William R. Norman, Jr.
A partner since January 2000, William Norman joined Hobbs Straus in 1994, following a two-year clerkship with the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia, PA. In 1996, he opened the Firm’s Oklahoma office. William, of Muscogee (Creek) descent, has had a lifelong desire to be involved in the pursuit of justice. His personal background, studies in Indian Law, participation on the American Indian Law Review, and significant involvement in the Native American Law Students Association at the University of Oklahoma, focused his legal interests on protecting and promoting the interests of tribal governments.
William’s varied practice includes advocating for tribal interests in federal and state legislation and rulemaking, and with agency decision-makers, in areas such as gaming, taxation, and transportation. His efforts as lead negotiator on the Oklahoma tribal gaming compact and the recent groundbreaking Oklahoma tobacco tax compact have secured for the Firm’s clients and other Oklahoma tribes a foundation for economic success and stability. William concentrates considerable time in advising elected tribal leaders and agency officials on the development, operation, and regulation of tribal governmental infrastructure and economic development ventures, from drafting tribal laws and regulations to negotiating complex financing and business transactions. In addition, William’s litigation work at the tribal, state, and federal level has resulted in the successful protection of tribal sovereignty and assets against numerous claims.
William is a regular presenter on a range of Indian law topics and served on the Board of the Oklahoma Indian Legal Services from 2004 to 2008. He was a primary author, along with Charles Hobbs, of Chapter Two of Empowerment of Tribal Governments: Final Workgroup Report, developed by the Tribal Workgroup on Tribal Needs Assessments in May 1999. The chapter details the legal, historic, and moral obligations of the United States to tribes and the manner in which these responsibilities are fulfilled through today’s tribal priority allocation programs. He also received the Salem Civil Rights Award for the note entitled “Native American Inmates and Prison Grooming Regulations: Today’s Justified Scalps,” 18 American Indian Law Review 191 (1993).
William spends as much of his free time as possible with his wife and two daughters and is involved in the activities of his church.