Staff Attorney Position Available – Bishop Office

Program Description: 

California Indian Legal Services is a statewide, tribally controlled, non-profit corporation that provides legal services to Indian tribes, Indian organizations and low-income individual Indians on issues involving Federal Indian Law. CILS provides a variety of legal services including brief counsel and advice and extended representation on core legal issues affecting Native Americans and Indian tribes. CILS is involved in litigation, policy analysis, and advocacy and also provides transactional services to tribes involving economic development and tribal infrastructure.

The Bishop office of CILS is also home to the Eastern Sierra Legal Assistance Project (ESLAP) and the Inyo Mono Senior Legal Program (IMSLP). ESLAP provides brief services/referrals on general poverty law issues to low-income individuals in Inyo, Mono, and Alpine counties. IMSLP provides brief services/referrals on elder law issues to individuals age 60 years and over in Inyo and Mono counties. Currently, CILS operates four offices in California. Additional information about CILS may be found on our website, at www.calindian.org.

Job Description: 

This is a full-time position devoted to increasing and enhancing the legal services we provide to individuals with Indian law and non-Indian law issues, including general poverty law. Staff attorney will work with individuals, families, organizations and tribal governments in all areas of Federal Indian law, including but not limited to, advising on issues involving jurisdiction, tax, estate planning, trust assets, environmental law, natural resource development, cultural resource protection, Indian education, tribal governance, employment, tribal justice systems, and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Responsibilities may range from the provision of brief counsel and services to low-income Indian individuals to representing individuals and tribes in state and federal court, negotiating contracts, advising tribal clients and developing and implementing constitutions, codes, and policies for tribal clients.

Qualifications: 

* J.D. degree with exceptional academic achievement.

* California bar membership in good standing.

* Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Indian law with a minimum of three years experience practicing law.

* Excellent communication, writing and organizational skills

* Ability to work independently, as part of a team and to take initiative.

* A willingness to assume a varied caseload.

* Strong work ethic and able to work nights and weekends when many tribal councils meet.

* Ability to travel overnight and a valid driver’s license.

* A demonstrated commitment to providing high-quality legal services for Indian people.

The following qualifications are desirable but not absolutely required:

* Familiarity or experience working with Indian individuals, tribes or Indian communities.

* Prior legal services experience. CILS Bishop Staff Attorney Position (2017) – Page 2

* Prior supervisorial experience

Salary: 

Competitive salary D.O.E. CILS offers full family/partner medical, vision and dental benefits, AD&D, short & long-term disability insurances, life insurance, Section 125 Flexible Spending Account, generous leave policies and potential for annual performance incentive.

To Apply: 

Submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Patricia De La Cruz-Lynas, Director of Administration, California Indian Legal Services, Re: Bishop Staff Attorney, 117 J Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814. E-mail hiring@calindian.org. We will accept applications until the position is filled. All applicants will be notified when a final hiring decision is made.

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Staff Attorney Position Available – Sacramento Office

Program Description:

California Indian Legal Services is a statewide, tribally controlled, non-profit corporation that provides legal services to Indian tribes, Indian organizations and low-income individual Indians on issues involving Federal Indian Law.  CILS provides a variety of legal services including brief counsel and advice and extended representation on core legal issues affecting Native Americans and Indian tribes.  CILS is involved in litigation, policy analysis, and advocacy and also provides transactional services to tribes involving economic development and tribal infrastructure.

CILS has four offices throughout California.  Our Sacramento office provides legal services in 38 counties that include 51 of the 110 federally recognized tribes in California.  This service area also includes numerous non-federally recognized tribes and one of the largest urban Indian communities in the United States.

Job Description:

Supervised by the Directing Attorney, the Staff Attorney will work collaboratively with other staff to provide exceptional legal services in all areas of Federal Indian law.  Our fast-paced office provides legal services on issues of jurisdiction, tax, estate planning, trust assets, environmental law, natural resource development, tribal governance, employment and the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  The Staff Attorney will assume a varied case load that may include: brief counsel and services to low-income Indian individuals; state and federal court litigation; contract negotiation; advising tribal clients; developing and implementing constitutions, codes, and policies for tribal clients; making presentations; and ICWA related dependency cases.

