Uniquely Experienced Tribal Attorney

Advocate for American Indian nations and Native-owned business

Our Team

Robert Odawi Porter is an innovative and results-driven attorney, scholar and political leader who has devoted his professional career to advancing the rights of sovereign American Indian nations and tribes [in the United States].  A citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians, Rob was raised in the Nation’s Allegany Territory and earned his education from Syracuse University and Harvard Law School.  He served two terms as Seneca chief legal counsel, as founding chairman of Seneca Holdings LLC, and, in 2010, was elected as the Seneca Nation’s 67th President.  He has served as a tenured law professor at the University of Kansas, the University of Iowa, and Syracuse University, and written numerous academic articles on tribal law and governance and a book, “Sovereignty, Colonialism, and the Indigenous Nations; A Reader.” 

A proven advocate, Rob has successfully defended and protected federal and state governments tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. He served a lead role in efforts to stop New York State from taxing Seneca commerce and was a key player in the ending IRS' practice of auditing Indians for benefits received from their tribal governments under the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act of 2014.

As I see it, ‘sovereignty’ as applied to Indigenous nations simply means freedom, the freedom of a people to choose what their future will be.

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians
Heron Clan / Allegany Territory

Academic Experience

  • Professor of Law, Syracuse University (2003-2010)
  • Founding Director, Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship
  • Professor of Law, University of Iowa (2002-2003)
  • Professor of Law, University of Kansas (1995-2002)
    Founding Director, Tribal Law and Government Center
  • Author of 20 scholarly articles on American Indian Law & Policy

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians

  • Heron Clan
  • Allegany Territory

Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School (1989)
  • A.B. Syracuse University in Political Science and Economics (1986)

Tribal Government Experience

  • President and Chief Executive Officer, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (2010-2012)
  • Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (2004-2010)
  • Attorney General, Seneca Nation of Indians
    (1991-1995)

Business Experience

  • Founding Chairman, Seneca Holdings LLC (2009-2013)

Legal Experience

  • Senior Counsel, Dentons US LLP (2013 – present)
  • Associate, Dickstein, Shapiro & Morin (1989-1991)

Strategic Partners

As client needs require, Odawi Law PLLC is able to draw upon a national network of distinguished individuals and firms with experience working in Indian Country.  Following the initial consultation, we will develop a services proposal for client consideration.  This business approach ensures that client needs and objectives are achieved in the most efficient and cost-effective manner.

Kimberlee Dunlop has extensive experience representing Indian tribes on a wide variety of legal matters, including gaming, contracts, energy, environment and natural resources, homeland security and border issues, litigation, economic development, administrative law, land into trust, sacred sites, health, constitutional reform, and non-profit organization.  She has worked with tribal leaders, community members, and political leaders at the local, state, tribal and federal levels.  

A national leader in the development of enhanced tribal identification cards (“ETCs”), Ms. Dunlop was instrumental in securing one of the first Memorandum of Agreements between a tribe and the Department of Homeland Security to begin producing and issuing identification cards that tribal members could use under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative to cross the U.S.-Canada international border.

Robert Odawi Porter

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians
Heron Clan / Allegany Territory

Academic Experience

Ms. Dunlop practiced Federal Indian Law and Public Policy in Washington, D.C. with a top international law firm, and served as a Government Affairs liaison for general lobbying and legislative work on behalf of several tribal clients with a small Indian law boutique firm.  She also served on the Board of Directors for the Seneca Gaming Corporation, both as Corporate Secretary and on the Audit Committee.

Kimberlee Dunlop

Enrolled citizen of the Seneca Nation of Indians

  • Snipe Clan

Education

  • J.D. State University of New York at Buffalo Law School (2003)
  • B.A. Bucknell University in Biology and Anthropology (2000)

Tribal Government Experience

  • Special Counsel, Seneca Nation of Indians (2013-current)
  • Board of Directors, Seneca Gaming Corporation (2013-2016)
    Audit Committee (2013-2016)
    Corporate Secretary (2014-2015)

Legal Experience

  • Special Counsel, Seneca Nation of Indians (2013-current)
  • Associate, Holland & Knight, LLP (2005-2010)
    Associate, Nordhaus, Haltom, Taylor, Taradash & Bladh, LLP (2003-2005)