Brian is someone you can learn much from. In addition to being a lawyer that has taken on several large cases and initiatives as part of his work in Indian Country, he is low key and always maintains his sense of humor.
Brian discussed how his general low key demeanor has positively impacted his clients’ cases. It reminded me of the saying “you can shear a sheep many times, but you can only skin it once.”
Brian grew up in Omak, Washington. He attended Washington State University. He served on the school’s newspaper and as part of his work, he decided to reach out to Bill Kunstler for an interview. To his surprise, the well known civil rights attorney agreed to speak with Brian for 45 minutes or so. The conversation sparked his interest in the law. This is one of the best nuggets of information from our conversation. Brian’s story demonstrates that it’s usually worth the effort to email someone, approach them at a conference or connect via social media. Nine times out of ten you may hear nothing back, but occasionally you will connect and the encounter can change your path or theirs, and that’s worth it.
After law school, Brian wanted to end up in DC. So he moved and has been there working on behalf of Indian Country ever since.
In this episode
Brian and I discuss the challenges and effort of being a tribal leader, and his interest in the work of Hunter Thompson. We recorded the conversation on 9/11 and we discussed how individuals email communications at his law former law firm (located in one of the towers) were published several years ago. They are a surreal read.
Brian encourages people to engage tribal leaders and get to know them, and the work they do. He shares how much he has learned through working with tribal leaders, and that when he is looking for advice, they are often to whom he reaches out. That is good advice, and it extends beyond tribal leaders, too. To take the conversation full circle, nine times out of ten reaching out to someone may be unfruitful, but you never know what you can accomplish if you do.