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Staff Attorney

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 caseload 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; and making community presentations. The Staff Attorney will be expected to appear on behalf of tribal clients in state dependency actions where the ICWA is applicable. Staff Attorney 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 (grants, contracts, donations, etc.). Staff Attorneys also collaborate with Directing Attorneys and the Legal Director for 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 the Directing Attorney and/or the Legal Director. PROGRAM SUMMARY: California Indian Legal Services is a statewide, tribally controlled, non-profit corporation that provides legal services to Indian tribes, Indian organizations and low-income Native Americans 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 provides transactional services to tribes involving economic development and tribal infrastructure. CILS maintains four field offices throughout California – Bishop, Escondido, Eureka, and Sacramento. This position will be based out of the Eureka Field Office. For additional information about CILS, check out: LOCATION: This position is in person in the Eureka office. Monday and Friday teleworking is possible and is voluntary. On some Mondays and Fridays, if business needs require your physical presence, teleworking will not be possible. SALARY: Competitive salary: $71,210 - $98,880. Hiring salary depends on experience and desired qualifications within the salary range levels. CILS offers full family/partner medical, vision and dental benefits, AD&D, short & long-term disability insurances, life insurance, Section 125 Flexible Spending Accounts, payment of bar dues, generous leave policies, optional telework schedule, and potential for annual performance incentive.
Must have:
  • J.D. and California bar membership in good standing.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Federal Indian law with at least 1-3 years of experience practicing law.
  • 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 Native Americans.
  • Ability to work independently, as part of a team and to take initiative.
  • Familiarity or experience working with Native Americans, tribes, or Indian communities.
  • Prior legal services experience.
  • Experience in dependency/child welfare law.
To Apply: 

Submit a resume, cover letter, 3 professional references and a writing sample to Eureka Directing Attorney Denise Bareilles via e-mail at We will accept applications until we fill the position, but CILS does not accept incomplete applications.


Submission Deadline: 
August 17, 2023
Organization Information: 
California Indian Legal Services
324 F Street
Eureka, CA 95501
United States