Isabel Dufford

CNO tribal member working to aid Denver Native American Community through Equal Justice Works Fellowship

By Kendra Germany-Wall
November 1, 2023

Isabel Dufford, of Colorado, recently graduated from Law School at the University of Denver Strum College of Law. She also received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work with the Colorado Legal Services for the next two years, providing direct representation, education and advocacy for the Native American community in Denver in family law matters.

Dufford is honored to pursue a project to serve the Native American community in Denver that will allow her to combine her passion for client-centered legal aid with her background as a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.

“As a tribal citizen, I know how important it is that Native families have access to legal services and providers with whom they share a connection, especially in family law where the issues are deeply personal and complex,” said Dufford.

She intends to use her position to become a strong voice advocating for the needs of her clients and the Native community and to create positive and lasting change.

Dufford will provide accessible and culturally responsive direct representation to Native American individuals and families who need assistance with divorces, custody, adoptions, guardianships, protection orders, wills, and other family law matters.

She will also develop strong community partnerships with and among non-legal organizations already serving the Denver Native American community. Dufford will form a coalition to meet and respond to the needs of Native families in the area more effectively.

Additionally, Dufford will develop training and a report of best practices and considerations in representing Native families, as well as identify areas that may be ripe for macro-level policy reform and advocacy.

“I’m incredibly excited for this opportunity to do what is essentially my dream job, to serve my community and to have a positive impact,” Dufford said. “I’m also so grateful to the Choctaw Nation, particularly the Higher Education Program, whose grants/scholarships were a huge help to me through undergrad and law school.”