South Dakotan Lawyer In Brief Spring/Summer 2013 - page 8

Students Encouraged to Go Pro Bono
Students attending the Law School’s annual Pro Bono
Opportunities Fair in October were encouraged to get involved in
helping people. The fair provided information about the many pro
bono opportunities as individuals or with student organizations—
to work and volunteer. Among the presenters were Traci Smith,
Minnehaha County public defender; Doug Cummings, director,
East River Legal Services, for the R.D. Hurd Pro Bono Society;
Kim Allison, First Circuit Court administrator, for the UJS Pro Se
Helpline; and JosephWiltse, graduate assistant, for Access to Justice.
NALSA Students Help Draft Wills
During Spring Break, a dozen members of the Native American
Law Student Association (NALSA) traveled to three different
reservations to help draft wills for tribal members with the help of
Dakota Plains Legal Services (DPLS). The students traveled 1,000
miles in three days and opened 25 new cases for DPLS. Also, senior
students Brad Richardson and A.J. Franken were interviewed for
an hour on KLND radio, reaching into the Standing Rock and
Cheyenne River Reservations.
Ten NALSA members also traveled to the Yankton Sioux Tribe
Reservation on Election Day to help with poll monitoring through
the Native Vote Program to ensure that people on the Reservation
received a fair opportunity to vote. In November, NALSA hosted
a Toy Drive for the Crow Creek Boys and Girls Club and the toys
were handed out at Christmas. NALSA also hosted a clothing drive
for children on the Rosebud Reservation and held a presentation for
native undergraduates about applying to law school.
A USD Law NALSA team consisting of seniors Steven Iverson
and Franken earned third place among the highest brief scores in
February at Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Ore., in the
National NALSA Moot Court Tournament. Another USD NALSA
team of 3Ls Nathan Chicoine and Richardson also competed
among more than 60 teams from across the nation. The tournament
problem involved aboriginal title and criminal jurisdiction.
Veteran’s Legal Education Group
Hosts Legal Clinic
The Veteran’s Legal Education Group (VLEG) began this year
with seven members participating in the Black Hills Veterans
March, a 26.2 mile march on the Mickelson Trail. In March, VLEG
participated in a drop-in legal clinic at the VA Hospital in Sioux
Falls. With the help of local attorneys, students assisted 38 people
with their legal needs. VLEG also held its first two-mile run in
late March to raise money for
future activities and in April,
two members participated in
the Tyndall for Troops 5K,
where 3L Dusty Ginsbach
received the award for second
place in his age division. VLEG
also supported the inclusion of alternative sentencing for veterans
and veterans’ courts in Gov. Daugaard’s “Smart on Crime” bill.
Domestic Violence Legal Program
Volunteers, Donates
At the beginning of this year, the Domestic Violence Legal
Program (DVLP) held a self-defense seminar as part of Social Justice
week and also held its annual “No Recite Day,” where 1Ls could
bring an item for Vermillion’s Safe Options, a temporary shelter for
abused women, in exchange for immunity from reciting in class that
day. For domestic violence awareness month in October, DVLP
sponsored a multi-faceted panel discussion on domestic violence
and displayed the silent witnesses in the law school breezeway,
which are cutouts inscribed with real stories of domestic abuse.
In March, they volunteered for Vermillion’s Project Backpack,
packing nutritious snacks and easy-to-prepare meals for children to
eat on the weekends, as March is Child Abuse Awareness Month.
In April, the group participated in the PIN auction by holding
a drive where students and faculty could donate for Professor
Thatcher to sing “Mustang Sally,” and through the drive raised
$250 for Safe Options.
Law School Democrats Volunteer
During Election Season
This year, the Law School Democrats worked with the USD
College Democrats during election season, informed members
about volunteer opportunities within the Democratic Party, held a
social at Professor Gingiss’s house, and formalized the organization’s
existence by adopting a constitution and by-laws.
Students HelpTaxpayers at VITA Sites
Taxpayers received help from certified law students at Volunteer
Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites multiple times throughout the
2012–2013 school year, with several clinics taking place during
tax season.
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