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Headshot of Isabel Dufford

Isabel Dufford

  • Hosted by Colorado Legal Services
  • Sponsored by Greenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Service location Denver, Colorado
  • Law school University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Issue area Family Law, Racial Justice
  • Fellowship class year 2023
  • Program Design-Your-Own Fellowship

The Project

Isabel (she/her/hers) will focus on supporting and empowering Native American families in Denver through direct representation in family law matters, education and outreach, and advocacy and coalition-building.

For centuries, Native communities and families have been marginalized and destabilized by federal and state policies designed to eliminate tribal cultural practices and networks. The resulting trauma and destructive effects are deeply felt and starkly seen in disparate outcomes experienced by Native communities including poverty rates, rates of intimate partner violence, and disproportionately high numbers of Native children involved in the child welfare system. Further, Native families are often unable to secure needed legal services, especially in family law, due to barriers such as a lack of culturally responsive and connected services and attorneys.

Isabel 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 personal background as a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. She intends to use her position to become a strong voice advocating for the needs of her clients and the Native community at large, and to create positive and lasting change.

Fellowship Plans

Isabel 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 that already serve the Denver Native American community. Isabel will form a coalition to more effectively meet and respond to the needs of Native families in the area. Additionally, Isabel will develop trainings 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.

Media

CNO Tribal Member Working to Aid Denver Native American Community Through Equal Justice Works Fellowship

Greenberg Traurig Sponsors Record 201st Equal Justice Works Fellow

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.

Isabel Dufford /
2023 Equal Justice Works Fellow

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