NALSA raises awareness about the need for Indian law cases in the law school canon

On Thursday, February 16, NALSA will host a discussion about the role of federal Indian law in the law school canon.

Professor Judith Resnik, Professor Trevor Morrison, Justice Barbara Anne Smith (Chickasaw Nation) and Judge Michael Smith (Sac and Fox Nation) will address how Indian law cases can illuminate issues such as federalism, sovereignty, and deference in inter-court relationships. With Professors Alexandra Carter, Bert Huang, Olatunde Johnson, and Susan Sturm, they will explore the relationship between Federal Indian law and Federal Courts and other law school courses. Columbia NALSA will leverage this discussion in order to further its mission to raise awareness among the student body about the importance and need for practitioners to engage with Indian law.


Thank you to the 2011-12 sponsors of Columbia NALSA and the Columbia NALSA Moot Court Team

Columbia NALSA and the Columbia NALSA Moot Court Team would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support:

Silver
Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP

Bronze
Alexander, Berkey, Williams & Weathers, LLP
Douglas B.L. Endreson
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Rothstein, Donatelli, Hughes, Dahlstrom, Schoenburg & Bienvenu LLP
Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Associate
Crowe & Dunlevy

The 2011-12 NALSA Moot Court Team will be representing Columbia Law School later this month in the national competition.

Sponsorship opportunities remain.  For more information, contact Columbia NALSA Fundraising Director Jason Hipp at jph2156@columbia.edu

 

Upcoming Native American Pro Bono Projects

This spring, NALSA is proud to announce a record-setting THREE pro bono Spring Break Caravans which will work with Native American communities.  From March 12-16, 2Ls and 3Ls at CLS will travel around the country performing volunteer legal work.  Here is just a brief introduction to those exciting projects.

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NALSA is teaming up with DNA People’s Legal Services by sponsoring students to work with the organization in the Navajo Nation (Arizona).  Volunteers will provide legal information and basic legal services at senior centers, including the drafting of wills, powers of attorney, and advanced medical directives. In addition, volunteers will assist litigators with research and writing.

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Columbia Law School has also designed an exciting project in conjunction with the Mediation Clinic to conduct peacemaking circles on the Chickasaw Nation reservation in Oklahoma. Peacemaking is a traditional Native American method of dispute resolution where the emphasis is on healing relationships in the community.  Peacemaking plays a critical role in the tribal criminal justice system, tribal social justice, and tribal civil disputes.  Most importantly, peacemaking is crucial to tribal sovereignty and self-determination. Students participating in this project will receive training in both peacemaking and mediation techniques.  Students will then apply their training in peacemaking during a week long stay on the Chickasaw Nation reservation over Spring Break.  They will work with Chickasaw Supreme Court Justice Barbara Smith to practice circle keeping in real cases.  Students will also participate in training tribal members in real-world conflict resolution techniques.

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And, finally, the Midwest Society will be sponsoring a caravan to Wisconsin Judicare, Inc., in Wausau, WI Involved students will travel and work with Judicare staff attorneys to conduct a series of Will Clinics for American Indians residing throughout Wisconsin. To prepare for the Clinics, students will receive training on Indian Law, Basic Estate Planning, the American Indian Probate Reform Act, and the procedures and processes for the Clinics. During the Clinics, students will travel with one or more staff attorneys to different reservations or tribal communities in Wisconsin to conduct a day long Will Clinic. Students interested in criminal law will also have an opportunity to spend one day assisting with a criminal law clinic for the Menominee Tribal Court.

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We are looking forward to hearing back from the students who participate about their experiences.  If you are a 2L or a 3L who would like to join them, there is still time to apply!  Find out more information here.

Congratulations to the 2011-2012 Moot Court Team

The all-star team has been selected. The following Columbia Law students will participate in the 20th Annual National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition, which will be held in Honolulu, Hawai’i from February 24 through 25:

Joann Kintz
Ian MacDougall
Michelle Luo
Meagan Burrows
William Nahill
Arlene Ortiz-Leyette
Shefali Singh
Benjamin Gossels
Natasha Reyes
Caroline Stover
Carly Hudson
Kathryn Benedict
Adelle Fontanet (3L)
Ezra Corral (3L)

Book your tickets now if you would like to support the team! Alternatively, if you’d prefer to stay put, you can read more about the upcoming competition here.  Last year, Columbia Law School had the honor of hosting the NNALSA competition.  (If you’d like to refresh your memory, feel free to read more about last year’s team here.)  But we are happy to pass the hosting torch to the University of Hawai’i, and even happier to announce this year’s phenomenal competitors.

A hearty congratulations to them all!

Welcome Back — Fall is in Full Swing!

Columbia NALSA has been keeping busy this fall welcoming the 1Ls to campus, first with a group visit to the National Museum of the American Indian, and later by joining with BLSA, LaLSA, APALSA, and EWOC for a meet-and-greet Happy Hour at Boat Basin.

Now that October has arrived, we are kicking off the month with a Federal Indian Law Primer. For an introductory lecture on the basics of Federal Indian Law, including key legal cases, and a discussion of what it means to practice on behalf of Tribes and Tribal organizations, we hope you will join us at 6:30pm on Monday, October 10, in JG 103!

Columbia’s National NALSA Election Results!!

Columbia had amazing results at the National NALSA annual meeting held today and yesterday at the Federal Bar Association Indian Law Conference. Here’s what they’re coming back with:
•Shawn Watts, National NALSA President
•Caitlin Smith, National NALSA Treasurer
•Jenny Patten, National NALSA ABA Rep
•Precious Benally, National NALSA PR Director
•Frank Holleman, Area 5 Rep
(all of our candidates won their respective races! here are the full results of the election)

•Shawn Watts, 2L of the Year
•Precious Benally, 1L of the Year

•Matt Birkhold, First Prize in the Writing Competition
•Jackie Bonneau, Third Prize in the Writing Competition

•our many moot court successes are of course a part of this
•we’re also excited that University of Hawaii is hosting next year’s moot court competition

Looks like next year will be an amazing year for NNALSA and Columbia!

Congrats to all! The Columbia community is proud of you!

Congrats to the new NALSA Board!

We are excited to announce the 2011-2012 NALSA board:

President: Jenny Patten
Vice President.: Allison Neswood
Treasurer: Rachel Tishler
Secretary: Amy Connors
Recruit: Precious Benally
Alumni: Andrea Mcchristian
Fundraising: Jason Hipp
Communications: Caitlin Giaimo
Legal Outreach: Alex Blaszczuk
Social events: Leon Kenworthy

Columbia's Native American Law Student Association