Philip Baker-Shenk is a partner in our
firm's Indian Law Practice Group and our Entertainment Law Practice Group. He
provides legal and policy representation to dozens of Native American Indian
Tribal governments as well as Tribal organizations and companies doing business
with Indian Tribes. Mr. Baker-Shenk began working on behalf of Indian Tribes in
our Nation's capital in 1976. For half a decade, he served as staff in the U.S.
Senate, including two years as Majority General Counsel to Indian Affairs
Committee Chairman and U.S. Senator John McCain. He has drafted legislation and
regulations, written committee reports, advocated before federal agencies,
negotiated agreements with government officials, and actively litigated cases on
behalf of clients. Mr. Baker-Shenk has extensive experience in forging practical
solutions to client problems and securing goals of benefit to clients, and a
personal reputation for effective advocacy.
Mr. Baker-Shenk advises
Tribal and other clients on federal relations advocacy, economic development
strategies, and self-governance matters. Many of these issues involve complex
commercial and political transactions, including the transfer of land into trust
or restricted status, and the exercise of governmental jurisdiction over people,
land and other resources. He also maintains an entertainment law practice,
representing music artist/industry clients.
During Mr. Baker-Shenk's
years on Capitol Hill, he assisted in the drafting and enactment of legislation
dealing with Indian gaming, housing, economic development, taxation, Tribal
status, child welfare, education, self-governance, and many other issues.
Mr. Baker-Shenk works closely with members and staff in the House and
Senate, and with officials in the Administration. In early 2001, he was
appointed to serve on the President's Transition Advisory Committee for the
Department of the Interior. Between 2000 and 2010, Mr. Baker-Shenk served as an
active member of, and past Chairman of, the Washington County (MD) Republican
Central Committee. He also is an ordained elder in the Shepherdstown (WV)
Presbyterian Church and is pursuing his general aviation private pilot's
Mr. Baker-Shenk has been involved in a variety of aspects of
the development of Federal-Indian law, including litigating in the Federal,
State and Tribal courts, crafting Federal and State legislation, providing
advice and counsel to Tribal governments and their enterprises, negotiating with
federal and state administrative agencies, and resolving problems as general
counsel for Tribal clients.
Immediately after graduating from law
school, Mr. Baker-Shenk clerked for a Senate-confirmed trial court judge and as
a lawyer in a private general practice based in Washington, D.C. Prior to
entering law school in 1982, Mr. Baker-Shenk worked as a journalist, an FM radio
disc jockey, a refrigeration mechanic, a maintenance repairman, a potato-picker
and grader on his Pennsylvania family's farm, and, for one day, as a golf caddy.