Qualifications:

  • California bar membership in good standing.
  • Excellent communication, writing, and organizational skills.
  • Strong work ethic and able to work nights and weekends when many tribal councils meet.
  • Ability to travel overnight and a valid driver’s license.
  • A commitment to providing high-quality legal services for Indian people.
  • Ability to work independently, as part of a team and to take initiative.

The following qualifications are desirable but not absolutely required:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Indian law with at least 1-3 years of experience practicing law.
  • Familiarity or experience working with Indian individuals, tribes or Indian communities.
  • Prior legal services experience.

Salary:

Competitive salary D.O.E.  CILS offers full family/partner medical, vision and dental benefits, AD&D, short & long-term disability insurances, life insurance, Section 125 Flexible Spending Account, generous leave policies and potential for annual performance incentive.

To Apply:

Submit a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Patricia De La Cruz-Lynas, Director of Administration, California Indian Legal Services, Re:  Sacramento Staff Attorney, 117 J Street, Suite 300, Sacramento, CA 95814.  E-mail hiring@calindian.org.  We will accept applications until the position is filled.  All applicants will be notified when a final hiring decision is made.

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Administrative Assistant Position Available – Eureka Office

Program Description:                                                                                                                            

California Indian Legal Services is a statewide, tribally controlled, non-profit corporation that provides legal services to Indian tribes, Indian organizations and low-income individual Indians on issues involving Federal Indian Law.  CILS provides a variety of legal services including brief counsel and advice and extended representation on core legal issues affecting Native Americans and Indian tribes.  CILS is involved in litigation, policy analysis, and advocacy and also provides transactional services to tribes involving economic development and tribal infrastructure.

CILS has four offices throughout California.  Our Sacramento office provides legal services in 7 counties that include 18 of the 110 federally recognized tribes in California.

Job Description:

Under the supervision of the Directing Attorney, the Administrative Assistant will be responsible for providing administrative and clerical support for the Eureka Office staff, as well as a broad range of program activities. Specific duties may vary considerably over time, but are likely to include:

  • Answer and direct incoming calls
  • Greet and assist all clients and visitors to the office
  • Type correspondence and other legal documents in support of the legal staff
  • Sort and distribute daily mail; process outgoing mail
  • Monitor and stock office supplies
  • Arrange for maintenance and repair of office equipment
  • Data entry, copying, calendaring and general filing
  • Assist with file creation, maintenance, and organization
  • Assist with the preparation of reports, presentations, and other publications
  • Manage phone and voicemail system;
  • Calendar and tickle cases;
  • Coordinate travel and related tasks;
  • Other administrative and clerical tasks, as assigned

Qualifications:

AA/Clerical school degree preferred or previous clerical experience.  Must be proficient in MS Office, other standard software programs; have excellent communication and typing skills; and experience with telephone systems.  Must demonstrate the ability to interact with clients in a professional and courteous manner. CA driver’s license required. Knowledge of or interest in Indian communities and/or legal services is preferred.

Salary:

DOE.  This is an hourly, full-time, non-exempt position at 40 hours per week. Generous leave policies and potential annual performance incentive.  We provide family/partner medical, dental and vision benefits.

To Apply:

Please submit resume and letter of interest to Patricia De La Cruz-Lynas, Director of Administration, California Indian Legal Services, 609 S. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025.  E-mail EUR-hiring@calindian.org.

 

CALIFORNIA INDIAN LEGAL SERVICES IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER. NATIVE AMERICANS,  MINORITIES AND THE DISABLED ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPLY. 

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Wiyot and Bear River Tribes Call for “True Partnership” To Protect the Civil Rights of Loleta Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 12, 2017

 

Media Contact:

Lewis Cohen – NCYL: (510) 835-8098

press@aclunc.org – ACLU of Northern California: (415) 621-2493

Denise Bareilles – CA Indian Legal Services: (707)443-8397

Michelle Vassal – Wiyot Tribe: (707) 733-5055

Dakota McGinnis – Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria: (707) 733-1900

 

Loleta, CA – Tribal leaders are hailing the news that Loleta Union Elementary School District has

entered into a Voluntary Resolution Agreement with U.S. Department of Education. The Loleta

School Board is scheduled to discuss the agreement at its December 13th board meeting, which

will be held at 5pm in Room 8 at the Loleta Elementary School.

