Law360 Profiles Donald Pongrace, 2016 Native American Law MVP

Akin Gump American Indian law and policy practice head Donald Pongrace was profiled by Law360 as one of its 2016 MVPs in the category of Native American Law.

Pongrace, who also helms the firm’s public law and policy practice, said of Akin Gump’s Native American work in the nation’s capital, “The overlay of law and policy has led to the aphorism that ‘All roads in Indian Country lead to Washington.’ As a result, it’s a natural place for law firms with a policy practice to undertake work around the country.”

Further, in discussing Akin Gump’s reputation in, and commitment to, Indian Country, Pongrace said, “It’s part of the investment in the equation. You have to prove loyalty in relationships where you choose a side. That’s been one of our hallmarks since the beginning of the practice.”

The article focuses on several of Pongrace and his team’s marquee accomplishments in the last year, including the June implementation of the settlement of the Crow Nation’s water rights, a vital issue that represents $460 million in federal benefits to the tribe, and the firm’s work on behalf of long-standing client the Gila River Indian Community, most recently in working to resolve litigation surrounding another tribe’s efforts to build an off-reservation casino in Phoenix.

Pongrace said that he does not expect a dramatic shift in government policy with a new President, and that tribal leaders will continue to be pragmatic in their government dealings: “Tribes won’t be simply sitting on the sidelines wishing there were a different outcome to the election. They’ll do what they’ve always done, which is adjust and work with those who help them serve their people.”

To read the full profile, please click here.

To learn more about the firm’s work with the Crow Tribe of Montana, please click here.