Our Board of Trustees

CILS is led by a dedicated board who oversees and steers our Organization faithfully in its mission of service to California Tribes across the state.


California Indian Legal Services (CILS) actively seeks individuals passionate about advocating for Native American rights to join their Board of Trustees in a volunteer position. CILS’ mission is to provide legal services in federal Indian law to income-eligible Native Americans and low-cost legal services to Tribes. CILS seeks board members who will support, guide, and lead in partnership to achieve its mission and vision.

As board members, the following responsibilities must be met to ensure the success of CILS:

  • Attendance:

Board members must attend four (4) quarterly board meetings every year. Two (2) will be conducted via video conference, and two (2) will be held in-person for the September and December quarterly meetings.

  • Participation:

To actively participate on the CILS Board of Trustees, board members attend at least one (1) CILS-sponsored event annually. Additionally, board members are expected to serve on 1-2 board committees to help with their functions.

  • Contribution:

Between quarterly meetings, board members devote an average of 1-5 hours per month. Board members should attend board development retreats and training sessions, participate in annual strategic planning sessions, and contribute to fundraising efforts.

  • Expertise:

As a board member, it is essential to contribute expertise to the organization’s important role in CILS’ organizational and programmatic affairs. This includes recruiting new board members and maintaining positive community relations. The board is currently seeking out exceptional individuals who possess diverse skill sets, particularly those with experience in personnel, accounting, law, and have connections to law schools, tribal communities, and Tribal Governments.

Those interested in serving on the board should be able to demonstrate a genuine commitment to protecting and enhancing Indian rights. Overall, the commitment and dedication to the CILS Board of Trustees fulfilling these responsibilities will help ensure the success of CILS and its vital mission to protect and advance the rights of Native Americans.