Pre-Law Summer Institute Assistant Director

The American Indian Law Center, Inc. (AILC)

Assistant PLSI Director | Albuquerque, NM

The Assistant PLSI Director assists in planning and implementing the Pre-Law Summer Institute for American Indians and Alaska Natives and all its programs, including the PLSI Judicial Clerkship Program, Native American Bar Passage Initiative, the Pre-Law Advisors trainings, outreach to tribal colleges and universities and tribal education departments, academic and professional development programs, and clerkship opportunities. This position supports the PLSI Director in maintaining and growing services according to student needs and the AILC’s strategic plan. The position coordinates outreach and promotes services of the PLSI and AILC.

Duties include:
• Provides support to the PLSI Director in all aspects of PLSI and its programs.
• Assists with developing and implementing programs to support Native pre-law and law
students. Works with the Director to coordinate daily operations and activities.
• Builds relationships with alumni, pre-law advisors, law schools, tribal colleges and
universities, tribal education departments, and schools with significant Native American
• Builds relationships with law schools and employers regarding PLSI programs, students,
and alumni. Identifies possible areas for collaboration and partnerships.
• Assists in developing and managing budgets.
• Assists with staffing of faculty, teaching assistants, research assistants, and other
positions necessary for the summer and year-round programs.
• Recruits, trains, and builds relationships with attorney coaches and mentors.
• Coordinates with pre-law programs, Native American bar associations, judicial
organizations, professional organizations, and educational programs on events, projects,
and services for Native American pre-law and law students.
• Plans events including academic and professional trainings. Schedules speakers and
panels. Coordinates travel for staff, students, and professionals.
• Develops print and electronic materials for announcements, programs, CLEs, and
program promotion.
• Assists in grant compliance including collecting and assessing data, drafting reports, and
coordinating with grantors.
• Promotes PLSI and the AILC to the community through public relations, social media,
and advocacy.
• Represents PLSI and AILC at events, career fairs, and conferences.
• Assists with evaluating and developing programs and services according to grants and
AILC goals.
• Conforms with all safety rules and uses all appropriate safety equipment.
• Processes student applications for services, reimbursements, materials, and programs.
• Performs all other related duties, as assigned. Participates on committees and special
projects and seeks additional responsibilities.

Please see the position description for further information.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume by March 18, 2022 to Rodina Cave Parnall, PLSI Director,

Register Today for Pre-Law Advisor Training

Please share widely! Registration fee waivers and travel reimbursements are available for Tribal Education Departments,  Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Pathways to the Legal Profession:  Identifying, Advising, and Supporting Native American Pre-Law Students

February 4-5, 2020

Isleta Resort and Casino, Pueblo of Isleta, New Mexico

The Pathways to the Legal Profession conference aims to increase the number of competitive Native law school applicants nationwide by providing mentors necessary skills and resources to identify, advise, and support the next generation of Indigenous attorneys.

Registration, hotel information and additional information about the agenda can be found here. Please register by January 24, 2020.

Please note that this conference is designed for advisors.  If you are interested in becoming a law student, learn about the Native American Pipeline to Law Initiative.



You are welcome to contact Rodina Cave Parnall at 505-277-5462 with any questions.



Fletcher: “Indian Children and the Fifth Amendment”

Forthcoming in the Montana Law Review’s Browning Symposium issue, available at SSRN here.

