UTE INDIAN TRIBE:  Public Defender


UTE INDIAN TRIBE: Public Defender


Fort Duchesne, Utah

Department: Tribal Courts 

Position: Public Defender

Salary: To Be Negotiated Based on Experience

JOB DESCRIPTION – Public Defender of the Ute Tribal Court

The Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation is seeking applicants for the position of Public Defender of the Ute Tribal Court. Interested applicants should apply as set forth below.

POSITION: The Public Defender is a full-time position with a minimum 32 work week, Monday through Thursday, between 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, with the understanding that the employee may be required to work extended hours, including weekends/holidays. The successful applicant must be dependable, reliable, responsible, and able to fulfill obligations in a professional manner. This is a tribally-funded position.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: The Public Defender oversees the representation of defendants/respondents in proceedings initiated in the Ute Indian Tribal Court. The applicant must be willing to work within an environment conducive to the position’s location and purpose.

SUPERVISION: The Public Defender works under the general supervision of Executive Director.

RESPONSIBILITIES: Duties include but are not limited to the following:

- Represent defendants in adult criminal cases; youth in delinquency and status offense cases; parents or other legal custodians in child dependency cases; and Ute Tribal members in contested traffic, housing, and civil regulatory cases.

- Advise clients on rights and responsibilities, choices and consequences; maintain contact with clients; communicate effectively; respond promptly to questions and messages.

- Meet with clients in person as necessary, sometimes at off-Reservation locations such as detention facilities; maintain regular office hours and 24-hour availability to address urgent matters.

- Appear and argue cases in the Ute Indian Tribal Court at all stages of proceedings, including pre-trial, trial, post-trial, and appeal.

- Assist clients to comply with court orders and to obtain assessments and services related to drug/alcohol, mental health, domestic violence, and other psychosocial issues.

- Assist in improving the Tribe’s justice system, including development of codes and court rules, participation in meetings and trainings, and preparation and implementation of grants. -

- Maintain confidentiality and adhere to all professional and ethical standards required by the bar associations of which the Public Defender is a member.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Knowledge, Abilities and Skills:

− Knowledge of Federal Indian law and/or criminal law.

− Ability to maintain professionalism while interacting with a wide variety of people in a fast-paced crisis-oriented environment;

− Knowledge of the laws and policies of the Ute Indian Tribe including rules of procedure.

− Willingness to learn and respect of the Ute customs and traditions and history of the Ute Tribe.

− Possess excellent verbal and written communications skills and ability to maintain a positive, non-adversarial working environment.


− J.D. from an ABA accredited law school.

− Utah State Licensed Attorney or eligible.

− No felony or misdemeanor convictions in the past year.

− Valid driver’s license with the ability to obtain a Utah driver’s license.

− Preference for experience working in Indian Country, particularly in a tribal legal system

− Preference for experience working in criminal law and in child dependency matters.

− Preference for members of federally recognized tribes.


Complete a Tribal Application Form which can be found on our website: www.UTETRIBE.com. For questions or concerns, contact our office at (435) 725-4009. Applicants should mail a completed Tribal Application Form, cover letter, and resume to:

Ute Indian Tribe

ATTN: Human Resources

RE: Public Defender

P.O. Box 190

Fort Duchesne, UT 84026

- The Ute Indian Tribe practices TRIBAL PREFERENCE in accordance with the Indian Preference Act, Indian Civil Rights Act and Indian Self Determination Act. 

-Employees must clear a Background Check in compliance with the Indian Child Protection and Family Violence Prevention Act. 

-Employees must clear pre-employment alcohol/drug screenings in compliance with the Ute Tribe Substance Abuse Policy. 

-Employees must successfully complete a three (3) month’s probationary period in accordance with the Ute Tribe Personnel Manual.