Attorney and lawyer Keith C. Smith, specializing in native american law

Founding Partner: Keith C. Smith

"At Smith, Shellenberger & Salazar, we pride ourselves in striving to provide professional and practical solutions for client matters, resulting in the best possible outcomes."


Arizona State University, Juris Doctorate
University of Colorado, Bachelor of Arts

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Keith C. Smith has been in the practice of Indian law since he received his Juris Doctor from the Arizona State University, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, where he served as Vice-President of the Native American Law Students Association.

He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder with honors. While in law school Mr. Smith clerked for the Chief Justice of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community where he drafted and wrote the Community's Domestic Violence Code, which was enacted in 1997. He received the distinction of being named a Chief Manuelito Scholar throughout college and law school earned a nomination to the prestigious honor society Phi Theta Kappa.

Following law school, Keith served as a staff attorney for the Navajo Nation’s DNA Peoples' Legal Services firm in Farmington, New Mexico. While at DNA Peoples' Legal Service, he worked in the areas of family law, including the Indian Child Welfare Act, contracts, consumer law and landlord/tenant; he worked with issues regarding the Navajo Housing Authority, representing tenants. He later accepted a position as Director of the Indian Legal Program at the Arizona State University College of Law, where he worked to further develop the law school's Federal Indian Law curriculum and helped nurture and maintain many relationships with American Indian tribal nations. In addition, he managed the school's recruitment efforts of enrolling promising native law students and was an active member of law school's admission's committee. Mr. Smith then served as in-house counsel and senior administration director for the American Indian College Fund (A*CF). While as in-house counsel, Keith advised the A*CF on all legal matters facing the A*CF and was instrumental in the creation and establishment of employee and management procedures and provided contract supervision for construction projects for 31 tribal colleges and universities in the United States - an approximately $31 million project. Each year, Keith assisted the A*CF in providing counsel for each of the colleges belonging to the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), during legislative hearings with the U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C. Prior to establishing the firm, Mr. Smith held a position as a visiting professor of law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, where he taught Federal Indian Law, Family Law, and Contracts, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Keith continues to present as a guest lecturer and speaker at numerous venues, such as the University of Colorado, University of Denver, Arizona State University, Metro State College, Colorado State University, American Indian College, Dine College, National Indian Education Association, National Conference, Indigenous Bar Association, British Columbia, and many others.

Prior to establishing the firm, Mr. Smith held a position as a visiting professor at the University of Denver College of Law, where he taught Indian Law, Family Law, and Contracts.