“The Obstacles of Being a Native Law Student: How Attorneys Can Help Overcome These Obstacles” by Julia A. Giffin. Article here.
“While a board member of National NALSA during the 2018–2019 and 2019–2020 terms, I received input from Native students across the country about the many obstacles impeding their paths while at law school. The more I spoke with Native classmates, friends, and fellow National NALSA members, the more it became clear that these obstacles were not unique to one or two institutions… There are several ways that current attorneys can aid law students in overcoming the obstacles faced by Native law students. One quick and nearly effortless way is to sign the (National NALSA) petition and pass it on to others in your network and your alma mater to raise awareness.”“The Obstacles of Being a Native Law Student: How Attorneys Can Help Overcome These Obstacles” by Julia A. Giffin
Julia presented on this topic during the CLE “Being a Native Lawyer”, which is now available on-demand through the ABA here.
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.”
Press release here.
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.
The NNALSA 2019 Moot Court Competition problem and rules are now available here.
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!):
Wenona Singel, Keith Richotte, Angelique EagleWoman, and Fletcher (not pictured)
And the National NALSA members in attendance
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!
UPDATE with Pics: