Hon. Jessica R. Bear

Member of the Board

NAICJA Region 5

Jessica Roberts Bear, an enrolled member of the Meskwaki Nation, was appointed as an Associate Judge for the Meskwaki Tribal Court on January 25, 2008, and continues to serve in this capacity. Prior to becoming an Associate Judge, Judge Bear served as a Magistrate Court Judge for one year. She has also served as a pro tem Judge for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Court of Appeals.

Before entering the judiciary, Judge Bear served as one of three Gaming Commissioners for the Sac and Fox Gaming Commission, which is the tribal regulatory body for the Meskwaki · Bingo · Casino Hotel in Tama, Iowa. She also worked for four years as a Staff Attorney for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General, in Window Rock, Navajo Nation (AZ), where she primarily focused on economic development and community development.

Judge Bear graduated from the University of Iowa with an undergraduate degree in Communication Studies and a Certificate in American Indian/Native Studies. She obtained her juris doctorate (J.D.) from the University of Iowa College of Law in May of 2000. During law school, she was a research assistant for Professor Robert Clinton, worked with the University of Iowa Legal Clinic on immigration issues, and was a legal intern for the Council on Environmental Quality for the White House in Washington D.C. through the Morris K. Udall Foundation Native American Congressional Intern Program.

She is licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa, State of New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation, and admitted to federal practice in the U.S. District Court, District of New Mexico. She is also serving a second three year term on the Grievance Commission of the Supreme Court of Iowa.