Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) Logo

Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)

Welcome! The Stanford Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) raises awareness of Indian Law issues, provides mentorship, and builds affinity within the larger Native community. NALSA welcomes all members of the Stanford University community. We aim to foster an environment of openness and thoughtful debate surrounding issues of concern to Indian country, where all opinions and perspectives are treated with respect.

If you are considering Stanford Law School and want to learn more about NALSA, please reach out to any member of our executive board. More information about Stanford Law School’s academic offerings in the areas of Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law is available here. Additionally, you can follow Stanford NALSA’s Instagram here. Finally, you can also learn more about our two faculty advisors, Professors Gregory Ablavsky and Elizabeth Hidalgo Reese. Stanford Law is special and we would love to share with you why!

We raise awareness by hosting speakers, organizing classes and seminars, and broaching concerns during administrative decision-making.

NALSA relationships last a lifetime. Members participate in an annual retreat, “talking circles,” potlucks, and the annual Stanford Pow Wow and alumni weekend.

Alumni and older students share their insight into study methods, class selection, employment opportunities, and clerkships.

2022-2023 Events To Date

  • We kicked off the year by attending the annual Indigenous People’s Day gathering on Alcatraz Island.
  • We hosted a panel with Professors Gregory Ablavsky and Elizabeth Hidalgo Reese about the Supreme Court case, Brackeen v. Haaland. Students in Professor Reese’s 1L seminar also had the opportunity to attend a moot court for the lawyers presenting argument. Additionally, Professor Ablavsky submitted an amicus brief in the case – with the help of NALSA members and others working as research assistants.
  • Members attended our annual retreat to come together and build community. This year, NALSA stayed overnight in Guerneville, California.
  • NALSA joined forces with the Native American Community Center to celebrate the Honorable Sunshine Sykes. Around fifty community members from across Stanford came to celebrate her confirmation as the first Native federal judge in California. Judge Sykes is a Stanford NALSA alumna and we are so proud!
  • Former Stanford NALSA member and current Stanford History Ph.D. student, Tanner Allread, presented his paper on Choctaw Constitutionalism to the Law and History Workshop at SLS.
  • Former Solicitor General of the Department of the Interior and current Hogan Lovells partner Hilary Tompkins (and SLS NALSA alumna), spoke with students about balancing careers in government and the private sector.
  • We have exciting things in store for the rest of the year. We are planning a trip to Albuquerque for Fed Bar in April, and hoping to host more events on Native issues. We also plan to continue NALSA’s book club!
Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) 46
Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) 30

2021-2022 Year in Review

  • Stanford’s NALSA chapter hosted several events this year including: a lunch talk with Stanford NALSA alum and NARF attorney Brett Lee Shelton about the Indigenous Peacemaking Initiative; co-hosted an event with Stanford NALSA alum Spencer Hodson about novel tribal corporate structures; and a dinner with preeminent peacemakers Robert Yazzie, Cheryl Demmert Fairbanks, and Christy Chapman.
  • NALSA brought its members and other Stanford students on an alternative spring break trip to visit the Yurok Tribe. Stanford students wrote 20 wills for Yurok Tribal members in clinics at Klamath and Weitchpec, and met with Yurok Tribal Court Judge Abby Abinati.
  • NALSA members built connections with the greater Native community at Stanford. NALSA and Stanford Natives in Pre-Law worked together to start a mentorship program for Native undergraduate students interested in pursuing legal careers.
  • NALSA members relaxed on their first retreat since the beginning of the pandemic in Santa Cruz.
  • Stanford NALSA members built community throughout the year – members hosted book clubs for “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich and “The Removed” by Brandon Hobson; brought the SLS community to Stanford’s 51st annual powwow; and hosted faculty dinners with Professors Ablavsky and Hidalgo Reese.
  • Two Stanford NALSA members, Daniel Ahrens and Case Nieboer, competed in the National Native American Moot Court Competition and won Best Appellate Brief! Their brief will be published in Volume 46 of the American Indian Law Review later this year.

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