Alumni: Taking the Oath in a Pandemic

Meet some of ILP’s alumni who were determined to make change. They care about the greater good and have positioned themselves to hold public spaces and have committed their efforts to public service.

In March, April Olson (’06) was named the Chief Judge for the Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation in California. Congratulations, April!

Jasmine Blackwater-Nygren (’20) was appointed to represent District 7 of the Arizona State House of Representatives and is the youngest member of the House. Who better to conduct her swearing in than the first Native American woman federal judge and fellow ILP alum? Representative Blackwater-Nygren was sworn in by Judge Diane Humetewa (‘93) of the District of Arizona on Feb. 11.

On Jan. 8, newly elected Moon Valley Justice of the Peace Deborah Ann Begay (’10) took her oath of office, which was administered by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Chris Love (’05) happily attended the swearing-in ceremony. Alumni supporting alumni, we love it! More on Begay’s win in the Arizona Republic article and her candid message to students.

In January, Brian Garcia (’20) was sworn in as president of Tempe Union School Board. Congratulations Brian!

Janet Bill (’20) was sworn into the State Bar of California on Jan. 21. Congratulations, Janet! 

Edward Hermes (’13) joined the Osborn Elementary School District Governing Board in Arizona.

In October 2020, Julianne Begay (’15) was sworn in as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for the 6th Judicial Advocate for children in dependency and neglect cases. Excellent advocacy, Julianne!

Job Opportunity – Attorney-Advisor (Continuous)

Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C.

This position is located in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Office of the General Counsel, Ethics Law Division.

This is a permanent appointment in the excepted service and will be filled on a full-time permanent basis. Employees hired under an Excepted Service appointment are required to serve a two (2) year trial period. Upon successful completion of the required trial period, this position will be permanent.

As a Attorney-Advisor (Open Continuous) GS 0905 11/12, your typical work assignments may include the following under supervision:

  • Provide oral and written advice, analysis, interpretations, and guidance on complex and sensitive legal and policy matters both for individual questions and as related to DHS programs and operations.
  • Draft and review documents for consistency with all applicable legal authorities and requirements, to include: ethics guidance, financial disclosure reviews, analysis and advice, directives, correspondence, reports, memoranda, testimony, regulations, Federal Register notices, directives, legislation, guidance and other such documents.
  • Draft and present ethics training to Headquarters officials, to include senior leadership and political appointees.
  • Review financial disclosure reports, analyze and resolve potential conflicts of interest and related ethics questions.
  • Assist with administration of the DHS Standards of Conduct Program.
  • Provide guidance related to related areas of law, such as procurement integrity and partisan political activity regulations and policies.

Basic Requirements:
1. The first professional law degree (LL.B. or JD), AND superior law student work. Superior law student work or activities as demonstrated by one of the following:

  1. Academic standing in the upper third of the attorney’s law school graduating class.
  2. Work or achievement of significance on one of the attorney’s law school’s official law reviews or journals.
  3. Special high-level honors for academic excellence in law school (e.g., membership in the Order of the Coif, winning a moot court competition, or membership on the moot court team that represents the attorney’s law school in competition with other law schools.)
  4. Full-time or continuous participation in a legal aid program as opposed to one-time, intermittent, or casual participation.
  5. Significant summer law office clerk experience.
  6. Other evidence of clearly superior accomplishment or achievement.

For full job description and to apply, click here.

Job Opportunity – General Attorney

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY – Customs and Border Protection – Office of Chief Counsel

Salary: $65,190.00 – $142,732.00

Closing date: 2/11/2021

Position Summary:

As our nation navigates the COVID-19 pandemic, CBP is committed to delivering our mission to safeguard America’s borders and enable legitimate trade and travel. Staffing mission critical positions remains a high priority. Be reassured that CBP is still hiring, despite potential hiring process step delays due to restrictions to in-person activities.


  • Applicant must be a graduate from a full course of study in a School of Law accredited by the American Bar Association and be an active member in good standing of the bar of a state, territory of the United States, the District of Columbia or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
  • Specialized Education: Recent law school graduates may be appointed to attorney positions at the GS-11 level with the following additional qualifications: rank in the top 1/3 of graduating class; participation on the school’s official Law Review; membership in the Order of the Coif; or winning of a moot court competition.
  • An interim appointment of 14 months may be made pending the selectee’s admission to the bar.
  • Selectee will be required to provide admittance and standing to the Bar and must provide a copy of their official law school transcript.
  • Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social).


