Believe in the Possibilities

We Encourage and Support Native American Lawyers, Judges, Law Professors, and Students Engaged in Practicing Indian Law

Law and legal services

Native American Lawyers Association in San Diego

Native American Lawyers Association of San Diego County is a San Diego bar association for native American lawyers and Indian law practitioners. Since 1995, we have worked for professional development, networking, and support.

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About NALA

The Native American Lawyers Association (NALA) was established in 1995 by a small group of native American lawyers who met regularly to encourage and advise one another professionally. Over the years, the group has grown in size and activity. We participate in the Ethnic Relations and Diversity Committee of the San Diego County Bar Association as well as host an MCLE every year.

NALA's Mission

We aim to encourage and support Native American lawyers, judges, law professors, and students engaged in or interested in practicing Indian law. We accomplish this by offering educational programs, professional development opportunities, and social interaction for Association members and those working in the legal profession.

NALA favors improving Native Americans' overall welfare, self-determination, and sovereignty.

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President's Message

"Today, we are still here. Today we have grown. Today someone asked me if there were even enough of us to have a NALA. Yes, there are Native American lawyers. Yes, there are people interested in and practicing Indian law. Yes, there is even a professor teaching Indian law at one of the local law schools. All in San Diego County (some members are based in Riverside County). So yes, we are here, just like the 17 federally recognized Indian tribes in this county and just like the thousands of Native Americans living on and off reservations in this county. NALA is here for those of us here today, and NALA is here for those of us coming tomorrow."

Angela Medrano, NALA President

Officers Section

Angela M. Medrano,

Angela M. Medrano, President

Attorney at Law

Since 2000, Angela M. Medrano has belonged to NALA. She obtained her J.D. from the University of San Diego and was authorized to practice law in California the same year. Angela is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians. Before attending law school, she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Southern California.

Her legal career focuses on tribal governance matters, Indian child welfare, economic development, tribal TANF, and Indian gaming regulation issues. She also handles personal injury claims and small business matters.

Manfred Muecke, Vice President

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Manfred Muecke
Andrea N. Jones

Andrea N. Jones, Treasurer

Jones Law Group

Andrea's practice focuses on defending corporations and public entities in employment litigation. She graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2011 and was a co-founder of the Health Law Society and a published member of the Journal of Climate and Energy Law. In addition, she competed in several Moot Court tournaments, making it as far as the semifinals of the 2009 Alumni Moot Court Competition.

Since 2011, Andrea has been a NALA member. While in law school, she worked as a law clerk at California Indian Legal Services. On Jun 6, 2013, she published an article titled "Clarification Needed in the Affordable Care Act's 'Play or Pay' Rule and its Effect on Tribal Businesses" in Indian Country Today.

Gabriela Rios, Co-SecretaryGabi

Attorney, Procopio

Gabriela Rios
Courtney Cole

Courtney Cole, Co-Secretary

Courtney Cole (Cherokee/Choctaw/Shawnee) is the court solicitor for the Intertribal Court of Southern California. She acquired her law degree from the University of Colorado Law School and served as the Native American Law Students Association president.

At the Intertribal Court of Southern California, she also worked as a law clerk for the Native American Rights Fund, participated in the American Indian Law Clinic as a student attorney, and obtained a certificate in American Indian law.

Ms. Cole is a native of southern California. Her professional interests include American Indian and natural resources law. She is also a former member of the board of directors of the California Indian Law Association.

Austin Evans, Member-at-Large

Life Law Partners, L.L.P.

Austin Evans

Learn more about how you can join NALA and support us on our mission.