Indian Estate Planning Intern Program

The Institute for Indian Estate Planning and Probate (IIEPP), develops and oversees programs, both locally and nationally, that create legal opportunities for law students while serving within and on behalf of Native American communities. These programs include:

The Indian Estate Planning Project - Summer Internship

 

For the past seven summers, the Indian Estate Planning Project has provided estate planning services to tribal members throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Indian estate planning has become particularly complex with the American Indian Probate Reform Act taking effect in 2006.

Summer Internship

Few law student summer internships offer this level and quality of direct client involvement while also serving communities that would otherwise go without these essential services.

The summer Indian Estate Planning Project provides exceptional direct client experiences and places specially trained second and third year law students from ABA accredited schools on Indian reservations throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The Project is seeking to expand its services to include additional tribal communities both nationally and throughout the Pacific Northwest. The Project provides these services at no cost to clients and without regard to clients' income.

The interns attend a one week, fully paid, training session at Seattle University School of Law on the history of federal laws and policies creating trust lands and fractionation, trust and non-trust estate planning under federal, state and tribal laws, the federal probate process, the American Indian Probate Reform Act, will drafting and working within reservation communities. Upon completing the training, the interns provide 10 weeks of full-time estate planning legal services to tribal members on a designated reservation, under the direct supervision of licensed attorneys.

Qualifications: Students must be in their second or third years of law school and must have completed a Wills and Trusts class.  A background in Indian Law is a plus but is not required.  Students need to be able to complete the training and then work for at least 10 consecutive weeks during the summer.  Although exact dates have not been determined (and will depend on the schedules of the schools the students attend), the intention is to begin as soon as possible after the end of the spring term.

 Pay: $5,500 plus expense stipend.

 Exceptional Legal Experience

Students who are summer interns with the Project gain unique legal training in a specialized area of the law. Interns also obtain the invaluable experiences of living within tribal communities while working directly with clients who are preparing their end of life documents. This project seamlessly intersects with the social justice mission of the School of Law. For more information, please read what former law students interns had to say.

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Application Process

Please submit: (i) cover letter, (ii) resume, (iii) unofficial transcript, and (iv) 3 references to: Guadalupe Ceballos at indianwills@seattleu.edu or the address listed below:

Erica Wolf & Guadalupe Ceballos

c/o The Institute for Indian Estate Planning & Probate

Seattle University School of Law

901 12th Ave

Seattle, WA 98144

We will begin reviewing applications and placing interns beginning March 1, 2014. While the application deadline is the close of business on April 1, 2014, you should submit your application materials at the earliest possible date. 

For more information on the Summer Indian Estate Planning Project contact Attorney Erica Wolf  directly at 206.398.4277, or via e-mail at wolfer@seattleu.edu.

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What former law student interns say

 

"I had a wonderful summer filled with experiences that I will never forget. I would definitely do the internship again in a heartbeat. I cannot say enough positive things about my experience and working with the Institute and my supervisor. I will highly recommend the internship to others."

Amelia Champion, Intern on Blackfeet Indian Reservation
Willamette University

 

"I had such a great time living and working on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. I made life long friends and received such a better understanding of current American Indian life."

Derek E. Kline, Intern on Blackfeet Indian Reservation
Vermont Law School

 

"This Project helped cement my desire to do this type of work after graduation."

Joshua Curtis, Intern on Swinomish Indian Reservation
Seattle University School of Law

 

"The greatest success of this internship came from the client interviews. While most of the clients know more about their land than I do, I was able to explain to them exactly what their options are for all of their land."

Eric Winn, Intern on the Umatilla Indian Reservation
University of Oregon

 

"One day after completing the execution ceremony for a client whose previous will was destroyed in a house fire, she came up to me and thanked me with a hug. I suddenly realized the real reason why I was here. It is all about building relationships and giving people piece of mind that things will be taken care of when they pass away."

Leah Myers, Intern on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation
University of Oregon

 

"The experience of writing Indian wills and serving the community is extremely rewarding."

Micah Thomas, Intern on Crow Reservation
Roger Williams University School of Law

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Local and National Legal Internship Opportunities for Law Students

 

The Institute for Indian Estate Planning & Probate  is currently developing other legal opportunities for law students, in collaboration with tribal communities and affiliates throughout the country including the Puget Sound area. For information on these developments, or if you are a Tribe interested in having a summer intern provide services to your tribal members, please contact Douglas Nash at (206)398-4276 or dnash@seattleu.edu

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