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Hobbs Straus lawyers have played key roles in obtaining amendments to the ISDEAA to strengthen tribal rights to administer BIA and IHS programs under Titles I, IV and V.

Attorney Biography

Lael Echo-Hawk
Of Counsel
Tel: 202.822.8282
Fax: 202.296.8834

Born in Fairbanks, raised in Mentasta Lake Village in the Interior of Alaska, Lael Echo-Hawk is a member of the Pawnee Nation of Oklahoma and adopted granddaughter to Katie John, Ahtna Athabascan Indian and the daughter of the last chief of Batzulnetas. After serving as tribal reservation attorney, legislative director for the Native American Contractors Association and Counselor to the Chair of the National Indian Gaming Association and spending several years in private practice, Lael joins Hobbs Straus as Of Counsel.

Lael represents tribes and tribal organizations on many issues including gaming, Indian Child Welfare, economic development, housing, and developing the tribal government infrastructure such as drafting ordinances and chartering tribal businesses. While at the National Indian Gaming Commission, Lael advised the Commission while developing a new method of tribal government-to-government consultation and led a comprehensive review of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act’s implementing regulations. She provides advice and strategic policy analysis to tribes and tribal organization on national legislative and regulatory proposals having tribal implications and represents tribal clients before administrative agencies.

Lael is active in community service, with an emphasis on civil rights, diversity training and enhancing achievement opportunities for persons of color. She is an instructor in continuing legal education classes and at local higher education institutions. She is a published author of numerous papers and presentations on complex legal issues, has been recognized as a “Rising Star: Young Women Who Make a Difference” in their profession and is the recipient of the 2013 National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40”. Lael speaks frequently at national conferences and law schools and teaches Street Law to at-risk youth.

Lael received her J.D. from the University of Washington where she was President of the Native American Law Student Association, Vice-President of the Student Bar Association and Vice-President to the Minority Student Bar Association. After two years at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Lael finished her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington in 1999. She is admitted to practice in Washington State.

Lael spends her free time singing karaoke with her seven siblings and husband and spoiling her many nieces and nephews. She is committed to serving Indian Country and representing tribal interests in a good way.

Professional Organizations:
Northwest Indian Bar Association
National Native American Bar Association
Washington State Bar Association
University of Washington School of Law, J.D., 2003
University of Washington, B.A., 2000
Bar Admissions:
Suquamish Tribal Court
Tulalip Tribal Court
Western District of Washington
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
District of Massachusetts
First Circuit Court of Appeals