Grand Rapids Business Journal’s Notable West Michigan Lawyers recognizes members of the legal profession who are making their mark in the community in a variety of ways. All are attorneys, but each is contributing to West Michigan’s growth by using their legal expertise in areas beyond the office and courtroom. This year’s Notables “class” includes pro-bono champions, Tribal law experts, in-house legal counsel, trailblazers, and those who are comfortable on the national and international stages.
William “Bill” Brooks is a trusted advisor for Waséyabek Development Company (WDC) and FireKeepers Casino Hotel (FKCH), wholly-owned entities of the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of the Potawatomi Indians (NHBP), and remains Special Counsel to NHBP after serving as its Chief Legal Officer. Mr. Brooks is recognized as a leader in Indian Country. During his 30+ year legal career, he has advised multiple Native American Tribes, and has played a key role in developing the legal framework for Tribal gaming, government structures, and economic diversification initiatives undertaken by his Tribal clients. What sets Mr. Brooks apart from other legal professionals is his knowledge of a wide range of subject matters under state/federal law as well as the nuances associated with federal Indian law, Native American legal systems, and Tribal governments.
In 2017, Mr. Brooks was awarded the Tecumseh Peacekeeping Award by State Bar of Michigan in recognition of his contributions to the advancement of the interests of Tribes and law in the State. In addition to his work with WDC & FKCH, he’s served as adjunct faculty at MSU School of Law, as Chair of the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Indian Law, and on the State Bar’s Indian Law Section.
NHBP Tribal Council Chair, Jamie Stuck, says “Bill Brooks is a trusted advisor, friend, and mentor; conducting himself with the highest level of professionalism and according to the Seven Grandfather Teachings.” Jamie added, “Bill has played a key role in rebuilding the NHBP Nation. He truly cares for our people and the future of our Tribe.”