Abby Abinanti, born in San Francisco in 1947, was the first Californian lawyer of indigenous descent. She grew up on the Yurok Indian Reservation. After studying at the University of New Mexico School of Law, she specialized in family law and child welfare proceedings. She was licensed to practice law in the state of California in 1974. From the 1990s until 2011, she was a law clerk at the Unified Family Court for the San Francisco Superior Court. From 2014 to 2015, she worked part-time as a law clerk for the Family Division of the San Francisco Superior Court. In 1997, Abinanti became a judge of the Yurok Tribal Court and remains its Chief Judge today.