National Native American Law Students Association (“National NALSA”) is disheartened by the slow progression of law schools in becoming institutions which are inclusive, understanding, and supportive of their Native students.  National NALSA is an organization which strives to support Native law students, Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, and traditional forms of governance. As such, National NALSA is requesting that law schools take steps to rectify this situation to foster an environment that is supportive of Native students and promotes diversity within law schools generally. National NALSA sees issues within three main categories: (1) recruitment, (2) academics, and (3) cultural awareness.
“The National Native American Law Student Association (NNALSA) has established a long-running, respected national moot court competition. This year the 28th Annual NNALSA Moot Court is hosted by the Berkeley NALSA and will take place on February 21-23rd, 2020 in Berkeley, California. The competition is now active with the release of the moot court problem and the opening of team registration.”
Maurisa Bell grew up on the Wind River Reservation in Riverton, Wyoming. She is an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and was also raised around her Northern Arapaho family. In 2015, she graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT and completed the Pre-Law Summer Institute program during the summer of 2016. While in law school, Maurisa served as Vice President and Treasurer for the MSU-NALSA, an Area representative for National-NALSA, and volunteered as a student mentor for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center.
She spent her summers in Washington, D.C. working for the Department of Justice’s Office of Tribal Justice; the National Indian Gaming Commission; and Dentons, US LLP in their Native American Law and Policy practice group. She is a dedicated and driven leader who, in just a few weeks, will graduate from the Michigan State University College of Law.
Maurisa will work for Dentons upon graduation, pursuing her passion in helping tribes and tribal communities.
After much laziness and delay on my part, here is the 2015-16 NNALSA ed board about to devour a carb-heavy lunch at Pizza House in The EL (yes, it’s true I’m thinking about pizza in this pic, but having a great time!):
On March 6th and 7th of 2015 the National Native American Law Students Association (“NNALSA”) held its Annual Moot Court Competition. The competition was hosted by the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. This year’s competition was the biggest ever! 70 teams participated, and over 100 attorneys from Arizona to Washington D.C. served as brief and oral judges. All of the judges volunteered their own time and many paid their own travel expenses. The James E. Rogers College of Law’s NALSA chapter would like to thank all of the volunteers who helped plan and host this memorable competition.
This year’s winners include:
1st Place Best Overall Advocate: Team 181 of William Mitchell, Joshua Peterson and Scott Jurchisin
2nd Place Best Overall Advocate: Team 54 of University of Kansas, Corey Adams and Maureen Orth
3rd Place Best Overall Advocate: Team 92 of Seattle University, Drew Pollom and Jocelyn McCurtain
1st Place Best Brief: Team 181 of William Mitchell, Joshua Peterson and Scott Jurchisin
2nd Place Best Brief: Team 28 of Columbia, Jacob Wolf and Andrew Sangster
3rd Place Best Brief: Team 126 of Michigan State, Stephen Raslich and Amy Foerster
1st Place Best Spoken Advocate: Team 120 of Univ. of Hawaii, Jordan Inafuki
2nd Place Best Spoken Advocate: Team 73 of Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, Kostan R. Lathouris
3rd Place Best Spoken Advocate: Team 120 of Univ. of Hawaii, Dylan Taschner
This was the second year that William Mitchell took “Best Brief” and “Best Overall Advocate.” Sarah Deer, who received one of the McArthur Genius awards this year, helped coach William Mitchell’s winning team. Colette Routel of William Mitchell helped coach the winning team as well.
Congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition!
I am proud to announce the 2015 Alternative Spring Break (ASB) Program projects that have been selected to receive an award. The National Native American Law Student Association Executive Board has chosen a project from Columbia Law School and the University of Michigan Law School! Columbia Law School will be working with Anishinabe Legal Services on three reservations in northwestern Minnesota to assist indigent program clients with civil needs, including a strong emphasis on domestic violence. Michigan Law School will be travelling to the Navajo Nation to work with DNA Legal Services to gain legal and practical skills, while also learning about Navajo life in Window Rock, Arizona. NNALSA has budgeted $1,000 for this year’s program, and each school will receive an award of $500! NNALSA would also like to recognize all program applicants for the high quality projects that were submitted. Congratulations to this year’s award winners!
In other news, Alex Kitson has made the difficult decision to resign from her duties as the Public Relations Director of NNALSA. On behalf of the Board of NNALSA, I would like to thank Alex for her time and commitment at helping NNALSA achieve its goals by helping to spread the word through numerous media outlets. Alex, you will be missed and good luck in all of your future endeavors.
The Executive Board took a vote and appointed P. Nelson Lambert to the PR Director position. Nelson entered NNALSA as the Area 5 representative. Because the Board appointed him to PR Director Area 5 is now vacant and we are looking to fill the position. If any member is interested in representing Area 5 please send an interest statement to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to keep a look out for future announcements because NNALSA has some wonderful events and opportunities coming up! Events such as the National Moot Court Competition at the University of Arizona, and “Fed-Bar” where the new future board members of NNALSA will be elected and where the best 1L, 2L, 3L, and Chapter of the Year awards will be given. I hope everyone is excited about the future of NNALSA, and the positive future we are trying to achieve for Indian Country.
The NALSA Chapter at the University of Arizona College of Law was chosen to host the 2015 National NALSA Moot Court Competition in Tucson, AZ on March 6-7, 2015.
The competition is expected to draw roughly 50-60 teams from law schools across the country. As both the President of the UofA NALSA Chapter and the Vice-President of National NALSA, I’m tasked with organizing and planning this competition. I am seeking attorneys from both inside and outside the Arizona legal community to serve as either brief judges or oral argument judges. Attached is a letter from me detailing the tasks of a brief and oral argument judge and a form is included for those interested in participating.
Please consider participating in the National NALSA Moot court competition. For more information on the competition (the moot court problem), see:
The problem centers on Indian law, particularly a tribe’s civil jurisdiction. Please note that you don’t need a background in Indian law to judge because we, the host school, will provide a bench brief that will explain the issues, provide the relevant law, and provide arguments for both sides. This is a great opportunity to watch and help law students hone their advocacy and legal writing skills.