Maylinn Smith is the Civil Prosecutor for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Montana Innocence Project. She was a Clinical Supervisor and Director of the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic at the University of Montana’s Alexander Blewett III School of Law for almost 25 years where she worked with students on Indian law issues in tribal, state, and federal justice systems.
Her legal experience also includes sitting as a Tribal Appellate Court Justice and lower court judge for several tribes. In addition to legal work, Smith provides training on Indian issues and has taught numerous courses dealing with Indian issues.
Smith first got involved with the the Montana Innocence Project when the Indian law clinic students were helping evaluate a case involving a tribal member. Around 2012, she began working regularly with the MTIP as the faculty supervisor for MTIP’s clinical program.
“I support MTIP’s work because justice can never be achieved if innocent people are convicted and punished for alleged offenses they did not commit,” Maylinn said. “Every justice system must have a method for challenging results to help protect individuals from biases and injustice. The MTIP helps with this role.”
Outside of working in law, Smith does beadwork, ledger art, sewing, gardening, and likes to be outdoors with her children and animals whenever possible.