CHP Welcomes Leading Attorney to Indigenous Heritage Practice


Contact: Kelly Lizarraga, Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC
Phone: (703) 913-4818


Jessie Barrington, Attorney at Law

Richmond, Virginia – June 4, 2024. Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC (“CHP”) is pleased to welcome Ms. Jessie Barrington, a prominent Indian law practitioner, to the firm. Jessie’s practice will focus on general counsel matters for federally recognized Indian tribes and their business enterprises and enhancing tribal sovereignty for the firm’s Tribal Nations and First Nations clients.

“Jessie has wide-ranging expertise in Indian law and policy that will provide immediate benefits to our clients,” said Marion Werkheiser. “We are thrilled she is bringing her deep experience in law and policy affecting Indian tribes to the firm.”

Prior to joining CHP, Jessie served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and as the Executive Director of the Western Resources Legal Center in Portland, Oregon. She is also an adjunct professor of Indian Law at Lewis and Clark Law School. Jessie’s experience as an Assistant United States Attorney in Portland, Oregon included a significant legal victory in U.S. v. Smith at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, a pivotal case influenced by the McGirt decision on tribal treaty and reservation rights.

As Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI), Jessie played a key role in shaping policy and strengthening partnerships with Tribal Nations, emphasizing tribal sovereignty and self-governance. She also worked at the DOI Regional Solicitor’s Office providing counsel on Indian land and tribal rights issues.

At Hobbs Straus Dean and Walker, LLC, Jessie advocated for tribal sovereignty in complex litigation on tribal governance, housing, and environmental law.

“As a citizen of a federally recognized Indian tribe, I bring a unique and deeply personal understanding of the challenges faced by Tribal communities today,” said Jessie Barrington. “My dual commitment, both personal and professional, is to vigorously uphold Tribal sovereignty and ensure that local, state, and federal governments honor their obligations to Tribal Nations. At CHP, my focus is on empowering tribes to reclaim their ancestral homelands, enhancing their tribal enterprises, and safeguarding their cultural heritage. I am dedicated to advancing the interests and rights of Tribal Nations through informed advocacy and strategic legal counsel.”

Jessie is co-author of American Indian Identity: Citizenship, Membership, and Blood. She graduated from Lewis and Clark Law School, and she received her B.S. degree from Portland State University. She is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians, one of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes, and resides in Norfolk, Virginia.


About Cultural Heritage Partners, PLLC
CHP is a private law firm with a public mission: to leverage humanity’s past to create a better future. CHP takes on matters that advance the principle of access to cultural heritage as a human right. A team of attorneys, historians, tribal specialists, archaeologists, and art scholars serves clients globally. The firm’s victories have strengthened international and federal preservation law, secured the protection of important sites, objects, and traditions, affirmed the sovereignty of Tribal and First Nations, and helped communities whose culture has been systematically devalued be heard in the courts, legislatures, and before international tribunals. To learn more, visit