DerrilB.Jordan Partner

Mr. Jordan is a 1987 graduate of Cornell Law School who has dedicated his career to the representation of Indian tribes and tribal organizations and the promotion of tribal sovereignty. He has served tribes from a variety of perspectives, including as an in-house attorney, as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior and as a private practitioner. All of roles contribute to his understanding of tribal issues and help to make him a more effective advocate for his clients. Mr. Jordan, who is a member of the Mattaponi Tribe of Virginia, has also served as an adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School where he taught Federal Indian Law.

Mr. Jordan has served as in-house counsel for three tribes during his over thirty-three years of practicing law. He served as the Tribal Attorney for the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe immediately after graduation, and then served as the Attorney General for the Seneca Nation of Indians before serving for over three years as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the United States Department of the Interior. Most recently, after many years of private practice, he served as the Attorney General of the Quinault Indian Nation. His service as an in-house tribal attorney gives Mr. Jordan hands-on experience in code drafting and development across all topic areas. He has extensive experience in constitutional law development and tribal code drafting. Mr. Jordan has drafted or revised tribal codes in the areas of natural resource and fisheries management, gaming, land leasing, economic development, business licensing and enrollment.

Mr. Jordan has also advised tribes about tribal jurisdiction over Indian country, land claims, historic and cultural preservation, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) matters, and in many other areas. He also has extensive experience with regard to the National Environmental Policy Act matters, economic development activities, federal recognition and tribal enrollment,

He also represents clients before federal courts. For example, he successfully sued the United States for illegal taking of tribal land in Mesa Grande Band of Mission Indian v. United States, 121 Fed. Cl. 183 (2015). During his service as the Associate Solicitor, Mr. Jordan also consulted with various divisions within the Department of Justice, including the Office of the Solicitor General, on litigation strategy in Indian law cases pending in the federal courts, including the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Jordan also has experience in representing tribes before Congress. During his service as the Associate Solicitor, he provided written and oral testimony before Senate Indian Affairs Committee on sovereign immunity and gaming legislation, and prepared congressional testimony for other Departmental witnesses. He also testified before the Native American Affairs Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee on proposed federal recognition legislation.


Temple University (B.S.W. Cum laude 1979); Temple University (M.S.W. 1980); Cornell Law School (Lawyers Cooperative Publisher’s Award for Academic Achievement in American Indian Law).

Bar Memberships and Court Admissions

Member: State Bars of Michigan (1988), New Mexico (1994), New York (1996), and Washington, D.C (2001); U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, 1989; U.S. District Court for the District of Eastern Michigan, 1989; U.S. District Court for the District of Western New York, 1996; U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, 2002; the United States Court of Federal Claims. Mr. Jordan has also practiced before the Courts of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, the Jicarilla Apache Nation, and the Peacemakers Courts of the Seneca Nation of Indians.

DerrilB.Jordan Partner

Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 450-4887 (202) 450-5106