Seattle U Law alums make Puget Sound Business Journal’s ‘40 Under 40’

March 5, 2024
Erika Evans '15 and Bree Black Horse '13
Erika Evans '15 and Bree Black Horse '13

Two Seattle University School of Law alumni have been named to the Puget Sound Business Journal’s 2024 “40 Under 40” list.

Bree Black Horse ’13, an assistant United States attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington, and Erika Evans ’15, an assistant U.S. attorney for the Western District of Washington, were included in this year’s cohort. They were chosen by a panel of judges from among more than 170 applicants.

This is the publication’s 26th year of highlighting 40 young business leaders across the state in a variety of fields, including the arts, technology, law, and more.

An enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, Black Horse serves as the first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington. This position is a central component of the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) new MMIP Regional Outreach Program, which provides specialized support to U.S. Attorney’s offices to address and combat MMIP issues.

Black Horse has represented Native American interests, such as tribal sovereignty and treaty rights, both privately and publicly at the federal, state, and tribal levels. She was previously a senior associate at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Black Horse also completed an internship with the Office of Tribal Justice at the DOJ in Washington, D.C. After graduation, she clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Morris in the District of Montana. Last year, Black Horse served as president of the Washington State Bar Association’s Indian Law Section. In her time at Seattle U Law, she co-founded and served as editor of the American Indian Law Journal and was president of the Native American Law Student Association.

“I am proud of a recognition that means I am not only effectively defending and advancing the rights of our tribal clients but making a meaningful difference in a community that I care so deeply about,” Black Horse said. “I am particularly happy that I can take this opportunity to shed a light on the tremendous support I have received over the years from my family, clients, colleagues, and from Kilpatrick as a whole.”

Evans previously served as an assistant city attorney for the city of Seattle and as a judge pro tempore for the cities of Tukwila, SeaTac, and Puyallup. As a law student, she was president of the Black Law Student Association (BLSA); four years after graduating, she received BLSA’s Alumni of the Year Award.

Last year, Evans was named co-chair of the Washington Leadership Institute — a partnership between the Washington State Bar Association, Seattle U Law, the University of Washington School of Law, and Gonzaga University School of Law — which seeks to help attorneys from underrepresented backgrounds develop their careers. Her leadership as president of the Loren Miller Bar Association earned her the organization’s Young Lawyer Award in 2017.

“It's an honor and significant to serve as a beacon to other Black and Brown women who see reflections of themselves in me. I know that my role in representing the United States has responsibilities and opportunities that I, as a young girl, didn’t even know about,” Evans said. “It highlights the importance of diverse leadership in public and private sector careers, and it energizes my commitment to mentoring and elevating others within our profession.”

The 40 honorees will be celebrated at an awards banquet in late April, as well as recognized in a print edition of the Puget Sound Business Journal on April 26.

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