Erin Dougherty Lynch is a staff attorney based in the Anchorage office. At NARF, Erin works on a variety of federal Indian law issues, including child welfare, subsistence hunting and fishing rights, voting rights, tribal jurisdiction and sovereignty, and issues related to the relocation of coastal villages threatened by erosion and other problems associated with climate change. She is heavily involved in issues related to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) on both the state and national level, and she successfully argued Simmonds v. Parks in the Alaska Supreme Court. She also represents the Bering Sea Elders Group, a consortium of thirty-nine Yup’ik and Inupiaq villages who rely on the Bering Sea for subsistence hunting and fishing. She joined the Native American Rights Fund in 2009 as a Skadden Fellow.
Erin graduated from Willamette University where she was a double major in Politics and History, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, and a Truman Scholar. Prior to law school Erin was a Fulbright Scholar based at the University of Tromsø in Tromsø (Romsa), Norway where she conducted masters-level research on Sámi political mobilization and indigenous self-governance within international and Norwegian legal frameworks.
She received her J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 2008. While in law school Erin was the co-chair of Michigan’s Native American Law Students Association, served on the National Advisory Committee for Equal Justice Works, and also served as an Article Editor and the Administrative Manager for the Michigan Journal of Gender & Law.
Erin previously clerked for the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, the Brennan Center for Justice in New York, and legal aid organizations in Alaska and Vermont. After graduation, she was a law clerk for the Honorable Dana Fabe, then Chief Justice of the Alaska Supreme Court. Erin serves on the Alaska Bar Association’s Committee for Pro Bono Service and the Committee on Fair and Impartial Courts. She is admitted to practice law in Alaska, the District of Alaska, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.