Kristi Williams joined Hobbs Straus in September of 2015, opening the Firm’s Alaska office. Kristi was born in Fairbanks and is of Gwichyaa Gwich’in and Koyukon Athabascan descent. She completed her undergraduate work at the University of California, Berkeley in anthropology with minors in public policy, and Native American studies. Prior to law school, Kristi attended the Pre-Law Summer Institute (PLSI) and was honored to receive the sole Outstanding Student Award in Federal Indian law. She went on to receive her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law where she completed the Indian Law Certificate Program and had the opportunity to learn from many of the nation’s preeminent Indian law professors.
As a second year law student Kristi received Academic Honors in the Southwest Indian Law Clinic and was actively involved in the Indian Law Committee, Tribal Law Journal, as well as the Native American Law Students Association, Law Student Pipeline Committee, and the Women’s Law Caucus. During her law school summers, Kristi worked as a legal intern for both U.S. Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) in his Anchorage office and for Doyon, Limited, an Alaska Native regional corporation. She completed summer classes in Europe and the UK in international economics and human rights as well as environmental law, which enabled her to graduate a semester early.
Post law school Kristi began her career in Washington, D.C., working as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). She then transitioned to the Department of the Interior, as Counselor in the Office of the Secretary, where she provided policy guidance to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. Kristi became a member of the District Columbia Bar in 2012, becoming the first Gwichyaa Gwich’in licensed attorney.
Having served as legislative and policy advisor in the U.S. Senate and at the Department of Interior, Kristi is well informed on Alaska Native and American Indian issues. She has expertise in government-to-government consultation, small business and economic development issues, strategic planning, mediation and negotiations, as well as legislative and appropriations advocacy. Kristi volunteers as an advisor to the Arctic Athabascan Council (AAC) an international treaty organization established to defend the rights and interests of indigenous Permanent Participant members of the Arctic Council. She and her husband Ben love the outdoors. In their spare time they can be found fishing, foraging, and exploring Alaska with their young son, Liam.
University of New Mexico School of Law, J.D. (with clinic honors)
University of California, Berkeley, B.A. (double minor)
District of Columbia