Editorial Board

Editor-in-Chief: Jessica Martínez

Jessica is a third-year law student and a dual-degree candidate at the University of New Mexico School of Law and School of Public Administration. She is also pursuing an Indian Law Certificate. Before law school, Jessica worked as a legal secretary and was a community activist and leader. She has been a volunteer with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for over fifteen years and was elected to leadership positions locally and nationally. Jessica is also active in the law school community. Jessica serves as the Chief Justice of the Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Court of Review. She is also the Vice President of the Student Bar Association.

Jessica is an enrolled member of the Chihene Nde Nation of New Mexico. The Chihene are descendants of Apache people throughout Southern and Central New Mexico. The Chihene Nde Nation’s mission is to preserve their language, culture, and traditions, including protecting historic and sacred sites. Jessica is currently the tribal parliamentarian for the Tribal Council.  She is connected to the land and has a deep love for New Mexico. Jessica’s educational aspirations are motivated and energized by her desire to serve her community through public interest law.

Managing Editor: Esther Jamison

Esther Jamison is a third-year law student who expects to graduate in May 2021 with an Indian Law Certificate. Originally from the United Kingdom, Esther has had a previous career as a high school social studies and humanities teacher in New Mexico and England.  She received her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of York, her Postgraduate Certificate of Education from the University of Leeds, and spent a year studying at the University of California at Berkeley.  She has also trained and practiced as a mediator and restorative justice facilitator.

Esther most recently worked for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office in the Consumer and Environment Protection Division. She will begin her law career as a clerk for the Honorable James Browning in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, and aspires to work in an area of public interest law.

Submissions Editor: Max Spivak

Max Spivak is a third-year law student pursuing an Indian Law Certificate. Max was born and raised in west Los Angeles. In 2018, he received a B.A. in International Studies from American University in Washington, DC.

Max’s academic and work interests include environmental and cultural preservation, pro-poor economics, intersectional reproductive justice, and criminal defense. In the past, Max has worked for Native American Rights Fund’s Anchorage office, Southwest Women’s Law Center in Albuquerque, DNA-People’s Legal Services in Window Rock (AZ), and the Domestic Violence Legal Clinic (n/k/a Ascend Justice) in Chicago. Max is excited to see where his legal career goes upon graduation. 

Online Editor: Vanessa Hidalgo

Vanessa Hidalgo is a third-year law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law, and is pursuing the Indian Law Certificate. Born and raised in Southern California, Vanessa plans to pursue a career in criminal defense. She hopes to provide access to justice, equal justice, and restorative justice for underserved communities. 

Citations Editor: Sean McKenzie

Sean was born and raised in Gallup, New Mexico. Before coming to law school he taught middle school Spanish and English-Language Arts in Phoenix, Arizona, and English as a Second Language in Chile. He attended Arizona State University, where he studied Spanish and Political Science. 

Events & Outreach Editor: Kristen Polk

Kristen Polk is a member of the San Carlos Apache Tribe from San Carlos, Arizona. She is a third-year law student at the University of New Mexico School of Law and is pursuing an Indian Law Certificate.

Prior to law school, Kristen received her B.S. in Justice Studies from Arizona State University. She was inspired to attend law school after working as a Child Protective Services Case Manager and witnessing the needs of her community firsthand. She intends to use her law degree to practice in the field of Indian law, focusing on Indian child welfare.  

Multi-Media Library Editor: Ahtza Chavez

Ahtza Dawn Chavez is a member of the Diné Nation born for Kewa Pueblo. She is the daughter of Cari W. (Diné) and Everett F. Chavez (Kewa Pueblo), and is the proud mother of a teenage son. Ahtza studied Sociology at Stanford University and the University of New Mexico, and has an MBA from the Anderson School of Business. She expects to graduate in 2021 with a Masters of Studies in Law (MSL) from UNM School of Law, concentrating in federal Indian law.  In addition to her work with the Tribal Law Journal, she is the treasurer of the Native American Law Student Association. 

In her professional life, Ahtza is the Executive Director of the NAVA Education Project and New Mexico Native Vote. She is also the owner of IndigeLens Media, a small business which focuses on showcasing indigenous voices, enhancing tribal community, promoting social entrepreneurship and increasing visibility of authentic representations of indigenous culture and language.