Sarah Roubidoux Lawson

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson

Of Counsel

Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt
Washington, U.S.A.

tel: 206-407-1507
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Local Time: Sat. 15:22


Sarah Lawson works with tribal governments and tribal entities to achieve self-governance and economic development goals while protecting tribal resources and sovereignty. Before joining Schwabe, Sarah spent over 10 years working in tribal government, advising tribal council and tribal departments on a variety of matters including contracts, real estate development, and legislation. Sarah’s work is particularly focused on tribal tax and real estate matters, and she is widely regarded as an authority on issues involving Indian trust land.

Sarah understands the importance of bringing business to Indian Country to strengthen tribal economies. She frequently advises companies doing business in Indian Country, helping them navigate tribal and federal laws and contracts with tribal entities. She also works with tribes and tribal members on estate planning and probate matters. Sarah is an enrolled member of the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Bar Admissions

  • Arizona Federal District Court
  • Arizona State Courts
  • Navajo Nation
  • Oregon State Courts
  • Snoqualmie Tribal Court
  • Tohono O'Odham Tribal Court
  • Washington State Courts
  • Wisconsin State Courts


  • University of Wisconsin School of Law, Juris Doctor
  • University of Washington School of Law, Master of Laws (LL.M.) Taxation
  • University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts
Areas of Practice

Agency Actions and Rulemaking | Indian Law | Tax | Tax Planning | Trusts and Estate Planning | Water Law

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

  • Drafted various tribal codes, including, HEARTH Act leasing, probate, environmental enforcement, and site investigation code for environmental emergency response.
  • Advised corporation on Indian trust land matters, including lease renewal, partition, and fractional interest acquisition.
  • Advised numerous tribal governments on lease and right-of-way compliance issues, including breach of contract, violation of federal and tribal law, and the new federal leasing and right-of-way regulations.
  • Represented tribal corporation in federal litigation defending its lease on tribal trust land.
  • Assisted and advised numerous tribal corporations in business and finance transactions, including tax planning for a tribal Section 17 corporation’s acquisition of a state chartered corporation.
  • Advised tribal government on federal low-income housing tax credit application and partnership.
  • Prepared, submitted, and advised on fee-to-trust applications with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
  • Assisted tribal radio station with FCC licensing.



  • Schwabe CPA Shoptalk: 8 Takeaways
  • Indian Trust Land: Taxation of Leases and Permanent Improvements
  • Water Banks: Why You May Need One
  • Schwabe Defends Tribal Sovereignty
  • Tribal Government Considerations Regarding the New BIA Right-of-Way Regulations
  • Stay on Federal & Indian Coal Valuation Rule Affects Indian Country
  • Estate Planning in Indian Country
  • BIA Finally Gets Right-Of-Way Rule For Tribal Land Right


  • Tribal Consultations Conference
  • Taxation and Economic Development in Indian Country