 

Leaders from the Wiyot Tribe and the Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria are now

requesting that the district meaningfully include tribal leaders and community members as the

district works to fulfill the terms of the agreement. “We appreciate that the district’s current

leadership has agreed to address longstanding concerns of our community,” said Ted

Hernandez, Tribal Chair of the Wiyot Tribe. “Entering into this agreement is an

acknowledgement that the district can and must do better for our students.”

 

The agreement follows an investigation by the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) into

complaints that the Loleta Union Elementary School District was discriminating against Native

students on the basis of race. The Wiyot Tribe filed the complaint in December of 2013 and was

represented by the National Center for Youth Law, the ACLU of Northern California, and

California Indian Legal Services. The OCR investigation found substantial evidence that the

district had created a hostile environment for Native American students, disciplined Native

students more harshly than other students, and failed to provide legally mandated services for

students with disabilities. The complaint also charged the district with failing to pursue much needed

funding opportunities targeted to districts with significant Native populations.

 

The agreement requires the district to hire experts to address these problems and to establish a

community oversight committee with the participation of the tribes along with other

stakeholders. Council member Madison Flynn says the Wiyot Tribe is ready to participate but,

given the district’s troubling history, good faith measures are necessary. “The district needs to

hire a mutually agreeable expert that has the confidence of both the school employees and the

community,” said Flynn. “If we are going to commit our time and resources to making this very

ambitious plan work, we need to feel our engagement is meaningful and welcomed and that

we will be treated as full partners.”

 

Specifically, tribal representatives are requesting that an outside expert facilitator manage the

community oversight committee to ensure all voices are heard and valued. Given the multiple

overlapping deadlines for implementing key pieces of the agreement within the next year, the

tribal representatives want to ensure participation from the tribal councils, social service

directors and parents of children at the school from both the Wiyot Tribe and the Bear River

Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, along with members of the school board, district officials,

and representatives of the county Office of Education. “We all need to pull together to

accomplish the tasks set forth in the agreement,” said Vice-Chairperson Dakota McGinnis of the

Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria. “Our children will need resources from Loleta and

beyond to thrive and succeed.”

 

Attorney Denise H. Bareilles of California Indian Legal Services says the Stakeholder Equity

Committee should form workgroups on: School Discipline, Evaluation, Placement and Service

Implementation for Students with Disabilities, Harassment Based on Race or National Origin,

and Review of Policies Related to Participation in Graduation Exercises and Extracurricular

Activities. “The OCR investigation identified deficiencies in each of these areas. Any plan to fix

these problems will require concentrated and focused attention,” said Bareilles.

 

The tribal representatives recognize that this work will require resources. Noting that the

district has a history of failing to pursue much-needed funding opportunities, the tribes are

continuing to call upon the district to take advantage of the tribes’ familiarity and expertise in

funding opportunities targeted at Native American students. “We stand ready to help.” Said

McGinnis. “We hope the district is ready to take us up on this offer.”

 

On Thursday, December 14th, the Wiyot Tribe, Bear River Band of Rohnerville Rancheria, the

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and California Indian Legal Services (CILS) will host a

community meeting regarding the agreement between the Loleta Union Elementary School

District and the U.S. Department of Education. The meeting will take place from 6 – 7 PM at the

Tish Non Community Center, Bear River Band of the Rohnerville Rancheria, and is intended for

parents with children attending Loleta School, interested tribal members, and tribal staff. Those

who attend will learn more about the agreement, how to participate in a stakeholder

committee to monitor the district’s compliance with the agreement, and how to report any

ongoing issues to OCR.

 

###

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) is a national non-profit organization that has been working for over four

decades to improve the lives of at-risk children. Employing a range of strategies, NCYL works to ensure that lowincome

children have the resources, support, and opportunities they need for healthy and productive lives.

 

The ACLU of Northern California is an enduring guardian of justice, fairness, equality, and freedom, working to

protect and advance civil liberties for all Californians.

 

California Indian Legal Services represents low-income Native Americans, tribes and tribal organizations on matters

of federal Indian law. We also provide tribal community education and trainings on a wide verity of subjects and

topics that involve federal and state legislation, regulations, policies and case law that impact individual Native

Americans, tribes and tribal communities. Our community education and trainings also extends to the non-Indian

community, state and federal agencies, local and state law enforcement, the state judiciary, and other entities.

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