Biography

Laura Woods is a proud member of the Yurok Tribe of Northern California. Her family originates from the ancestral villages of Cha’Pekw and O’rek, and she identifies herself as Ner-Er-Ner, a coastal Yurok. Having been born and raised in New Mexico, Laura attended New Mexico State University and then worked for many years in a NM State Court. After moving back to the Yurok Reservation in 2014, she now works as a Paralegal and Family Law Mediator for the Yurok Tribal Court in the Legal Access Office in Klamath, CA. The Yurok Legal Access office assists tribal members and their families with legal issues in both tribal court and state courts in Del Norte and Humboldt County. Laura assists her clients with child custody, guardianships, name changes, civil suits, unlawful detainers, divorces, criminal record clean up, prison reentry and probate issues. Laura mediates most of the cases filed in tribal court before they go before the Judge. Laura lives in Orick, CA and is currently studying for the Yurok Bar Exam and she also sits on several of the Tribe’s committees. She enjoys taking Yurok language and basket weaving classes and participating in her tribe’s cultural dances and events. Laura is a member of WEWIN (Women Empowering Women for Indian Nations) of Northern California and her hobbies include reading, cooking and walking her dogs on the beach. She has two sons, two grandchildren and extended family in New Mexico.