Law Office of Lisa L. Atkinson, PLLC. Edmonds, Washington.  2001-Present. Practice: Wills, trusts, estate, probate & business law; Indian Law; Chief Judge, Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Massachusetts); Appellate Justice, Inter-tribal Council of Nevada; Judge Pro Tem and Appellate Justice, Northwest Intertribal Court System (NICS); prior Judge/Justice/Hearing Officer Shoalwater Bay, Jamestown S’Klallam, Squaxin Island, Swinomish, Suquamish, Tulalip, Chehalis, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Upper Skagit, Snoqualmie, Quinault, and Ute Tribes; former Tribal Attorney, Quileute & Hoh Tribes; former Prosecutor, Stillaguamish Tribe; Code Writer, Pueblo of Zia; trainer for new tribal court judges.

Selected Honors & Activities

  • 2019-2021 Vice-Chair, ABA GPSolo Diversity Board
  • 2017-2019 Chair, ABA Tribal Courts Council
  • 2018-2019 Chair, ABA GPSolo Diversity Board
  • 2018-2019 Chair-Elect, ABA Judicial Division National Conference of Specialized Court Judges
  • 2016-2021 ABA GPSolo Division Diversity Mentor
  • 2015-16 American Bar Association (ABA) GPSolo Division Diversity Fellow

Northwest Intertribal Court System, Mountlake Terrace, Washington.  Prosecutor for five western Washington tribes- criminal and civil matters; Indian Child  Welfare proceedings in Tribal and State court.

National Indian Gaming Commission, Washington, D.C. Office of General Counsel: Reviewed tribal ordinances and contracts for compliance with applicable federal regulations; wrote proposed agency Debt Collection regulations; revised Model Tribal Gaming Ordinance; processed and responded to Freedom of Information Act/Privacy Act requests; performed extensive research and wrote environmental assessments involving Indian lands determinations; wrote federal procurement contracts for civil contract employees; wrote notices of violation and subpoenas for regulatory violations; compiled, reviewed, indexed documents for production pursuant to subpoena from the Inspector General of the Department of Interior.

Native American Rights Fund, Boulder, Colorado.  Summer 1998. Law Clerk: Provided research used in United States Supreme Court amicus brief regarding taxation of construction project; researched evidentiary issues for fund accountability case; prepared section-by-section analysis of tribal water, garbage and sewer codes; researched intellectual property rights for tribal stories and songs; performed extensive ICWA research.


University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
Juris Doctor, Environmental Concentration, June 1999

Selected Honors & Activities

  • Publication: Tanner, Gordon W. and Atkinson, Lisa L., Annual Review of Agricultural Law: Commercial Law Developments, 3 Drake J. Agric. L. 195 (Spring 1998)
  • Clinician, Northwest Justice Project, Indian Law Clinic, 1998-1999.
  • Recipient, Ralph W. Johnson Native American Scholarship, 1996-1997
  • Vice President, Northwest Indian Bar Association, 1997-1998
  • Treasurer, Native American Law Student Association (NALSA), 1997-1999
  • Quarter-finalist, National NALSA Moot Court Competition, 1999
  • Volunteer, Northwest Tribal Court Judges’ Association Child Support Bench Book Task Force, 1997-1999

Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Spanish minor, cum laude, June 1996
Bachelor of Arts, International Studies, French emphasis, cum laude, June 1996

Selected Honors & Activities

  • President, OSU Chapter of American Indian Science and Engineering Society, 1994-1996
  • Co-coordinator, Native American Longhouse, 1995-1996
  • Member, Phi Kappa Phi, National Academic Honor Society, 1994-Present
  • Study abroad, Universite de Poitiers, France, 1993-1994


  • French proficiency (oral/written)
  • Spanish proficiency (oral/written)
  • Beginning Cherokee (oral)
  • Learning Hawaiian (oral/written)


  • (ABA book publication pending) Atkinson, Lisa. “Our Sheroes Have Always Been Clan Mothers: What America Learned about Suffrage from Native Women”
  • Atkinson, Lisa. “Start Networking with People who are NOT Like You.” GPSolo Magazine. July/August 2019.
  • Atkinson, Lisa. “How I Expanded and Diversified My Network.” GPSolo online at:  https://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/publications/gpsolo_ereport/2019/july-2019/how-i-expanded-diversified-my-network/ July 22, 2019.
  • Atkinson, Lisa. “Best Interest of the Child: A Tribal Judge’s Perspective.” The Judge’s Journal. Winter 2019.
  • Atkinson, Lisa. “What I wish I had known about opening up my own law firm.” GPSolo Magazine. November/December 2017.
  • Tanner, Gordon W. and Atkinson, Lisa L., Annual Review of Agricultural Law: Commercial Law Developments, 3 Drake J. Agric. L. 195 (Spring 1998).


