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

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.


* 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


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 We will accept applications until the position is filled. All applicants will be notified when a final hiring decision is made.