The Native American Law Students Association at UCLA School of Law was named student organization of the year for 2017 at the school’s third annual Student Leadership Breakfast on April 23.
In making its selection, the law school’s Student Bar Association cited NALSA’s recent philanthropic efforts. In addition to their regular work in fostering the success of Native American students and their peers studying Indian law, members of UCLA Law’s NALSA chapter led campaigns during the school year to bring food and supplies to Dakota Access Pipeline protesters at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
They also hosted the 25th Annual National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition in March. That competition is the preeminent such meeting of students and practitioners working in Indian law. The 2017 event featured 128 individual participants from 30 schools, as well as more than 75 attorneys from over a dozen states.
NALSA president Karli Sultzbaugh ’18 and vice president Daley King ’18 (pictured above) accepted the award for their organization.
The honor was the latest major recognition for UCLA Law’s Native American students. The school’s NALSA chapter was recently named chapter of the year by the national NALSA organization.
Earlier this month, UCLA Law students also received three of the 11 bar review scholarships that the National Native American Bar Association annually gives to top Native American students across the country. Simone Anter ’17, Erica McMilin ’17 and Heather Torres ’17 won $1,500 to go toward their bar exam studies, which start shortly after UCLA Law’s May 12 commencement.
Also honored at the Student Leadership Breakfast were UCLA Law’s Art Law Society and Women’s Law Journal, which received certificates of appreciation for their leadership at the law school.
The celebration additionally featured student recipients of the 2017 UCLA Law Enhancement Award (pictured at right). This year, the Office for Student Affairs honored Sabine Jean ’17, Carlos Almendarez ’17, Chris Homandberg ’17, Tara Gonsowski ’17, and Nisha Parekh ’17 for leading student organizations, journals, and other co-curricular activities — volunteer work that has significantly improved and enriched the UCLA Law community. The five graduating students were unanimously selected by the Office for Student Affairs and received a $150 Visa gift card.
Alumna Manal Hanna Pelch ’12, an attorney with the California Department of Transportation, delivered the breakfast’s keynote address.