Indian Law Section

Indian Law SectionThe Indian Law Section provides a forum for practitioners representing clients affected by Indian law. Federal, tribal and state laws, executive and administrative actions, and court decisions produce a complex and rapidly evolving array of law that affects legal services. The Section schedules CLE programs on subjects that provide information to practitioners representing clients affected by Indian law. Section members also receive a newsletter highlighting recent developments in Indian law.

WSBA Indian Law Section Scholarships for 2015 Annual Indian Law Seminar

Criteria and Guidelines

The WSBA Indian Law Section will award up to ten $100 scholarships for the 2015 Annual Indian Law Seminar scheduled for June 11, 2015.

Each scholarship recipient will receive a $100 discount on registration to the program. To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants may not be a current member of the Indian Law Section Executive Committee and must meet the following criteria:

  • (a) be an attorney who is currently a member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association, or a current law student; and
  • (b) indicate in writing why they should receive a scholarship. The applicants should demonstrate a financial need for the scholarship in their request.

The chair of the Indian Law Section or his/her delegate shall select the scholarship recipients based upon review of all applications received. Special consideration will be given to providing representation of all geographic areas within the state. Applications must be received no later than May 18, 2015. All successful recipients will be notified by a representative of the Indian Law Section at least ten business days prior to the program. If an applicant has not received notice of receiving a scholarship by that date, he or she will not receive further notice and should make alternative plans for program registration.

To Apply

To apply for a scholarship, please submit a letter of application via email stating how you meet the necessary criteria by May 18, 2015, to both of the following:

Aubrey Seffernick
ILS Chair
Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, LLP

Lauren King
ILS Chair-Elect
Foster Pepper, PLLC

Indian Legal Scholars Program


Over the past few several years, the WSBA Indian Law Section and its sister group, the Northwest Indian Bar Association, have joined together to create the Indian Legal Scholars Program. As a joint venture, these entities have raised and contributed over $100,000 in scholarships to aspiring Indian lawyers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska in the last five years (NWIBA press release, December 2008).

The program's goal of nourishing future Indian lawyers is of particular importance when considered against statewide and national research findings. Indians are by far the most under-represented ethnic demographic in the legal profession. Indian attorneys comprise a fraction of 1% of the Washington State's 29,000 licensed attorneys. Nationally, of the 1 million practicing lawyers in the U.S. and the 4.1 million people who identify themselves as Native American, there are only 1,700 – yes, seventeen hundred – Native practitioners (2000 Census).

The Indian Legal Scholars Program has gifted over $100,000 in scholarships to aspiring Indian lawyers from the Pacific Northwest. In August 2004, the American Bar Association bestowed the program with the prestigious "Solo and Small Firm Project Award."

The scholarship monies come from membership dues and generous charitable grants from the Chehalis, Jamestown S'Klallam, Lummi, Muckleshoot, Port Gamble S'Klallam, Puyallup, Squaxin Island, Suquamish, Swinomish, and Tulalip Tribes.

Stipends to Prepare for Bar Exam

As one of the program's valuable offerings, each year the WSBA Indian Law Section and the Northwest Indian Bar Association match fiscal resources to provide stipends to several Indian students who are preparing for the summer bar exam. Beginning with the 2010 winter bar exam and for the first time, stipends were awarded to students preparing for the winter bar exam.

For questions about the Indian Legal Scholars Program and/or the bar exam stipends, please contact Gabe Galanda at 206-628-2780 or


 woman with a headsetContact the Section

Section Members: To join the Section list serve and for general Section questions, please send your email address and Bar number to For more information and to get involved with the Section, please contact the Section Chair, Lauren King.

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