  • Providing legal advice to, and legal representation of, Customs and Border Protection (CBP’s) National Finance Center, Revenue Division, Procurement Division, Facilities Management & Engineering Division, Environmental and Energy Division (Office of Enterprise Services), Office of Trade, Office of Field Operations, and other CBP offices throughout the United States;
  • Performing legal research into laws, regulations, decisions and other precedents bearing on legal issues involving CBP, particularly in the areas of federal appropriations, bankruptcy, collections (primarily customs duties, liquidated damages, fees and charges), contract, construction, employment, environmental, international trade, real property and tort law;
  • Assisting the Department of Justice in civil action involving CBP by preparing litigation reports, affidavits, and other pleading, and participating in discovery, motion drafting, settlement discussions, and providing litigation support in a variety of matters such as complex trade cases generally involving the collection of revenue, actions brought under federal statutes such as the False Claims Act, procurement disputes filed in federal courts, and condemnation actions; and also representing CBP in various third party administrative hearings involving matters such as employee discipline and adverse actions, arbitrations, EEO discrimination complaints, Merit Systems Principles Board (MSPB) appeals, contract and travel/relocation disputes before the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, and employee overpayment hearings; and
  • Advocating for claims filed on behalf of the Government and provides legal opinions and advice concerning resolution of claims against the government arising out of CBP operations.
  • Travel Required Occasional travel – You may be expected to travel for this position.

See full job announcement and application details:

Insightful overview of the Herrera U.S. Supreme Court case

On Oct. 28, we hosted the online event “Herrera v. Wyoming: A case discussion and what it means going forward.” This webinar included panelists Rachel Heron, U.S. Department of Justice Environment and Natural Resources Division, Dan Lewerenz, Native American Rights Fund, and Professor Colette Routel, Mitchell Hamline School of Law. The event was organized and moderated by Professor Larry Roberts.

Thank you to all of those who attended and spoke at the event!

A recording of the webinar is now available on the ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance website.

Prof. Larry Roberts article on today’s McGirt v. Oklahoma Supreme Court decision

“Today’s decision is a significant win for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and for Tribal Nations across the country. With the Muscogee (Creek) Nation facing opposition from the Trump Administration, this Court made clear that treaties mean something – that they are the supreme law of the land,” said Larry Roberts, ASU Law’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance Executive Director.

Read the article on ASU’s American Indian Policy Institute’s blog here.

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2021 Tribal E-commerce CLE Conference – Call for Presentations

The ILP host the 7th Annual Tribal Government E-Commerce CLE Conference: Wiring the Rez via Zoom Webinar on February 4 – 5, 2021.

We are seeking dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters in various focus areas. For guidelines, please see the following link: Wiring the Rez 2021_Call for Presentations

Proposals should include the name(s) of presenters, topic and a 500-word summary of your presentation. Email a PDF of the proposal by October 1, 2020. Subject line: Wiring the Rez Presentation (Your Name)

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ASU Navajo Nation CLE: Call for Presentations

The Indian Legal Program at ASU Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law is proud to host the 2020 Navajo Nation Law CLE Conference on Friday, October 2020.

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 July 31, 2020:

  • 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 August 14, 2020.

Please submit your abstract here: Subject: Navajo Law CLE Proposal

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Tribal COVID-19 Funding

Tribal COVID-19 Funding from CDC
A noncompetitive notice of funding opportunity, CDC-RFA-OT20-2004: Supporting Tribal Public Health Capacity in Coronavirus Preparedness and Response, has been published on This emergency funding opportunity is designed to fund federally recognized tribes that contract or compact with the Indian Health Service under Title I and Title V of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, or consortia of these tribes, or their bona fide agents. All federally recognized tribes, tribal organizations, consortia of federally recognized tribes, or their bona fide agents should apply for this announcement to be considered for future funding under this announcement. During a national emergency, these organizations are uniquely positioned to provide emergency preparedness and response support for tribal health departments and other components of the tribal public health system. Applications are due by 11:59 pm (EDT), May 31, 2020. More information is available atCOVID-19 Funding for Tribes.

Tribal COVID-19 Funding Opportunities from FEMA
As a result of the President’s national emergency declaration for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on March 13, 2020, tribal governments may be a recipient or subrecipient for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) public assistance. New guidance supports questions related to the tribal recipient/subrecipient assistance process pursuant to the nationwide COVID-19 emergency. View Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response: Tribal Recipients.

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Moot Court Competition

From Feb. 21 to 23, Blair Tarman (2L) and Dylan West (2L) participated in NNALSA’s Moot Court Competition in UC Berkeley. Coached by Torey Dolan (’19), the duo advanced to the 16th round, beating out 54 teams to become the 11th seed. They did an amazing job! 

West said he and Tarman put many hours of efforts in to prepare for the competition in order to represent ASU Law well. Although it did take a lot of work to go to the competition, he learned a lot from the experience that he will carry into his studies and future career. 

“The amount of work required to compete can appear daunting at first, but the results far exceeded the cost,” said West. “The experience of advocating before a panel against an adverse party is always useful experience no matter which field of law you go into, and the experience left me with a much firmer understanding of Federal Indian Law and a passion for oral advocacy.” 

Several ILP alumni and ASU Law associates were competition judges. 

Thank you for participating! 

$5 million gift to new Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians recently made a $5 million gift to Arizona State University to provide for the renovation of the historic Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles and to establish an endowment to support the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU’s Indian Gaming and Tribal Self-Governance programs. The gift will assist in increasing educational opportunities in the field of Indian law, the expansion of work experience for students interested in Indian law and will contribute to the development of Indian law trainings for Indian tribes and organizations. Read more: