Leah Jurss


Leah has focused her legal career on issues of jurisdiction, sovereignty, and treaty rights in both federal and tribal courts. Before she joined 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, where she worked on a wide variety of civil and criminal matters. During law school, she served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Michigan State Law Review and provided amicus curiae support to tribes engaged in Indian Child Welfare Act litigation through the Indigenous Law & Policy Center Law Clinic at Michigan State University College of Law. After receiving her J.D., she was the Academic Fellow at the Indigenous Law & Policy Center, where she developed and taught a course to help first year Native American law students succeed in law school. Leah is a descendant of the White Earth Nation of northern Minnesota.

Outside the office, Leah enjoys cycling with her husband and exploring parks and trails with her flat-coat retriever, Mitten.

Bar Admissions

  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan


  • 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 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