assisting with extension hours to a polling site. 

We appreciate our partners and all who volunteered across Indian Country to ensure Arizona’s tribal communities and tribal members had access to the polls!

Welcome: Meet People of the ILP

Kate Rosier (Comanche) 
Executive Director, Indian Legal Program
Assistant Dean of Institutional Progress
She completed her undergrad at Capital University with a concentration in Business Management. Kate is responsible for recruitment, student retention, fundraising, alumni development, jobs, grant writing, CLEs and programs. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I am an Ironman! In 2010 in honor of my 40th birthday I swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.22 miles. 2) I was voted Homecoming Queen in high school. 3) My husband, sister-in-law, and brother-in-law all are ASU Law grads and participated in ILP. I am the only one who didn’t. (sad face) 

Patty Ferguson-Bohnee (Pointe-au-Chien Indian Tribe) 
Faculty Director, Indian Legal Program
Director, Indian Legal Clinic.
She completed her undergrad at Stanford University with a concentration in Native American Studies with an Emphasis in Policy and Law.
Patty directs and teaches the Indian Legal Clinic and advanced research seminars on Native Vote – Election Protection and Climate Impacts affecting Tribal Cultural Heritage.

Fun facts about me: 1) I spent time in France as an undergrad, law student, and spent an academic year doing research.  I love France!  2) I help to organize a culture camp for Pointe-au-Chien youth every summer. 

Robert J. Miller (Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma) 
Professor of Law 
He attended Eastern Oregon University and received his B.S. in 1988. Professor Miller teaches Federal Indian Law I and II, and Economic Development in Indian Country.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I was born and raised in Portland Oregon which is a LOT cooler than Phoenix. 2) I worked in my dad’s used car business for 19 years before I went to college [I know how to repossess cars, so I must be really tough!] 3) I played soccer for 30 years and we won the Portland city championship three times! 

Trevor Reed (Hopi) 
Associate Professor of Law 
He completed his undergrad at Brigham Young University with a concentration in Music composition. Professor Reed teaches Federal Indian Law II, Property, and Intellectual Property

Fun facts about me: 1) I love hiking and mountain climbing and once summited Mt. Rainier. 2) I’m a bass player and music nerd who loves everything from classic rock to symphony. 3) My favorite foods right now are Noqwivi (Hopi stew) and Harumi Sushi. 

Larry Roberts (Oneida Nation (WI)) 
Professor of Practice and Executive Director of the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs 
Professor Roberts teaches Indian Gaming Law and Administrative Law. He completed his undergrad at the University of Wisconsin – Madison concentrating in Political Science and Sociology. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I’ve run 8 marathons, including NYC, DC and Chicago. 2) I briefed President Obama in the Roosevelt Room. 3) the first concert I ever saw was the Police during their Synchronicity tour – the ticket was $17.50.     

Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) 
Professor of Practice and Director, Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs 
She attended Wayne State College with a concentration in Social Sciences Education. Professor Bledsoe Downes works on development of curriculum for the Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs, oversight and administration of the programs, as well as recruitment and retention of students in the MLS and LL.M. Degrees.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I love to run and do yoga. 2) I always use pencils instead of pens.  3) My husband Brad and I were the first ILP marriage. 

Helen Burtis 
Faculty Associate  
Professor Burtis completed her undergrad at Kansas State University with dual majors in Business Management and General Humanities. She teaches Advanced Legal Writing in Indian Law and the online master’s American Indian Law. Professor Burtis also helps with the Indian Legal Clinic, including the Indian Wills Clinics, the Tribal Court Trial Skills College, and supervising students working on business formation cases.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I am a grateful grandmother of two really fun grandsons. 2) I am an avid hiker and hill climber, venturing out several times each week. 3) After a lifetime of eating meat, I became a vegan in early 2020.  

Tamara Herrera 
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs  
Professor Herrera completed her undergrad at Grinnell College with a concentration in English. She co-teaches the Indian Legal Research course with Beth DiFelice. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I was the first person in my family to go to college (and, obviously, law school). 2) I love amusement parks and rollercoasters. 3) I worked on a soap opera after college as an apprentice production assistant. 

Beth DiFelice 
Assistant Dean and Director, Ross-Blakley Law Library 
Professor DiFelice completed her B.A. in English at Centenary College of Louisiana. She co-teaches the Indian Legal Research course with Tamara Herrera. She oversees the law library and has created the Indian Legal Research Guide, which is very useful.

Fun facts about me: 1) I have a cat who we call Puppy. 2) My hobby is Olympic Weightlifting. 3) I am a former yoga teacher. 

Danielle Williams (Navajo) 
Program Coordinator 
She completed her undergrad at Arizona State University with concentration in Photography and minors in Justice Studies and Anthropology.  She plans and coordinates events, processes business claims, manages ILP social media and monthly newsletter, and all things marketing. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I love dancing and led a virtual powwow fitness session. Balancing health and wellness are super important! 2) I’m a photographer and love documenting—Nell’s Photography. 3) I don’t really like chocolate, but I love (and make a great) tiramisu.  

Theresa Beaulieu (Stockbridge-Munsee) 
Program Coordinator 
She graduated from ASU and UA. She works on ILP events, marketing and processing information for the program. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I lived in Arizona off and on since 1963. 2) I’ve visited all 50 of the United States. 3) And I have webbed toes. We are playing two truths and a lie, aren’t we? 

