Nakia Arrington assists clients by assessing, investigating, and resolving compliance issues across a variety of industries.  Her practice covers environmental policy, pipeline safety, citizen suits pursuant to the Clean Water Act, hydroelectric power, compliance planning, incident response, internal investigations, and American Indian Law, as well as a broad range of civil litigation in federal and state courts. She also advises on environmental, social, and governance issues (ESG).

Nakia has recently advised clients navigating interactions with the U.S. Department of Justice (U.S. DOJ), the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

During law school, Nakia was accepted into the U.S. DOJ Attorney General’s Honors Program. Following graduation, she served as Assistant General Counsel at the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Sensitive and Strategic Information Litigation Section, where she handled complex litigation involving the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act with a nexus to national security, technology, data, high-visibility activities, and an array of sensitive matters.

In 2021, Nakia retired from the U.S. Marine Corps as an Operations Officer.

Since joining Van Ness Feldman, Nakia’s Pro Bono practice has focused on representing underserved individuals.

Nakia is a member of the Lumbee Tribe.  

Nakia and her husband have three children and originally hail from the beautiful state of North Carolina.

  • Experience
    • Holds top secret security clearance 
  • Professional Affiliations

    North Carolina Bar Association

    National Hydropower Association Future Leaders of Waterpower

  • Awards & Honors

    U.S. DOJ Special Recognition Award for Initiative and Tenacity

    UNC School of Law 2019 Trial Advocacy Best Advocate Award

    UNC School of Law 2018 Eugene Gressman & Daniel H. Pollitt Oral Advocacy Award

    Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal

    The Marine Corps League’s Distinguished Citizen Award

  • Bar & Court Admissions
    North Carolina State Bar
  • Government Service

    U.S. Department of Justice

    Federal Bureau of Investigation, Assistant General Counsel, 2021

    Environment and Natural Resources Division, Law Clerk, 2019

    U.S. Department of Defense

    U.S. Marine Corps (Retired), Various positions foreign and domestic, 2001-2021

  • News & Presentations


    2022 NHA Northeast Regional Meeting(6/27/2022)
    Moderator, "Licensing 2.0 and Hydropower’s Big Tent: Tribal Engagement, Environmental Justice, and other Trends in Relicensing"
    National Hydropower Association
  • Thought Leadership
* Not admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. Work is supervised by a member of the District of Columbia bar.

Related Industries


University of North Carolina School of Law
J.D., 2020
Member, First Amendment Law Review
NALSA President (2018-2020)
SBA President (2017-2019)

University of Phoenix B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 2011