Allison K. Athens

Santa Fe Office


  • Indian Law

Allison grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska, and (following in her mother's footsteps) graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law. During law school, Allison was an active participant in the pro-bono student-initiated project, the Karuk-Berkeley Collaborative (Legal), which involved researching and presenting legal memorandum to the Karuk Tribe of northern California on diverse issues requested by the tribe, and she spent her summers interning at the Native American Rights Fund in Anchorage, Alaska, and Earthjustice in San Francisco, respectively. She also served as the president of the Animal Law Society, working to end animal abuse under the auspices of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. In her rather limited spare time, she enjoyed organizing hikes and speaker events for the Environmental Law Society, and joining research groups focused on pressing legal issues, such as the current litigation potentially impacting the Indian Child Welfare Act.

After law school Allison clerked for the Alaska Court of Appeals in Fairbanks, and then worked at the Office of Public Advocacy, providing legal services for indigent and vulnerable Alaskans. She provided legal representation and attorney services for respondents in adult guardianship proceedings, for parents in child welfare cases, and for defendants in conflict criminal cases received from the Public Defender Agency.

Before law school, Allison completed a Ph.D. in Literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and taught courses in the Literature Department as an adjunct professor. Outside of her academic and professional life, Allison maintains an avid interest in art and is a strong advocate for artists and the protection of art and cultural production. Whether in an academic or legal forum, Allison continues to use her position to raise awareness of, confront, and ameliorate the pressing legal, environmental, and social impacts faced by underserved communities and vulnerable populations.


  • The University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, J.D. (Environmental Law Certificate, Pro-Bono Honors, Jurisprudence Award), 2019
  • The University of California, Santa Cruz, Ph.D., Literature (Feminist Studies), 2013
  • The University of Leeds, UK, M.A., Postcolonial Literary and Cultural Studies, 2006
  • Colorado College, B.A. with Honors, Comparative Literature, 2003


  • Alaska Court of Appeals, Fairbanks, Alaska (2019-2020)


  • Alaska
  • Washington
  • Colorado, pending
  • New Mexico, pending


  • Alaska Bar Association
  • Washington State Bar Association


    • An Indivisible and Living Whole: Do We Value Nature Enough to Grant It Personhood?, 45 Ecology L.Q. 187 (2018).
    • Stepping Up for Horses: In the Absence of Strong Federal Regulations, Can California End Institutionalized Abuse?, 5 Laws and Paws: The Official Publication of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on Animals and the Law 28 (2017).
    • The ‘Bear Who Began It' and the Metaphorics of Climate Change, in Critical Norths: Space, Nature, Theory 69 (Ray and Maier, eds. 2017).
    • ‘Let Me Breathe of It': A Circumpolar Literary and Ecological Perspective, 39 Canadian Literature Studies/Etudes en literature canadienne 219 (2014).
    • Saviors, Sealfies, and Seals: Strategies for Self-Representation in Contemporary Inuit Films, 5 Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment 41 (2014).