  • 2020 ABA Mid-Year Conference CLE. Topic: The Disenfranchised Among Us: Voter Suppression Tactics that Burden, Marginalize and Exclude.
  • 2019 ABA Mid-Year Conference CLE. Topic: Trafficking in the World of Chance: Human Trafficking in the Casino Industry and Beyond.
  • 2018 Montana State Bar, Indian Law Section CLE. Topic: VAWA 2013: A View from the Bench; ABA Tribal Courts Council
  • 2018 ABA Annual Conference, Judicial Division. Topic: The Delicate Dance: Strategies for Handling Cases Involving Uncooperative Domestic Violence Victims
  • 2018 GPSolo/GLSA Joint Spring Meeting. Topic: Implicit Bias in the Legal Profession
  • 2017 Minority & Justice Commission presentation. Topic: VAWA 2013 in Indian Country
  • 2017 GPSolo/GLSA Joint Spring Meeting. Topic: Off the Reservation- Native Cultural Appropriation and the Law
  • 2017 ABA Mid-Year Conference. Topic: Addressing the Oliphant in the Room, a Panel Discussion Including Survivors that Participate in the Interpretive Play, Sliver of a Full Moon
  • 2016 58th Annual Washington State Judicial Conference. Topic: Tribal Orders Across Borders, What Do You Do With Rival Petitions and Jurisdictions?
  • 2015 Tulalip Tribes’ VAWA Tribal Trial Advocacy Skills Training
  • 2015 King County Superior Court “Courts and Community Committee” presentation on the Violence Against Women Act and its impact on courts and tribal communities
  • 2014 Northwest Intertribal Court System Court Clerk Training
  • 2014 (9/22/14) 56th Annual Washington State Judicial Conference. Topic: Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) in Indian Country.
  • 2013-16 judicial trainings/mentoring for tribal court judges
  • 2013 Spokane Bar Association CLE. Topic: Ethical & Professional Responsibilities For Diversity Based Clients- Indian Law – Litigating in or Against Indian Tribes Jurisdiction; Cultural Obstacles; Ethical Considerations
  • 2012 NNALSA Moot Court Judge, University of Hawaii
  • 2011 University of Washington 1L Oral Argument Judge
  • 2010 University of Washington Appellate Advocacy Competition Judge
  • 2009 University of Washington 1L Contract Negotiations Judge
  • 2008 WSTLA Annual Conference.  Topic: Ethical & Professional Responsibilities for Diversity Based Clients
  • 2008 WSBA Indian Law CLE for Urban Indian Legal Clinic.  Topic: Practicing in Tribal Courts
  • 2008 WSBA 20th Annual Indian Law CLE.  Topic: Why Tribal Courts Are Important to All Indian Law Attorneys
  • 2008 Washington Minority Bar Associations Collaboration Project Statewide Diversity Conference.  Topic: Tribal Courts 101
  • 2008 30th Annual Conference, National Association of Women Judges.  Topic: Indian Child Welfare Act at 30. (National Women Judges Conference)
  • 2008 20th Annual National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts.  Topic: Interaction with American Indian Tribal Courts. (National Judges Conference)
  • 2007 WSBA Bar Leaders Conference.  Topic: Leadership in Action: Public Defense in Washington Tribal Courts
  • 2007 Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Celebrate Diversity CLE.  Topic: Northwest Indian Bar Association updates
  • 2007 Northwest Tribal Court Judges’ Association (NWTCJA) Judges’ Training
  • 2005, 2006, 2007 Seattle University Choices in Law.  Topic: Opportunities in Indian Law
  • 2005, 2006, 2007 Judge, National NALSA Moot Court.  Brief & Oral Argument Judge


State Courts of Washington, U.S. District Court, Western Washington

Tribal Courts: Skokomish, Nooksack, Stillaguamish, Chehalis, Shoalwater Bay, Muckleshoot, Swinomish, Sauk-Suiattle, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Quileute, Suquamish, Hoh and Tulalip Tribes


  • Washington State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association- GP Solo Division; Judicial Division; National Conference of Specialized Court Judges; Tribal Courts Council
  • Past Board Member, Minority & Justice Commission (WA Supreme Court appointment)
  • Past Board Member, Access to Justice Board (WA Supreme Court appointment)
  • Past President and 9-year Member, Board of Directors, Northwest Justice Project (WSBA appointment)
  • Northwest Indian Bar Association, Past President 2006-2007, current Treasurer
  • Northwest Tribal Court Judges’ Association
  • Member, National American Indian Court Judges’ Association
  • Member, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
  • Past Member, Board of Directors, Edmonds Chamber of Commerce
  • Phi Alpha Delta