This year, a group of students from Columbia Law School’s NALSA Chapter traveled to Wisconsin to over spring break to do pro bono estate planning work for tribal members with Wisconsin Judicare. This was the seventh consecutive year that Columbia NALSA and Wisconsin Judicare partnered to provide legal services on reservations in Wisconsin. Every year the caravan has proven to be a valuable experience both for the students and the clients they serve; this year was no exception.
Volunteers spent four days in the field under the supervision of Judicare attorneys, working with the Ho-Chunk Nation in both Black River Falls and Wisconsin Dells, the Oneida Nation in Oneida, and the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohican Indians in Bowler. These tribes span a varied geographic area of Wisconsin. Students met with tribal members individually to discuss their estate planning needs and prepare the relevant documents, before receiving final review of the documents from a Judicare attorney; clients left the caravan site with an executed, witnessed, and valid final will. The six student volunteers were able to produce approximately ninety wills and many additional powers of attorney over the course of the caravan!
Columbia had a fantastic showing at the 2017 National Native American Law Student Association Moot Court Competition!
Columbia sent six teams to the competition and all six demonstrated phenomenal oral advocacy skill and a mastery of the complicated issues involved in this year’s problem. James Butler & Kamilah Moore, Helin Azizoglu & Victoria Xie, and Edward Smith & Hilary Rosenthal all gave truly excellent performances in the two opening rounds of the competition.
Particular congratulations go to the three teams that advanced past the first two rounds of competition. Clara Kent & Heidi Guzman advanced to the round of 16, Agatha Erickson & Ty Carleton advanced to the round of 8, and Lydia Cash & Juliana Bennington advanced to the round of four coming in third place overall! Lydia Cash also received the G. William Rice Best Oral Advocate award for receiving the highest scores from judges in the entire competition!
NALSA could not be prouder of the members of this year’s team. This weekend’s competition marks the end of months of practices the competitors (all of whom are 1Ls) undertook in addition to their studies. Please join NALSA editors Komal Patel and Hannah Lutz, and coaches, Max Schechter, Maia Hutt, and Rebecca Nocharli in congratulating this year’s competitors.
The NALSA team would like to thank the many past NALSA participants who volunteered to judge and assist the team this year as well as faculty member Christine Swanick for her dedication to NALSA through LPW and for traveling to California to watch the team compete and faculty member Steven McSloy for taking the time to guest judge practices and offer his insight into the world of Federal Indian Law.
Once again, congratulations to the 2017 NALSA Moot Court Team.
The Moot Court Program at Columbia Law School is made possible by the generous support of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
Columbia's Native American Law Student Association