The five law students are: Ann Otteman (3L), Chris Santos (3L), Chasid Sapolu (2L), Jesse Smith (2L), and Ka’upenaikaika Soon (2L). These students are members of the 2008-09 WSRSL Native American Moot Court team and were accompanied by, Ka Huli Ao Post-JD Fellow and 2008 WSRSL alumnus, Derek Kauanoe.
The conference and meeting proved to be both an informative event covering issues in “Indian country” as well as an outstanding networking opportunity. The five students were introduced to a number of key people who also recognized their strong and impressive advocacy skills through moot court. A few of the people they met include:
- Patty Ferguson Bohnee, President-elect of the National Native American Bar Association and Director of the Indian Legal Clinic at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law,
- Nova Wilson, a 2008 graduate of the Michigan State University School of Law, now working in Washington D.C. at the National Congress of American Indians,
- Jennier “Gigi” Modrich who works at Washington D.C. based law firm Holland & Knight. Gigi is a 2008 graduate of the Cornell School of Law,
- Mary Modrich-Alvarado, a 2008 graduate of the ASU School of Law and current lawyer with the Navajo Nation,
- Paul Spruhan, a former clerk to the Navajo Nation Supreme Court but now working for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice,
- Ethel Branch, a 2008 graduate of Harvard Law School a tribal attorney working for Orrick,
- Summer Monteau, a 2008 graduate of the ASU school of law, and an attorney with the law firm of Luebben Johnson & Barnhouse of which the Pele Defense Fund was a client,
- Ezekiel Fletcher, an attorney with Rosette & Associates,
- Andrew Adams, general counsel for the St. Croix Band of of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians.
- Lorinda Mall, a Punahou School graduate who also graduated from from the University of Arizona with an L.L.M. and currently pursuing a Juridical Science Doctorate degree while working for Board of Land Management in Washington D.C.
Our Richardson students also met a number of other students from law schools across the United States. Some of these other law students include:
- Naomi Bebo from the University of California Law Angeles School of Law,
- Burton Warrington from the University of Kansas
- Joshua Clause, incoming National Native American Law Students Association President, from the University of Michigan school of law
- Marilyn Phelps, from UCLA,
- Nicole Sieminski from UCLA,
- Aurora Lehr a 3L from the University of Washington,
- Nikki Borchardt a 3L from ASU,
- Jeremiah Swett from Cornell University,
- Jody Tallbear from Hamline University
The conference provided eight plenary sessions that covered: environmentalism on the reservation, tribal gaming, Supreme Court cases affecting Indian law, tribal economic development, renewable energy, genetically modified organism and food supplies. Hawaii issues and cases were briefly mentioned that included GMO kalo, Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, and Rice v. Cayetano.
Next year’s Federal Bar Association’s Indian Law Conference will be held April 7 - 9, 2010, at Buffalo Thunder. To find out what second year law students Chasid Sapolu and Ka‘upena Soon think about their time at the conference, go to http://tr.im/chaskau