Native American Lawyers Association of San Diego County
A place for Native American lawyers, judges, law students, and law professors that welcomes our allies supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
Native American Lawyers Association of San Diego County
Established in 1995 for professional development, networking, and support of Native American lawyers and Indian law practitioners.
Originally a small group of Native American lawyers meeting up for dinner to encourage and advise one another professionally. NALA formalized its purpose in 1995. The group has grown in size and activity. From hosting MCLE programs, mixers, special meetups at cultural and recreational events, and annual dinner events, we aim to enrich and support our members' professional and personal development.
NALA is here to support Native American lawyers, judges, law students, and law professor, inclusive of our allies supporting tribal sovereignty and self-determination.
We accomplish this by offering educational programs, professional development opportunities, and social interaction for Association members and those working in the legal profession.
We support the advancement of tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination and the general welfare of Native American people.
"As a testament to our ancestors' resilience, we are still here. We stand together in two worlds acknowledging our differences and finding strength in our shared experiences. I appreciate the opportunity to serve our organization. May we always stand together. "
Angela Medrano, NALA President
Angela M. Medrano, President
Law Office of Angela Medrano
Angela M. Medrano (Cahuilla Band of Indians) joined NALA as a law student at the University of San Diego in 2000. She has served as NALA's president since becoming a lawyer in 2003. Her legal career focuses on Federal Indian and Tribal law matters, with a special interest in economic development and tribal governance matters. Ms. Medrano is pro tem judge at the Intertribal Court of Southern California and is the presiding judge for the Tribal Youth Court at ICSC. She obtained her B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from the University of Southern California.
Manfred Muecke, Vice President
Manfred P. Muecke has been a member of NALA for over a decade and has served as Vice-President the last several years. Manfred graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2002 and has practiced complex individual and class litigation on behalf of aggrieved consumers, employees, investors, and policyholders since 2003 for a nationally recognized class action law firm before recently opening his own practice in 2020. Manfred is a member of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe and has previously served as president of the CIT Economic Development Corporation and as a director of the Tribe's section 17 corporation Siwa'vaats, LLC.
Gabriela Rios, Co-Secretary
Senior Associate, Procopio
Gabriela (Gabi) Magee has been a member of NALA since graduating from the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law in 2015. Gabi is a Senior Associate at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP where she focuses her practice on advising tribal clients on a variety of issues regarding governance, business organizations, financing, gaming entitlements and compliance, intergovernmental agreements, cultural resource protection and contracts. She is a member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians and has served on the Board of Directors of the Cahuilla Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) since 2012.
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, Treasurer
Life Law Partners, L.L.P.
Austin (Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians heritage) is a partner of Life Law Partners, LLP, focusing in corporate and estate-planning law. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin and the University of San Diego School of Law, graduating from the latter in 2010. In addition to his involvement with NALA, he is a mayoral appointee to and current chair of the City of San Diego Small Business Advisory Board and a board member of Business for Good: San Diego, the Badger Boys State Alumni Association and the Wisconsin Alumni Association: San Diego. He is also a member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association and a graduate of the 2016 San Diego Public Leadership Institute.
Andrea N. Jones, Member-at-Large
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.
Learn more about how you can join NALA and support us on our mission.