VERMILLION, S.D. -- Lonnie Wright, a second year law student at the University of South Dakota School of Law, was elected President of National Native American Law Students (NNALSA) at the 35th annual Indian Law Conference, April 8-9, in Santa Fe, N.M. Wright was elected by National NALSA members from law schools across the United States. He was the first USD law student to serve on the National Board as the Area 8 Representative in 2009-10.
National NALSA is a national student organization comprised of 34 local NALSA chapters from law schools across the country. Wright was elected in a closely contested election, based upon his demonstrated leadership as Area 8 Representative and as the President of USD NALSA, which, under his leadership, won the honor of Chapter of the Year at the Conference.
“Lonnie is truly committed to the furtherance of NNALSA’s objectives and he has both the motivation and the dedication to set viable goals for the organization and see that they are reached,” said Jay Fuson, a second year law student and fellow NALSA member, who nominated Wright for the position. “His vision for the future of NNALSA is admirable, but what set him apart from the other candidates is that his good intentions are always followed by a thoughtful plan and action.”
Wright, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe was raised in Ridgeview, S.D., on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation. He received bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSM&T) in Rapid City, S.D. While an undergraduate, he served for four years as SDSM&T’s American Indian Science and Engineering Society president.
Additionally, USD NALSA member Nick Hamze of Hartford, S.D., was awarded First Year Law Student of the Year for his contributions to the National NALSA web site and his work with USD NALSA. Hamze was also elected to serve as the National NALSA Public Relations Director.