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. Allison began her legal career in civil and criminal state practice providing legal aid to vulnerable populations while holding the state of Alaska accountable to the standards of such federal laws as the Indian Child Welfare Act. From pro-bono work in law school with the Karuk Tribe to internships at the Native American Rights Fund and Earthjustice, Allison has advocated for tribal sovereignty in the protection of cultural resources and the integrity of environmental systems. As a former president of the Berkeley Law Animal Law Society, she has also dedicated her energy and time to strengthening the legal tools for ending animal abuse. After law school, Allison expanded her understanding of criminal law and justice while clerking for the Alaska Court of Appeals, the appellate court that reviews criminal convictions, post-conviction relief, and habeas corpus petitions. With a Ph.D. in Literature, she is a former adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz where she taught courses in the Literature Department. From her experience critically engaging with art and culture in academia, Allison maintains a devoted interest in art and artists, and is a strong advocate for the protection of both contemporary and historical artistic creation and cultural resources and sacred sites.

Allison is an avid hiker, an amateur ceramic artist, and an enthusiastic volunteer at The Horse Shelter, a New Mexico rescue organization for abused, abandoned, and neglected horses.


  • 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


  • The State Bar of New Mexico
  • United States District Court for the District of New Mexico
  • The State Bar of Alaska (inactive)
  • The State Bar of Colorado (inactive)
  • The State Bar of Washington (inactive)


  • Indian Law Section of the State Bar of New Mexico
  • Tribal In-House Counsel 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).