Under the general supervision of the In-house General Counsel, the Assistant General Counsel – Water, Environment & Natural Resources serves as a key member of the Pueblo’s legal team. The Assistant General Counsel’s responsibilities will cover a wide range of legal matters that would typically confront a tribal general counsel’s office, including: providing a diverse range of legal advice to the Pueblo; performing high level legal research and analysis in various areas of law and policy specifically in relation to water and environmental law and policies; and serving as the primary contact and expert for the Pueblo’s water and natural resource legal matters, subject to the direction and oversight of the General Counsel.
Reports to the In-house General Counsel of the Pueblo of Sandia.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
- Provides legal counsel and strategic direction to the Pueblo and its departments in the areas of tribal governance including, but not limited to, environmental, land use, energy, water, cultural resources, legislative and intergovernmental environmental and natural resources policy.
- Researches and interprets issues, statutes, ordinances, resolutions and other laws; drafts legal opinions, ordinances, resolutions and other legal documents.
- Reviews environmental and water rights documents, and works closely with outside water counsel to represent the Pueblo in water and environmental matters.
- Performs or directs the development of legal strategy in litigation and administrative proceedings, in coordination with the General Counsel and outside legal counsel.
- Prepares comments on proposed federal and state legislation and regulations relating to water, environmental and natural resource issues, including natural resources management and preservation, water rights claims, and the regulatory requirements necessary to protect tribal water, environment and natural resources.
- Develops and implements strategies for deepening and broadening the Pueblo’s ability to partner with surrounding communities on water, environmental, and natural resource issues.
Secondary Duties and Responsibilities
- Provides legal advice, counsel and assistance to the Pueblo of Sandia, including its governmental and business entities, in relation to their duties and the operation of the Pueblo and its programs, projects, services, and commercial enterprises.
- Works efficiently and effectively with other Pueblo departments to achieve the policy objectives of the Pueblo.
- Performs other duties as deemed necessary.
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
- Administrative hearings, proceedings and practice.
- Proficient litigation skills, including legal research, writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills.
- Strong and demonstrated initiative, good judgment, creativity, and work ethic.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collegially.
- Demonstrated willingness to accept unusual and challenging assignments and an ability identify successful strategies to obtain a desired result.
- Highly independent and organized and able to manage a significant number of active matters simultaneously.
- Thorough knowledge of and commitment to professional ethics, particularly those rules that relate to the representation of governments.
Minimum Qualifications, Education and Experience
- Must be a member in good standing with the New Mexico Bar Association and licensed to practice law in the State of New Mexico with four (4) years of progressively responsible experience in the practice of Indian law, preferably in a public agency setting.
- Experience includes at least three (3) years of direct experience in the fields of water, environmental and/or natural resource law (preferably within the State of New Mexico).
- Working knowledge of federal Indian law, New Mexico law, and other relevant Federal and state regulations and policies that apply to tribal communities.
- Excellent references with substantial personal knowledge of applicant’s legal abilities.
- Experience working for or with tribal governments, law firm specializing in tribal law, or graduate of an Indian law program.
- Must be able to successfully pass a stringent background investigation.
- Will require a post-offer, pre-employment and random drug screening.
- Work is normally performed in a typical interior/office work environment.
- No or very limited physical effort required.
- No or very limited exposure to physical risk.