The Determination and Gratitude of Winter Hayes
2L Winter Hayes is focused on the nexus between law and economic development. She’s preparing to spend the summer as an associate law clerk with the firm Kanji and Katzen, PLLC in Seattle. Last summer, between her first and second years, she worked as an Intern with the Washington D.C. firm Powers Pyles Sutter & Verville PC.
Winter is interested in the different clients her firm will represent and the various issues she’ll learn about, especially the distinct economic development of different tribes. Researching and being aware of how tribes in different regions operate, their agreements with the federal government, and how they interact with the federal and state governments brings rich lessons for a future lawyer. She’s aware that western tribes have very different economies than eastern ones.
The Indian Self-Determination Act, Tribes’ exemptions and pre-exemptions, and relevant case law easily roll into a conversation with Winter. When she graduates she’ll have a Native American Law emphasis.
Originally from Lapwai, Idaho, Winter is a member of the Nez Perce Tribe and worked with the Tribe’s Office of Legal Counsel after earning her Bachelor’s degree in 2018 from the University of Idaho. She majored in Political Science and minored in Native American studies. While an undergrad, she was a caregiver through Family Home Care, taking care of an elderly woman in Genesee. She currently spends breaks from school working with the Nez Perce Tribe’s Office of Legal Counsel.
Winter’s determination is inspiring and she’s focused and grounded. She’s also been fortunate to receive a scholarship from the national American Indian Graduate Center, the Nez Perce Tribal Scholarship, and the UI Native Center Graduate Scholarship.
It’s clear that Winter’s future is bright and she doesn’t make excuses for the hardships she’s endured. She was in a serious car accident one year ago this February; her recovery from being hit head-on during a snowstorm is ongoing. She continues to persevere and be a positive influence for her Tribe and family. She most proudly talks about her guardian angels and how they push her the most to work hard through school and in life. Winter does everything in memory of Malique Higheagle, her younger brother who passed away last December, and her grandfather, Tony Higheagle, Sr.
Through all of the challenges she has faced, Winter made the Dean’s list and is thankful to her professors for being understanding, supportive, and accommodating – including Dylan Hedden-Nicely and Mark Anderson. Winter is committed to working hard, caring for her family and Tribe, and pursuing opportunities, along with her law degree, that will enable her to advise her future clients in their best interests.