VERMILLION, S.D. -- The University of South Dakota School of Law and the USD Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) are hosting the nation’s top Indian law academic competition, the 2010 National NALSA Moot Court Competition, Feb. 18-20.
Forty-six NALSA teams from the United States will compete in the moot court competition at the USD School of Law beginning Thursday, Feb. 18, including colleges and universities from Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota and Oklahoma. Competitors will be judged by members of tribal, federal and state judiciary as well as lawyers with expertise in Indian law. The championship round on Saturday, Feb. 20, which is open to the public in the law school courtroom, will be judged by a distinguished panel that includes Chief Judge Karen Schreier of the U.S. District Court for the District of South Dakota; U.S. District Judge Jeff Viken; retired Chief Justice Robert Miller of the South Dakota Supreme Court; South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley; and Judge Roger Wollman of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“We are delighted to have such a distinguished panel of judges for the final round of this prestigious national competition,” said Barry Vickrey, dean of the USD School of Law. “This tournament is one of the finest student law competitions in the nation and we couldn’t be more honored to host all of the many judges and participants. We’re excited to be a part of this program and other extraordinary programs dedicated to Indian law.”
In addition to the NALSA Moot Court Competition, USD will host an Indian law/law review symposium and the biennial Dillon Lecture on Indian Law. The symposium, scheduled for 10 a.m. at the courtroom, is a combination of USD’s annual Law Review Symposium and the NALSA Indian Law Symposium, the longest-running Indian law symposium in the nation. The Dillon Lecture will be presented by Professor Matthew Fletcher (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), director of the Indigenous Law & Policy Center of the Michigan State University College of Law. Fletcher is a co-author of the leading national casebook on federal Indian law and a judge and consultant to tribal supreme courts.His address is slated for 7 p.m. in the courtroom.
Coordinator for the 2010 National NALSA Moot Court Competition is Lonnie Wright, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and a second-year law student at USD. Wright is also the president of the USD NALSA chapter and a member of the National NALSA board of directors. Entertainment for the Feb. 19 dinner for competitors and judges will feature hoop dancing by Jackie Bird (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota) and members of her family. Artwork for the 2010 competition, including website, signage and participant materials, features original artwork by Donald Montileaux, an award-winning Oglala Lakota artist.
Founded in 1970, NALSA promotes the study of Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law and traditional forms of governance, and to support Native Americans in law school. For more information about USD’s NALSA Chapter, please visit www.usdnalsa.org. The National NALSA Web site is available at www.nationalnalsa.org.