Sam was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Prior to attending law school, Sam worked as a project engineer for the United States Public Health Service as a project engineer on the Navajo Reservation.
Prior to entering private practice, Sam worked for the Indian Division at the Department of Interior, Deputy Counsel for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs and a federal prosecutor for over 12 years prosecuting violent crimes in Indian country. He also served as a State District Court Judge in Bernalillo County.
Sam is a member of the State Bar of New Mexico and is admitted to practice in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.
- New Mexico
- U.S. District Court District of New Mexico
- U.S. Court of Appeals 10th Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States of America
- University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- J.D. - 05/1988
- Bachelor of Science, Stanford University
Honors and Awards
- At‐Large Member of the Tribal Advisory Group for the United States Sentencing Commission, November 15, 2016 (service to begin on December 1, 2016); reappointed to serve an additional three term beginning December 2017 and ending December 2020
- Federal Executive Board Public Service Award, May 12, 2005
- Sustained Superior Performance Awards as an Assistant United States Attorney
- Special Act of Service Awards as Tribal Liaison for the District of New Mexico
- Member of New Mexico School of Law Natural Resources Journal
- Dean’s List and Honor Roll, University of New Mexico School of Law
- First member in history of Southern Ute Indian Tribe to earn law degree