An excerpt:

Many of my first memories revolve around my grandmother Laura Mamagona’s apartment in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She shared the apartment with my uncle Crockett, who was a college student. Her apartment was the upstairs room of an old house on the side of a hill on College Street. My memories are mostly of domestic activities. Cooking. Sweeping. Sitting around. Playing with trains. Leafing through Crockett’s Sports Illustrated magazine collection. Laura worked the night shift at the veteran’s hospital across from Riverside Park. Early on weekday mornings, June, my mother, would drop me off at Laura’s place in her VW bug, the first car I remember. I had my own crib at Laura’s, one I can remember escaping pretty easily. Often, Laura would sleep most of the morning while I puttered around the house. Sometimes, Crockett would be there. Family lore tells that once, June dropped me off earlier than usual and Laura had worked a little late, so I was probably there alone for a short while. I heard the story so often growing up that I can seemingly remember that day, too. This was in the mid-1970s, before Congress enacted the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Recently, my wife Wenona Singel discovered documents about Laura’s childhood home life in the National Archives in Chicago. Wenona was there to research family boarding school histories. Laura’s name as a young woman, Laura Stevens, was listed alongside several of her brothers and sisters as former students at Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School. They were all born with the Pokagon surname, but Laura’s dad, Peter Stevens, changed their names, thinking it would help the family blend in with white America. Laura never attended the boarding school, and instead spent those years in quarantine in a hospital in Kalamazoo. We think she tested positive for tuberculosis at the boarding school intake and was diverted to quarantine. While Laura was there in the hospital during several of her early teen years, her biological mother walked on. Laura had younger brothers and sisters in her family home in Allegan County, Michigan. So, Peter—who was single then—drove to Kalamazoo and took Laura home. As a young woman, but the oldest sibling left in the house, Laura was forced to replace her mom. The archive documents contain reports by social workers who visited the house, we think, on somewhat random occasions. They were spot checks, of sorts, by the State of Michigan, to see how this Indian family with no mother in the home was coming along. The social workers detailed every aspect of the Stevens’ home in the reports. They noted how many Bibles were in the house and where they were placed. They noted how many portraits of Jesus Christ there were and the location each was hung. They reported Laura’s younger siblings were all dressed for company and quietly studying. They focused especially on teenaged Laura. There she was, sweeping the kitchen. There she was, cooking dinner. There she was, folding clothes. The social workers were impressed. Well, they were barely impressed. Laura was, after all, still an Indian. Reading the reports, one can’t help but think that young Laura Stevens was the only thing stopping the State from taking Peter Stevens’s kids away from him. Imagine if she had been out shopping on the day of the spot visit. The little Stevens kids would have been home alone, dishes in the sink and dirty clothes on the floor. Laura might have come home from shopping, and then later Peter from work, to find a home stripped of its children. However, this never came to be. Perhaps out of sheer luck, Laura was always home when the social workers showed up.


The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution is a truly fateful provision for Indian people. On occasion, Wenona and I teach at the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) for American Indians. It’s an eight week program that serves a little bit like a summer boot camp for Indian people who are planning to matriculate to law schools in the fall. Wenona teaches Property and I teach Indian Law. Compared with the regular law school survey-the-field course in Federal Indian Law, the short class I teach at PLSI is even more truncated. I can only assign a cross-section of the “greatest hits” of Indian law Supreme Court decisions because I don’t have time to conduct a full survey. I also try to assign cases where tribal interests prevailed. It turns out tribal interests and Indian people prevail more than not when the Fifth Amendment is in play. However, there are cases where tribal interests painfully and dramatically suffer under the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Fifth Amendment.

Pre-Law Advisor Training Conference – Registration Deadline Extended

PLAT 2018 new deadline_01.png

The registration deadline has been extended to January 25, 2019 for the Pre-Law Advisor Training Conference. Advisors with an array of titles and responsibilities are encouraged to join us February 5-6, 2019.

Lodging and travel reimbursements are available for Tribal Education Departments and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Please visit the event page or call (505) 277-5462 for more information about registration, travel reimbursements and the agenda.



Conference: Identify, Advise and Support Native American Pre-Law Students

Registration is still open for the Pre-Law Advisor Training Conference. Visit the event page for more information about registration, travel reimbursements, and the agenda.

Up to 30 lodging and travel reimbursements (up to $800) are available for Tribal Education Departments and Tribal Colleges and Universities.

See below for Day 2 conference details.

plat 2018 day 2 schedule