Staff Attorney




Title: Staff Attorney
Schedule: Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm
Location: Longview, WA & Ridgefield, WA.
Classification: Full Time (Exempt)
Opening Date: May 16, 2018
Salary Range: $80K to $120K Annual DOQ
Closing Date: Open until filled

Position Summary: The Staff Attorney will work in the Cowlitz Legal Department and is responsible for preparing and analyzing contracts, legal documents, Tribal Constitution, Codes, and Ordinances. The Staff Attorney will be the Prosecutor for Cowlitz Tribal Court in criminal and civil actions for Tribal issues on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation areas including trust and non-trust Tribal lands and as a presenting officer in Tribal Court and State Court. The Staff Attorney will also Assist the General Counsel with issues and activities concerning Tribal legal rights, obligations, and privileges. The Staff Attorney report directly to the Tribe’s General Counsel.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following, but are not limited to:

  • Drafts legal documents, contract language, letters, and testimony.
  • Reviews and analyzes contracts and legal documents, conducts legal research.
  • Assists with litigation for the Tribe, including negotiations, mediation, legal research, discovery, motion practice, oral argument, trial and appeal.
  • Assists in the daily activities and operations of the Legal Department and staff including preparation and management of budgets.
  • Assists Tribal Department Directors with legal needs.
  • Advises on capacity building for the Legal Department and the court system.
  • Represents the Tribe in various legal proceedings as assigned.
  • Manages the revising of the Tribal Constitution, Codes, and Ordinances.
  • Prepares legal analysis of proposed statutes, regulations, and manuals and interprets legal concepts, laws, rulings, and regulations.
  • Keeps abreast of current court decisions and pending legislation affecting the Tribe and assists with developing strategies on major Tribal related issues.
  • Advises and assists the Tribal Court Administrator with case preparation as needed.
  • Serves as Tribal Prosecutor for criminal and civil actions for Tribal issues on the Cowlitz Indian Reservation areas including trust and non-trust Tribal lands and as a presenting officer in Tribal Court, State Court, and Federal Court. The Staff Attorney/Prosecutor shall also work closely with Federal, Tribal, State, County, and local jurisdictions in protecting Tribal legal interests.
  • As other duties assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Requires a Juris Doctorate Degree.
  • License to Practice Law in the State of Washington or in a state with a reciprocal license agreement.
  • Experience in a state, county, or tribal prosecutor’s office handling criminal cases.
  • Demonstrated experience in trial and litigation practice.
  • Knowledge and working experience of Federal, Tribal, and State Laws.
  • Willingness to travel locally on a frequent basis and occasionally out-of-town.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in Federal Indian Law including a demonstrated working knowledge of the laws regarding tribal court systems, tribal enrollment practices, Indian child welfare, fee to trust applications, sovereign rights of an Indian Tribe, and working & negotiating with federal and state agencies.
  • Minimum 2 years’ experience in Business Contract Law including a working understanding of commercial real estate transactions and tribal financing.
  • A working knowledge of Indian Gaming Law including an understanding of Washington State Gaming Regulations and laws and the rules and regulations of the National Indian Gaming Commission.
  • Knowledge and working experience with Public Law 280 in the State of WA.
  • Knowledge of Federal and Tribal Employment Laws.
  • Experience with tribal economic development projects preferred.

Certificates, Licenses, Regulations:

  • Licensed to Practice Law in State of Washington
  • Valid Driver’s License


  • Must submit to and pass a criminal background check and drug screen

 The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is an Equal Opportunity Employer, and a Drug & Alcohol-Free workplace.

Except as provided by Title 25 CFR, Section 472 which allows for Indian preference in hiring, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, age, sex, national origin, physical handicap, marital status, politics, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.

Please mail resume and cover letter to:

Human Resources Department
Cowlitz Indian Tribe
P.O. Box 2547
Longview, WA 98632

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