Mary Guss earned her law degree in 1976 from Lewis & Clark. She then traveled to Alaska to clerk for the Ketchikan Superior Court Judge for a year. Three decades of practicing law in Alaska followed (including eight years as a part‑time federal magistrate judge). In 2009 she received an LLM in Indigenous peoples law and policy from the University of Arizona. Her current work is as staff attorney for the IPLP program and coordinator for University of Arizona NativeNet, and as an appellate judge for the Yavapai Apache Nation. She has taught classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Alaska, SE, and co‑conducted ethics seminars for the Alaska Bar Association and been an instructor for Ketchikan Youth Court.