Assistant General Counsel

MichiganUnited States
MichiganUnited States

Pokagon Band of Potawatomi

Position Summary:

Under the direction of the General Counsel to the Pokagon Band, the Assistant General Counsel provides legal services and representation to the Pokagon Band, its department and agencies, and its enterprises in a broad variety of matters, including federal Indian law, contract law, employment law, administrative law, real estate matters, Indian gaming regulation, taxation, tribal jurisdiction, environmental law, cultural resource preservation, child welfare and legislation. Occasional travel within and outside Michigan will be required.

Essential Functions:

  • Provide legal advice to the Tribal Council, subordinate tribal boards and committees, governmental departments and agencies, and tribal enterprises on a broad range of legal issues.
  • Negotiate and draft intergovernmental agreements and contracts for services and goods, and commercial development agreements.
  • Represent the Pokagon Band at the trial and appellate levels in federal, state, and tribal courts and in administrative and private forums, including in enrollment and election related matters.
  • Draft tribal legislation, administrative rules and regulations, policies, charters and other documents and instruments to establish and develop governmental and commercial entities.
  • Draft regulatory and other tribal governmental programs and policies, and assist with the coordination of those programs with federal, state, and local counterparts.
  • As requested, attend meetings of the Tribal Council, subordinate tribal boards and committees, and governmental departments and agencies, and tribal enterprises.
  • Draft laws, regulations, policies, procedures, and resolutions for Tribal Council.
  • Draft regulations, and policies and procedures for tribal boards and committees, governmental departments and agencies, and tribal enterprises.
  • Monitor federal, state, and local legislative and political affairs, report on matters of interest to tribal leadership, and provide advice regarding proper possible responses and courses of action, and draft responses and comments on proposed legislation and regulations.
  • Assist in protecting and asserting the rights of the Pokagon Band under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, and other federal and state laws to preserve the cultural resources of the Pokagon Band and related indigenous groups.
  • Assist with personnel issues, employment disputes and other personnel matters, including drafting termination and suspension letters, and representing the Pokagon Band in connection with fact finder hearings.
  • Assist the Pokagon Band in its efforts to fulfill its governmental responsibilities regarding environmental protection and coordinate with federal, state, and local environmental agencies regarding tribal environmental concerns.
  • As requested by the General Counsel, provide guidance and direction to Associate General Counsel in coordination with the General Counsel.
  • Assist in coordinating the work of outside counsel for the Pokagon Band.
  • The responsibilities listed above are representative of the nature and level of work assigned and are not necessarily all-inclusive. All the duties listed above may not be assigned, nor do the examples cover all duties which may be assigned.

Non-Essential Functions:

  • Perform other related functions as assigned.


  • Standard office equipment.
  • Systems used: MS Office applications.

Position Requirements:

  • A minimum of 5-10 years of experience as an attorney practicing federal Indian law.
  • Juris doctor degree from an accredited law school.
  • Licensed and member in good standing of the State Bar of Michigan, or must be admitted to practice in another state and must become licensed following the next available bar exam.
  • High level of written and oral communication skills and superior ability to advocate and persuade.
  • Exceptional ability to think on feet and to identify and analyze legal issues and present legal theories.
  • Willingness to accept unusual and challenging assignments and an ability to identify successful strategies to obtain desired results.
  • Willingness to work the hours necessary, including evenings and weekends, to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of the position, and to maintain deadlines.
  • Highly independent and organized and able to manage significant number of active matters simultaneously.
  • Well-developed interpersonal skills and ability to work in a supportive and professional manner with other attorneys, support staff, and client agencies and departments.
  • Professional demeanor, appearance, and enthusiasm for the law and public service.
  • Thorough knowledge of and commitment to professional ethics, particularly those rules that relate to the representation of governments and other organizations.
  • Excellent references with substantial personal knowledge of applicant’s legal abilities.
  • Proficiency in legal research techniques, superior electronic legal research skills, and thorough knowledge of legal and other research resources.
  • Proficiency in general computer skills and applications, including MS-Word and Outlook.
  • Valid state driver’s license and able to meet minimum insurance requirements to use GSA vehicles.
  • Employment is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of a criminal background investigation and submission to drug and alcohol testing.

Indian Preference:

  • Pokagon Band Preference Code applies.

Physical Requirements:

  • Work is generally sedentary in nature and will frequently require sitting, however standing and walking will occasionally be necessary.
  • Frequently required to use hands and fingers to operate equipment.
  • Frequently required to talk and hear.


Work Environment:

  • General office environment. Lighting and temperature are adequate, and there are no hazardous or unpleasant conditions caused by noise, dust, etc. Work is generally performed within an office environment, with standard office equipment available.

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Pokagon Band of Potawatomi
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