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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson

Sarah Roubidoux Lawson

Of Counsel


  • Tax Planning
  • Indian Law
  • Tax
  • Agency Actions and Rulemaking

WSG Practice Industries


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


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, including the fee-to-trust process, 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 | Native American & Alaska Native Law | Tax | Tax and Estate Planning | 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.


  • Administration Actions Regarding COVID-19 Protocols for Federal Contractors and Large Employers
  • Department of the Interior Announces Changes to Fee-to-Trust Policy for Tribes
  • Unsettled Consequences of the McGirt Decision
  • Learn with Schwabe: Indigenous People’s Day and Voting Rights
  • Tribal Entities and the Main Street Lending Program
  • FCC Unassigned Spectrum Rights Opportunity for Tribal Communities
  • Fostering the Future of Native Lawyers
  • Shelter-in-Place Orders and Exclusion of Non-Residents in Response to COVID-19
  • Impacts of H.R. 6201 on Tribal Governments
  • Tribal Emergency Response to COVID-19
  • 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
  • Estate Planning in Indian Country
  • BIA Finally Gets Right-Of-Way Rule For Tribal Land Right


  • CARES Act and Other COVID funding for Alaska Natives
  • Cares Act, Federal Mandates, & Carbon Credits
  • New Developments in Tribal Forest Management: Managing Ancestral Tribal Forests Through Collaboration and Innovation
  • Tribal Consultations Conference
  • Taxation and Economic Development in Indian Country

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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