Mary Kathryn Nagle was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, and an honorary member of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska. She studied theatre at Georgetown University, and went on to study law at Tulane Law School, where she graduated summa cum laude and was the recipient of the Judge John Minor Wisdom Award. Mary Kathryn joined Pipestem Law in 2015 from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in New York City, where she specialized in complex commercial litigation related to structured finance, bankruptcy, and federal qui tam actions. She has drafted numerous appellate briefs in federal courts, including federal appellate courts and the United States Supreme Court. In 2013, she represented seventeen current and former Members of Congress in an amicus brief submitted in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl (the “Baby Veronica case”), before the United States Supreme Court. This amicus brief explained the legislative history of the Indian Child Welfare Act (“ICWA”) and argued why the ICWA constitutes an exercise of Congress’s constitutional authority under the Indian Commerce Clause. She is a frequent speaker at law schools and symposia on issues related to restoration of tribal sovereignty, tribal self-determination, Indian civil and constitutional rights, and safety of Native Women. She also represents the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) in support of the NIWRC’s work to end violence against Native Women. Mary Kathryn is an accomplished playwright who has written and produced several plays relating to Indians and the law, including Waaxe’s Law, Manahatta, My Father’s Bones (with Suzan Shown Harjo), Miss Lead, Fairly Traceable, and Sliver of a Full Moon.

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