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lawyer Margaret Bad Warrior with long hair

Margaret Bad Warrior

Of Counsel

Margaret Bad Warrior

Of Counsel

Ms. Bad Warrior joined the firm as of counsel in 2021. She specializes in federal Indian law and Tribal codes and court systems, with a particular focus in Tribal health and education program and policy development. She has provided legal services to Tribal governments and agencies since 2003, including serving the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe as In-house Counsel, and serving as Tribal Judge for the innovative Mobile Court program at Cheyenne River. Her practice centers on Tribal court and code development, Tribal schools and education, Tribal health systems, and civil litigation with an emphasis on Indian Child Welfare Act cases.

Ms. Bad Warrior lives with her husband and three daughters on the Moreau River north of Dupree, South Dakota.

Prior Legal Experience:

  • Legal Counsel to Health Department and Education Agency, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, (2012-2020)
  • General Counsel, Great Plains Tribal Leaders Health Board (2019-2020)
  • Mobile Court Judge, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Court (2016-2017)
  • In-house Counsel to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (2009-2010)
  • Indian Child Welfare Act Attorney and In-house Counsel to Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe (2003-2008)

Teaching Positions:

  • Lakota Studies Faculty, Oglala Lakota College (2010-2016)
  • Adjunct Professor, Oglala Lakota College (2007-2010, 2018)

Selected Speaking Engagements:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Law and Science Advisory Group, "Practicing Health Law in Indian Country" (2015)
  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, "Preparing Tribal Qualified Expert Witnesses for ICWA cases" (2014)
  • North Dakota Legal Services Continuing Legal Education (CLE) at the Annual North Dakota State Bar Conference. "Trial advocacy training for attorneys representing parents and children in child welfare cases" (2010)
  • California Indian Legal Services 4th Annual Tribal Courts Conference, "Key issues to consider when establishing a Tribal Court lay advocate program" (2010)
  • National Indian Child Welfare Annual Conference, "Courtroom training for Tribal ICWA Directors and lay advocates" (2006)
  • Southeast Regional ICW conference of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Tribes of Alaska, "Courtroom training for Tribal ICWA Directors and lay advocates" (2006)
  • Annual Convention of the North American Indian Women's Association, "Fundamentals of ICWA" (2004)


  • South Dakota

  • U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota

  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

  • Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe

  • Standing Rock Sioux Tribe


  • Northeastern University School of Law (J.D., 2004)

  • Tufts University School of Medicine (M.P.H., 2004)

  • University of California, Berkeley (B.A., Music, 1993)


  • State Bar of South Dakota