STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Joseph Byrd
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Cherokee Nation citizen Joseph Byrd will travel this summer to Washington, D.C., to intern at the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Tribal Justice through the Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Internship Program.
Byrd is set to earn his juris doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law with an Indian law certificate next year.
He is the president of the UMN Native American Law Students Association, student representative of the New Mexico Chapter of Federal Bar Association and a member of the Environmental Law Society. He interned last summer in the Cherokee Nation Businesses legal department.
He has nearly a decade of Indian gaming experience as the marketing manager for Downstream Casino Resort and as the compliance manager for Cherokee Nation Entertainment.
Byrd holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Northeastern State University and a master’s degree in Indian law from the University of Tulsa School of Law.
He said being Cherokee is what motivated him to pursue law.
“Everything I do, I do with my people in mind. It’s in my blood. The elders and children inside our tribal communities provide me the motivation to pursue a law degree. My ancestors fought to protect and assert tribal sovereignty before the word ever existed, and I will honor them by doing the same. I am honored and humbled to be selected as a Udall intern and look forward to the experience.
He is the son of Tribal Council Speaker Joe Byrd and the late Suzy Moore.