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Defense Counsel

University of Washington Native American Law Center Public Defense Clinic (for Criminal Charges on the Tulalip Reservation Only)

The Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic at the University of Washington Native American Law Center provides public defense services in Tulalip Tribal Court. The Clinic Directors, Molly Cohan (biography) and Brenda Williams (biography), and the two staff attorneys, Devon Knowles, and Maya Titova, represent clients year round. This service has been in place since 2002. Since that time, the Clinic has handled almost 3,000 cases in Tulalip Tribal Court. The Directors and Staff Attorneys are admitted to practice in both Tulalip and Washington Courts. Their areas of expertise include Tulalip law, criminal law, and Indian law. They are also experts on the Indian Civil Rights Act, and its recent amendments including the Tribal Law and Order Act, and the Violence Against Woman Act.

In addition to the attorneys, selected second and third year UW law students who take the Tribal Clinic class provide assistance to clients by working on cases under direct and close Clinic supervision. During Fall Quarter, they learn Tulalip, Indian, and criminal law and study for the Tulalip Bar Exam which they must pass to be admitted to practice in Tulalip Tribal Court. Funding for this service is supported primarily by charitable contributions from the Tulalip Tribes.

The Tribal Court appoints the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic when the defendant’s household income qualifies under Tulalip law. If you are charged with a criminal offense in the Tulalip Tribal Court, you may apply to be screened for eligibility in advance of your first hearing or you may apply at that time of your first court date. Applications are available at the Tribal Court or at the website below. If you are eligible for Clinic representation, Clinic Counsel will be appointed to represent you at your first court hearing. If the Clinic cannot represent you due to a conflict of interest, the Court will appoint Conflict Counsel. If you are arrested and incarcerated prior to charging, you must appear before the judge at which time you may apply for Counsel.

To contact the Clinic, you can call (360)716-4786. If no one answers, leave a message with a good time to call back. You may also call (206) 616-4201 or (206) 685-3917.

Download the Defense Clinic Application