MSU Law Trustee Gives Back to Indigenous Law Program

Bryan Newland (’07) is a trustee for the Michigan State University (MSU) College of Law and adjunct professor of Indian law. Bryan and his law partners at Fletcher Law, PLLC recently made a substantial gift in support of the Indigenous Law Scholarship. Bryan wanted to invest in the institution that prepared him to succeed, because he believes everything he has accomplished traces back to MSU College of Law and the Indian Law Program.

After graduating from James Madison College at MSU in 2003, Bryan began his career as a public relations professional, but he was approached about the Indian Law Program and enrolled shortly afterwards. The program has allowed Bryan to assist Indian tribes and tribal communities through the practice of law.

Bryan graduated magna cum laude from MSU College of Law. He is a citizen of the Bay Mills Indian Community (Ojibwe) and is a tireless advocate for clients on various tribal-related legal issues. Bryan also served as the Michigan Native Vote Coordinator for Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign in 2008 and, through his work as Senior Policy Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Interior—Indian Affairs, he helped reform the Department of the Interior’s policy on reviewing tribal-state gaming compacts.

In his current position with Lansing-based Fletcher Law, he represents tribal clients on the gaming regulation, tribal-state gaming compact negotiations, the fee-to-trust process, and leasing of Indian lands.

Bryan also worked with key officials to help enact the HEARTH (Helping Expedite and Advance Responsible Tribal Home Ownership) Act in 2012, creating a land leasing process for tribes by amending the Indian Long-Term Leasing Act of 1955.

Bryan is a regular contributor to the “TurtleTalk” Indian Law blog, and was the author of the regular column "On My Fishbox," which appeared in the Bay Mills News until 2007 and won the National Native American Journalists Association Award in 2005 for Best Column Writing (Monthly).

Investing in the organizations that helped Bryan is his way of ensuring programs such as the Indigenous Law Scholarship will continue to provide opportunities to future generations of law students. For Bryan, paying it forward by supporting the program ensures that important assistance for individuals, as well as for tribes as a whole.