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Naomi Palosaari

Fortier & Mikko

Dr. Palosaari graduated with honors from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2017 with a Juris Doctorate and certificates in American Indian Law and Natural Resources Law. During law school, she clerked with Sonosky Chambers Sachse Miller and Munson in Anchorage, served in the University of Oklahoma’s International Human Rights Clinic in Suriname, and was a teaching assistant for the Master of Legal Studies in Indigenous People’s Law program. She was also the Articles Development Editor for the American Indian Law Review. After graduation, she served as Tribal Attorney for Sitka Tribe of Alaska until she joined the firm in the spring of 2019. Much of her work as tribal attorney and law clerk focused on drafting and revising tribal organic documents, policies, and procedures; zealously representing the tribe through government-to-government meetings, negotiations, and advocacy; and providing legal support to the tribal court. She is admitted to practice in Alaska, Washington, the Alaska Federal District Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Court of Claims, and the Sitka Tribal Court.

Naomi was the first in her family to go to college, where she earned an M.A. and Ph.D. in linguistics before beginning a career in law. Her work focused on Native American language documentation and revitalization. She first became interested in law through her language revitalization work with tribes who faced issues of access and protection of Traditional Knowledge. She continues to develop that interest, publishing an article in the American Indian Law Review on intellectual property rights and informed consent in Native communities and drafting ordinances and policies on tribal regulation of research. Other areas of interest include wills and estates, protection of archeological and cultural sites, natural resources protection, trust and restricted property, and mediation. She has completed a 40-hour training on mediation and is a member of the Native Law and Mediation and Arbitration Sections of the Alaska Bar.