Our Staff

Terry L. Janis – Executive Director

Terry Janis (Oglala Lakota) has worked extensively on Native American and international indigenous education and human rights issues. Working through organizations such as the University of Arizona, the Indian Law Resource Center, and Northern Arizona University, Janis has consistently combined education and law to work with Indian leaders and students to advocate for indigenous rights. Janis joined Water Protector Legal Collective as Executive Director in August 2017. Before this, Mr. Janis served as Senior Fellow at the Sabo Center for Civics and Governance, Augsburg University, where his research focused on improving educational achievement, organizational capacity and indigenous governance; President at White Earth Tribal and Community College where he successfully led the College’s efforts to reestablish its accreditation from probation to full accreditation in a regular reporting cycle; Manager of the White Earth Nation Constitution Reform process where he led a community-wide education and information campaign on their then, Proposed Constitution; and Program Officer at the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation where he managed grant-making and program activities.

Janis is a member of the State Bar of Arizona and serves on the Board of Directors of the Niibi Center on the White Earth Nation. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Macalester College, a Master of Education from Harvard University, and a law degree from the University of Arizona. Mr. Janis is honored and inspired by the spirit and energy of his wife of 32 years, Olivia, and the courage and compassion of his twenty-three year old son, Hoka.

Andrea Carter – Managing Attorney

Andrea Carter completed a B.A. in Political Science at Oakland University and received a J.D. from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She is licensed in California and the 8th and 9th Federal District Courts. Her legal focus centers around public interest, criminal defense, cooperatives, public trusts, employment law and civil liberties. She has studied in China and interned in several countries in South and Central America and is working on becoming fluent in Spanish. She was the recipient of a Public Interest Law Grant in 2006, the Haywood Burns Fellowship in 2007, the Charles T. Bumer Civil Libertarian Award in 2008, and has performed hundreds of hours of pro bono and low bono legal service. She participated in teaching in the Street Law program and is interested in community workshops and the democratization of the law. She has given Know Your Rights and Legal Observer trainings. She volunteered on the ground at Standing Rock in 2016. Andrea is a strong proponent of indigenous sovereignty and the public commons.

Sarah K Hogarth – Communications Director

Sarah Hogarth is a human and civil rights specialist and advocate with a background in environmental defense, combating police misconduct and providing legal support to social movements. She previously served as Executive Director of the National Police Accountability Project and Program Director of the National Lawyers Guild National Office. Sarah is dedicated to prison justice work including criminal defense, police and government misconduct, and access to justice issues across the criminal legal system in the United States. Her work has also encompassed: supporting targeted ethnic groups, immigrant communities and refugees; pushing back against the growth of government secrecy and surveillance practices; rendition, torture and other mistreatment of detainees at Guantánamo and other U.S. detention facilities; indefinite detentions and targeted killings; and working to protect everyone’s right to political dissent. She holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Public International Law and Human Rights from the University of London and is co-author of Leading Today’s Volunteers: Motivate and Manage Your Team. Sarah spent time doing legal support in camp at Standing Rock in September of 2016 and joined the WPLC staff that December. She returned to WPLC as Communications Director in November of 2017.

Moira Meltzer-Cohen – Staff Attorney

Moira Meltzer-Cohen (Mo) is a criminal defense attorney committed to supporting liberation struggles for people and the earth. Such work includes providing pro bono criminal defense services to people arrested during actions in the service of social and economic justice, Black Lives Matter, the Black Liberation Army and Black Panther Party, anti-fascist and antiauthoritarian movements, immigrant rights, transgender rights, environmental defense and prison abolition. She is a founding member of Just Info, a 24-hour hotline providing legal information, service referrals, and opportunities for community-based organizing against aggressive policing and mass incarceration in New York. She is also a member of Mutant Legal, a collective devoted to popular legal education for groups and individuals targeted by law enforcement on the basis of perceived identity, rather than conduct. She has taught criminal law in the undergraduate Political Science department at Hunter College, and engages in popular education for people of all ages and at all levels of formal schooling. She currently splits her time between New York City and North Dakota, where she provides legal support to Water Protectors fighting charges brought in retaliation for their struggles against the Dakota Access Pipeline. She holds a Masters degree in critical curriculum theory from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a law degree from the City University of New York.

WPLC staff and volunteers are a dedicated and diverse group of lawyers, legal workers and administrators working out of our Mandan ND offices – including several people not listed above. Please see the Contact page on this website to reach our various departments.