The Hon. Jack Duran Jr., ’02, serves as the Chief Justice of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Supreme Court in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

The Hon. Jack Duran, Jr. is the grandson of first-generation Mexican immigrants and an affiliate with an El Paso, Texas Tribal Pueblo. Duran’s grandparents were farm workers and his grandfather, Frank, earned his U.S. citizenship by serving in the military during the Korean War. Duran was the first in his family of six brothers to graduate high school, college, and law school.

In 1996, Duran graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Sacramento with a bachelors degree in government. Thereafter, Duran attended the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law, graduating at the top of his class and designated by his peers as Most Outstanding Graduate for day division in 2002.

In pursuing a law degree, Duran left his employment as a 15 year UPS delivery driver. Duran, at the time of entering law school, was also a father to two very young boys and was supported by his loving wife, Kim Duran.

After graduating from McGeorge, Duran was appointed a deputy attorney general with the California Department of Justice in 2002, where he was counsel to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and Board of Prison Terms.

In 2004, Duran went into private practice as a senior associate at a prestigious, Indian-owned, Federal Indian Law and Policy firm in Sacramento.

In 2007, Duran opened his law firm, Duran Law Office, P.C. representing Indian tribes, tribal entities and non-tribal businesses. Duran has received published opinions in the California and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and has practiced and received successful outcomes before both the California and United States Supreme Courts.

Duran has written numerous articles on various legal topics for legal publications and regularly is asked to speak on federal law and policy issues at local and regional legal conferences.

Duran over his twenty-year practice has served his community on non-profit boards and commissions, is a board member on the Sierra College Wolverine Athletic Association, served as a high school board trustee/president and most recently served eight years as a county supervisor for Placer County – District 1 (Roseville) and as an appointed member of the California Office of the State Controller’s Audit Review Committee.

In 2013, Jack was appointed a Tribal Court Judge and currently serves as a Chief Judge for Indian tribes in California, Nevada and South Dakota, in addition to maintaining a thriving law practice. In 2021, Duran was named as the Chief Justice of the Oglala Sioux Tribe Supreme Court in Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

Duran is a member of the McGeorge School of Law Diversity Alumni Board and has served as a mentor to many law students and newly licensed attorneys. Duran will provide a supervised internship for a McGeorge student during the 2023-24 school year. He enjoys serving and continues to serve as a presiding judge for law school advocacy moot court competitions.

Throughout 2024, the University of the Pacific McGeorge School of Law will celebrate members of its vast alumni network in honor of the school’s 100-year anniversary. This post is part of a series highlighting 100 exceptional McGeorge School of Law alumni.

Stay tuned for more blog posts as we celebrate the law school’s centennial anniversary.