The role of the Tribal Advocate is similar, but not identical to, a public defender in the state court system. The Tribal Advocate is a solo practitioner and represents indigent defendants in the Swinomish Tribal Court. Swinomish public defense aspires to restorative justice for each criminal defendant and pursues a better way of realizing public safety and community wholeness. Swinomish seeks a motivated and passionate criminal defense attorney with a deep commitment to the rights of individuals charged with a crime. The Tribal Advocate shall maintain a client-centered practice and fully advise each client regarding the legal and factual issues in their case to achieve an informed disposition through motion, trial, or plea. Client-centered representation shall include representation for appellate, post-conviction, and probation matters associated with a criminal case.
- Develop cultural competence through listening, learning, and engaging with the Swinomish community.
- Represent defendants in the Swinomish Tribal Court.
- Maintain strong attorney-client relationships and shepherd cases through the Swinomish Tribal Court system to disposition by motion, trial, or plea.
- Participate in Wellness Court and other courts of special jurisdiction as well as governmental committees related to legal practice and public defense.
- Manage an office and any support staff and develop a file management system that includes necessary forms, motions, and procedures for functional defense practice.
- Collaborate on the creation or amendment of Swinomish Tribal laws pertaining to criminal justice.
- As time allows and as the Advocate's education and experience permits, advise tribal members on civil matters.
- Law School degree from an ABA-accredited law school.
- Currently licensed to practice law in the State of Washington or able to apply and receive membership within six months of hire.
- Knowledge of Federal Indian law and State and Federal criminal law.
- At least 2 years of experience negotiating and litigating criminal law matters.
- Excellent written, oral, research and analytical skills.
- Demonstrated commitment to public defense and/or Native communities.
Salary shall be commensurate with experience and likely exceed public defense salaries in our area. Compensation includes a medical, dental and vision health plan, 401(k) plan, generous leave, and other fringe benefits.
Tribal offices are located in the Swinomish Village on the beautiful Swinomish Indian Reservation located on Fidalgo Island across the Swinomish Channel from La Conner, WA. Tribal offices are about midway between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis for immediate hire. Native American Hiring Preferences under Swinomish Tribal Code 14-01.120 will be in effect during the selection of candidates. Applicants must pass a background check and a drug test.
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