Leah K. Jurss


Leah is a descendent of the White Earth Ojibwe Nation and works closely with tribal governments to represent their interests in tribal and federal courts. As an accomplished litigator, she regularly shepherds cases from beginning to successful conclusion, covering a wide-range of topics important to tribal governments and their business partners. Leah has experience working with reserved treaty rights, reservation boundary and land tenure issues, including rights-of-way and the land-into-trust process, tribal sovereign immunity, tribal human resources concerns, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and structures and best practices for tribal codes and tribal court systems.

Prior to joining Hogen Adams, Leah served as a law clerk to the Honorable Roberto A. Lange of the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota. During law school, Leah served as Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan State Law Review. After graduation, she was the Academic Fellow at the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, where she developed and taught a course to help first-year Indigenous law students adapt to and succeed in law school.

Leah has served as the Publications Coordinator for the Indian Law Section of the Federal Bar Association since 2019, authored regular updates on Indian law cases for Minnesota’s Bench & Bar magazine since 2020, and has served on committees with the Minnesota American Indian Bar Association. She has been named a “Rising Star” in Native American Law in Minnesota each year since 2020.

Outside the office, Leah enjoys exploring the prairies, lakes, and forests of Mni Sota Makoce with her family.

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Michigan Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court
  • St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin Tribal Court
  • Stockbridge-Munsee Tribal Court
  • Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Court
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community Tribal Court


  • J.D.  Michigan State University College of Law, summa cum laude (2015)
  • B.A.  University of Minnesota, summa cum laude (2012)

Selected Publications, Presentations, and Honors

  • “Tribal Practice – The Fundamentals of Practicing in Tribal Court,” Panelist,  Minnesota Indian Law Conference (2022)
  • “Representation & Inclusion: Moving Toward Demographic Parity for Native American Attorneys,” The Federal Lawyer (2021)
  • “Tribes’ Authority to Protect its Own: VAWA & Criminal Issues on the Reservation,” Panelist, Wisconsin State Bar Indian Law Conference (2021)
  • “Leveraging Tribal Court Judgments in Your Federal Practice,” with Peter Rademacher, The Federal Lawyer (2020)
  • “Filling the Pipeline: Recruitment and Retention of the Next Generation of Native Attorneys,” Panelist, Tribal In House Counsel Association Annual Conference (2018)
  • “Tribal Jurisdiction—A Historical Bargain,” with Matthew L.M. Fletcher, 76 Maryland L. Rev. 101 (2017)
  • “Telling Stories in Court: Developing a Reflective Tribal Legislative History,” 10 Albany Gov’t L. Rev. 157 (2016)
  • “Eating Mascots for Breakfast: How Keeping Native Faces Off Labels Can Grow Tribal Economies,” 6 Law J. for Social Justice 27 (2016)
  • “Domestic Violence in Indian Country and the 2013 Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act,” Guest Lecturer, Michigan State University College of Law (2015)
  • “Tort Claims in Indian Country,” Panelist, Tribal In House Counsel Association Annual Conference (2015)
  • “How the Past Can Inform the Future: Domestic Violence in Indian Country,” Panelist, Native American and Indigenous Studies Association Annual Conference (2015)
  • “Halting the Slide Down the Sovereignty Slope: Creative Remedies for Tribes Extending Civil Infraction Systems over Non-Indians,” 16 Rutgers Race & L. Rev. 39 (2015)
  • “The Indian Child Welfare Act,” Guest Lecturer, Michigan State University College of Social Science (2015)
  • National Native American Law Students Association’s 3L of the Year (2014-2015)
  • Jurisprudence Achievement Awards in Federal Law and Indian Tribes, Tribal Law, Tribal Economic Development, Contracts, Property, Domestic Violence, and Research, Writing, and Analysis