Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

NAGPRA compliance

I'm a recent law school grad and I'm looking at JD-advantage dharamsala12/25/17
http://www.tolowa-nsn.gov/wp-conten t/uploads/2016/10/Repatri dharamsala12/25/17
Sure it's a plus. The problem, though, is that most tribes h onehell12/27/17
Not to deal derail this thread, but there are law school cou mrtor12/28/17
"Not to deal derail this thread, but there are law school co bodhicitta12/28/17
Yup, absolutely. It's actually pretty popular and fairly com onehell12/28/17
I've done a ton of legal services stuff during law school (p bodhicitta12/28/17
Have fun with your FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrom) clients. P aknas12/28/17
I'm more interested in family/ICWA stuff than gaming and cas dharamsala12/30/17
dharamsala (Dec 25, 2017 - 8:04 pm)

I'm a recent law school grad and I'm looking at JD-advantage positions as I'm in character and fitness purgatory at the moment.

I've seen job openings for NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act) compliance coordinators. Would a JD be a plus in these sorts of positions? FWIW, I have a BA in Anthropology and studied Federal Indian law in law school.

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dharamsala (Dec 25, 2017 - 8:06 pm)

http://www.tolowa-nsn.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Repatriation-Coordinator-2.pdf

^Like that would be an example.

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onehell (Dec 27, 2017 - 6:45 pm)

Sure it's a plus. The problem, though, is that most tribes have very strict preference in employment laws. They can't even consider a non-native unless no natives who are even minimally qualified apply. The preference orders usually go something like:

1. Members of that tribe;
2. Spouses of members of the tribe and members of other federally-recognized tribes;
3. Everyone else

By all means apply, but if you're not a tribal member (or married to one) don't be surprised if that alone puts you out of the running. A supremely qualified non-native is usually required by the tribal code to lose to even the most minimally qualified person with a higher preference.

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mrtor (Dec 28, 2017 - 9:26 am)

Not to deal derail this thread, but there are law school courses in Federal Indian law? Mind blown.

You sound qualified if you can get past the discriminatory hiring patterns. However, I would apply elsewhere just in case. I transitioned to healthcare risk management with a large regional healthcare system. Several other attorneys are in our compliance and regulatory departments. Healthcare isn't quite a stringent in their qualifications as, say, finance.

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bodhicitta (Dec 28, 2017 - 11:46 am)

"Not to deal derail this thread, but there are law school courses in Federal Indian law? Mind blown."

University of Colorado and University of Oklahoma have strong Federal Indian Law programs, and the former has a Native American law clinic. I'm sure there are other programs in law schools in states with substantial indigenous populations.

Federal Indian Law is also tested on the South Dakota bar exam, FWIW.

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onehell (Dec 28, 2017 - 1:17 pm)

Yup, absolutely. It's actually pretty popular and fairly complex too. Indian reservations are "domestic dependent nations" which means they have sovereignty and while that sovereignty does have limits, they are still essentially little tiny countries.

They have their own tribal codes, their own courts, etc. The extent to which tribes have jurisdiction over non-Indians doing business or committing crimes on the reservation, for example, is constantly being litigated (see for example, all the complexities associated with the Indian Major Crimes Act). This is vitally important in employment law, not just because of preference but because many tribes have completely eliminated the notion of employment at-will and passed laws stating that all terminations must have just cause. On the state side, firing someone for no good reason means you pay unemployment. On the reservation, you could get ordered to reinstate them. Think of what that means for big reservation employers like a school or a hospital or a coal mine or a power plant. Or a car dealership (many reservations have also rejected the idea of self-help repossession of collateral for secured creditors)

How about real estate? The tribal land has a patchwork of ownership structures from fee land to trust land to grazing permits and homesite leases and all kinds of stuff. How do you value a grazing permit when it is taken by a coal mine, in cooperation with the tribe, under an eminent domain type of mechanism? How about probate? There's an obscure federal administrative process for that:

https://www.bia.gov/bia/ots/dop/your-land#Q3

ICWA significantly changes how adoption and CPS works when they take an Indian child even off-reservation, ICRA incorporates some but not all of the bill of rights, as the US constitution actually doesn't necessarily apply on a reservation in all respects. They are, in some important ways, another country. There are disputes over whether and how to give tribal court orders full faith and credit on the state side. Even treaties signed in the 1800s come into play. The right of states to tax people on reservations has been litigated all the way to SCOTUS (where the state lost). All kinds of stuff.

The two biggest misconceptions are that Indian law isn't a practice area or that it's really just gaming law. In reality, it's a pretty unique blend of international law and federal law and there are lots of people and firms in certain states that devote entire practices to it, and most of the work actually isn't related to gambling.

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bodhicitta (Dec 28, 2017 - 2:05 pm)

I've done a ton of legal services stuff during law school (public benefits, family law, expungements, etc.) I'm definitely interested in Native American legal aid.

https://dnalegalservices.org/career-opportunities-2/

^Looks like there's a good number of attorney openings at this non-profit in NM/AZ. Pay is just $37,500, but that's not terrible given the cost of living.

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aknas (Dec 28, 2017 - 2:46 pm)

Have fun with your FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrom) clients.

Probably more fun than gaming and casino law, anyway.

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dharamsala (Dec 30, 2017 - 4:41 pm)

I'm more interested in family/ICWA stuff than gaming and casino law.

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