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 Eureka office provides legal services in 7 counties that include 18 of the 110 federally recognized tribes in California.  Additional information about CILS may be found on our website, at

Job Description:

Supervised by the Directing Attorney and Executive Director, CILS Senior Staff Attorneys should have substantial knowledge of and experience with issues related to the client eligible Indian individuals, tribes, and groups that are in the service area for the program. A strong, demonstrated expertise in federal Indian law and public interest law is preferred. The Senior Staff Attorney’s primary responsibility is to assist attorney and advocate staff to ensure the quantity and quality of the legal work and the effective, efficient representation of clients. The resulting responsibilities and duties include:

Collaborate with Directing Attorneys and the Executive Director for the purpose of legal work management that includes staff attorney mentoring and supervision, assistance and administration of local legal work management systems, and grant and special project development and implementation, as directed by his/her Directing Attorney or the Executive Director.

Client development responsibilities include developing and maintaining effective relationships with tribes and Indian organizations in the service territory, including all funding sources, and ensuring that the office pursues and secures meaningful opportunities to work with tribes, Indian organizations and Indian individuals throughout the service territory.  Client development includes all CILS funding sources.

The Senior Staff Attorney will also carry an appropriately sized caseload concomitant with other duties and responsibilities that may be assigned by his/her Directing Attorney or the Executive Director.


  • D. and California bar membership in good standing.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Indian Law with minimum of five years’ experience practicing law;
  • Excellent communication, writing and organizational skills.
  • Prior management and supervisory experience preferred;
  • Strong work ethic and able to work nights and weekends when many tribal councils meet.
  • Ability to travel 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 the initiative.

The following qualifications are desirable but not absolutely required:

  • Familiarity or experience working with Indian individuals, tribes or Indian communities.
  • Prior legal services experience.


Competitive salary D.O.E.  CILS provides family/partner medical, vision and dental benefits, AD&D, short and 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, writing a sample and three professional references to Patricia De La Cruz-Lynas, Director of Administration, California Indian Legal Services, Re: Eureka Sr. Staff Attorney, 609 S. Escondido Blvd, Escondido, CA 92025.  E-mail  All applicants will be notified when a final hiring decision is made.