Bari Barnes 
Program Coordinator 
She completed her undergrad at Phoenix College with concentration in Fashion Merchandising and the Paralegal Certificate Program. Bari works closely with Professor Ferguson-Bohnee in the ILC providing support and assisting Clinic students. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I’ve tandem skydive. 2) I once participated in an Inipi ceremony 3) I am a huge fan of the Jason Bourne series. 

Torey Dolan (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), JD ’19 
Native Vote Fellow 
She completed her undergrad at the University of California, Davis in 2016 with concentration in History and Political Science – Public Service. Torey also works closely with Professor Ferguson-Bohnee in the ILC and handles all things Native American Election Protection Vote. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I graduated from ASU and ILP in 2019. 2) My favorite hike in metro-Phoenix is the Javelina Trail at South Mountain. 3) I grew up in Bakersfield, California.   

Ben Zinke, JD ’18 
Law Fellow 
He graduated from Grand Canyon University with concentration in Justice Studies. Ben assists the ILP and faculty with research projects and providing content for reports. 

Fun facts about me: 1) I love Basketball 2) I love Star Wars 3) I have four dogs 

Ah’sha Notah (Navajo)
Office Aide
She is currently working on her undergraduate degree with the ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences concentration in American Indian Studies. Ah’sha processes business claims, tracks expenses and assists with events.  

Fun facts about me: 1) I make jewelry. 2) I dance (powwow) in my free time. 3) I usually travel to Canada during the summers.

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

Kate Rosier shaping the future

On Aug. 4, Executive Director Kate Rosier was recently appointed as assistant dean of Institutional Progress to focus her efforts on the student experience. Read more in ASU Now article here.

We are inspired by how she leads with empathy and her commitment to fostering diverse talent. Congratulations Kate!

ILP & NALSA Virtual Graduation Ceremony – Today!

The ILP would like to invite the #ILPFamily to join us in celebrating the graduation of this year’s ILP students. Our virtual ceremony will be broadcast live via YouTube Premiere on  May 13 at 1:30 p.m. (MST) 

If you are unable to join us at that time, you may watch the video at a later time on the premiere page.

Set your reminders, post your congratulatory messages, live chat and tune in to watch our students graduate! 

Tune in at: law.asu.edu/ilpgrad2020

Networking with Lewis and Roca

On Sept. 27, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP invited the ILP to their firm for a lunch presentation. Along with our ILP staff and students, we saw some familiar ILP family faces like Peter Larson (’02), Professor Pilar Thomas and Navajo Nation Attorney General Doreen McPaul (’01). Among Council Delegates, Eugenia Charles Newton (Council Delegate, Navajo Nation; Chairwoman, Law and Order Committee at Navajo Nation) spoke at the presentation. 

Aspen Miller (2L) commented on her experience, “I am Navajo and it was great to hear from my elders and leaders about their journey and experience dealing with law. It reminded me that so many options are available in practicing law. Any experience gained or skills developed can be brought back to benefit.”

We appreciate Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP for hosting us!

Professional Development Panel

ASU NALSA collaborated with NABA-AZ to host a NABA-AZ Professional Development Panel for law students.

Theresa Rosier (’98), Katosha Nakai (’03), Kevin Pooley (’15) and Denton Robinson shared tips on networking and employment in Indian Country with our current students. Thank you for coming to speak to our students! 

Job Opportunity – Senior Counsel

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community
Scottsdale, AZ

Closing date: 3/6/20 11:59 pm

Definition: Under general supervision from the General Counsel, serves as lead attorney in handling and/or monitoring outside counsel assigned to handle complex commercial transactions for SRPMIC enterprises.  Assists the SRPMIC enterprises with day-to-day legal needs, including serving as a liaison between SRPMIC enterprises and SRPMIC government administration and departments.  Prepares and negotiates contracts, commercial leases, legal memoranda and other documents on behalf of the SRPMIC enterprises, and attends enterprise board meetings.  Regularly consults with other Office of General Counsel (OGC) attorneys to resolve complex legal issues and disputes.  Manages assigned caseload, ensures that applicable laws are followed, and that tribal sovereignty is protected and enhanced.  This job class is treated as FLSA Exempt.

Minimum Qualifications:
Education:  Graduation from accredited college or university with a Law Degree (Juris Doctor).

Experience: Seven (7) years of experience as a practicing attorney involving commercial transactions or economic development in Indian country.  Experience that has provided knowledge of social and economic conditions of tribal governments is essential.  Knowledge and experience providing legal advice and mentorship in the areas of commercial transactions, leasing, federal Indian law and tribal government legal matters are required.   

For full job description, click here.

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Indian Law 101 – Jan. 29

Wednesday, January 29
9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ak-Chin Indian Community Conference Center, Room 544
Beus Center for Law and Society, Phoenix, AZ

The new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Programs will host a conference on the fundamentals of Indian Law.

Topics covered:

  • History of Federal Indian Law and Policy
  • Overview of Civil and Criminal Jurisdiction
  • Fundamentals of Tribal Self-Governance
  • Fundamentals of Indian Gaming

Presenters:

  • Professor Robert J. Miller
  • Professor Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes
  • Professor Lawrence S. Roberts
  • Executive Director Jay Spaan, Self-Governance Communication & Education (SGCE) Tribal Consortium

Register now and receive complimentary conference materials.

Standard Registration rate of $250 ends 1/23

Register at: law.asu.edu/indianlaw101

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