News & Updates

The Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe seeks a Tribal Defense Attorney
February 7, 2023 | Chinami Arai

LOCATION: Lower Elwha Klallam Justice Center; office site to be determined.

SUPERVISOR: Executive Director. WORK SCHEDULE: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

SALARY LEVEL: To be determined, depending on experience.

POSITION STATUS: Regular, fulltime, with benefits.

OPENING DATE: January 23, 2023

CLOSING DATE: February 17, 2023


  • Represent defendants in adult criminal cases.
  •  Represent youth in delinquency and status offense cases.
  •  Represent parents or other legal custodians in child dependency cases.
  •  Represent Elwha Tribal members in contested traffic, housing, and civil regulatory cases.
  •  Advise clients on rights and responsibilities, choices and consequences; maintain contact with clients; communicate effectively; respond promptly to questions and messages.
  •  Meet with clients in person as necessary, sometimes at off-Reservation locations such as lockup facilities; maintain regular office hours at locations on both the Lower and Upper Reservation.
  •  Perform case preparation, including review of discovery materials, investigation, interview of clients and witnesses, evaluation of evidence, legal research, and development of case strategy.
  • Prepare written pleadings, motions, legal memoranda and briefs, proposed orders, proposed jury instructions, sentencing recommendations, appellate notices and briefs, and other legal documents and forms as appropriate.
  •  Appear and argue cases in the Lower Elwha Tribal Court at all stages of proceedings, including pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appeal.
  •  Communicate, coordinate, and negotiate with the Tribal Prosecutor and with counsel simultaneously representing the Public Defender’s clients in other jurisdictions.
  • Assist clients to comply with court orders and to obtain assessments and services related to drug/alcohol, mental health, domestic violence, and other psychosocial issues.
  • Assist in improving the Tribe’s justice system, including development of codes and court rules, participation in meetings and trainings, and preparation and implementation of grants.
  •  Maintain 24-hour availability to address urgent matters.
  •  Attend continuing legal education programs, seminars, and trainings, as necessary to perform the duties of Public Defender and to maintain professional licensing.
  • Maintain confidentiality and adhere to all professional and ethical standards required by the Washington State Bar Association and any other bar associations of which the Public Defender is a member.
  •  Other duties and responsibilities as assigned.



  •  Active member in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
  •  Knowledge of tribal, state, and federal law relevant to proceedings in the Lower Elwha Tribal Court.
  •  Willingness to learn about and to respect the culture and traditions of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.
  •  Ability to employ tact, courtesy, positivity, flexibility, and healthy perspective in the workplace.
  •  Ability to maintain professionalism while interacting with a wide variety of people in a
  •  Fast-paced, emotionally-charged, crisis-oriented environment.
  •  Ability to pass pre-employment UA drug/alcohol screening and comply with drug-free workplace policy thereafter, subject to random testing.
  •  Ability to pass pre-employment background check demonstrating no felony conviction in tribal, state, or federal court, and no misdemeanor conviction within one year of hire.
  •  Must be licensed driver with private, insured vehicle for use during workday. Preferred:
  •  Experience working in Indian Country, particularly in a tribal legal system.
  •  Experience working in criminal law and in child dependency matters.
  •  Experience in negotiation and mediation, alternative dispute resolution, and problem-solving courts.
  •  Knowledge of the culture and traditions of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

For more information, click here.