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American Indian Lawyers and Law Students

Post by tlsadmin3 » Wed Jan 13, 2021 7:43 pm

Share experiences and seek insight regarding your experience as an American Indian lawyer, law student, or prospective applicant, or create a new thread.

atsinusdi

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Re: American Indian Lawyers and Law Students

Post by atsinusdi » Fri May 10, 2024 11:22 pm

Well isn't this thread just emblematic of how many American Indians there are in law. I'm a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, one of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. While this is the tribe I am citizen of, much of my family is also enrolled in the United Keetoowah Band.

My interest in law in part stems from the fact that my ancestors were effectively chased out of Georgia following Worcester v. Georgia due to their involvement. My name in our language was given to me after the name given to Samuel Worcester when he lived among us. Language has been a particular interest of mine since I was a child, and I started a small language organization open to citizens of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes with a fluent speaking/first language elder from my tribe. We've been active since November of 2020.

I graduated from a tribal university with highest honors this week. I had been planning to go to law school long before then, but life got in the way. I am now 27 and have been working as a research professional at a different university, studying and modeling the spread of infectious diseases, for the past year as I was granted the ability to finish my final requirements remotely. It's been challenging, as the work I am doing was not particularly in my wheelhouse prior to starting, but my long experience with computer programming (my dad introduced me to it at a very young age) allowed me to be of greater use than they anticipated when they hired me originally as a communications professional.

Now that I am finally graduating and have gotten into the groove of my present job, I anticipate having much greater time to spend on studying for the LSAT. My diagnostic practice tests were far better than I expected, though the logic games were certainly a weak link. Thankfully, those logic games are going away in August. I have high hopes that I'll perform well enough on the LSAT to get into my preferred law schools.

That said, working as I am now at a non-tribal university and very far from anywhere I would consider to be Indian Country, I worry that I'll struggle socially in law school. Pretendians are a sore spot for me, as my tribe is one of the most often claimed, particularly in the southeast where I currently reside. I don't feel that I get much support from my present institution; perhaps due to the fact that I am one of only three enrolled American Indians on their payroll, the other two both being professors. I fear that this will also occur at any law school I attend, though presumably a place like Yale will at least pretend to care.

That said, Yale recently hired a non-Cherokee to teach my language. I know this person, and they certainly do speak Cherokee, having learned from some of the same elders that I learned from. It was only after their appointment at Yale that they started to falsely claim that they themselves are Cherokee. Funny how that works.

If there are any natives here that have been through law school, I'd be very curious what your experiences have been. I've spoken to a few, but most of them attended ASU or OU, which naturally have a very different culture surrounding Indigeneity than the schools I'm most interested in attending.

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Re: American Indian Lawyers and Law Students

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 13, 2024 11:30 am

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Re: American Indian Lawyers and Law Students

Post by Anonymous User » Mon May 13, 2024 11:30 am

atsinusdi wrote:
Fri May 10, 2024 11:22 pm
Well isn't this thread just emblematic of how many American Indians there are in law. I'm a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, one of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes. While this is the tribe I am citizen of, much of my family is also enrolled in the United Keetoowah Band.

My interest in law in part stems from the fact that my ancestors were effectively chased out of Georgia following Worcester v. Georgia due to their involvement. My name in our language was given to me after the name given to Samuel Worcester when he lived among us. Language has been a particular interest of mine since I was a child, and I started a small language organization open to citizens of the three federally recognized Cherokee tribes with a fluent speaking/first language elder from my tribe. We've been active since November of 2020.

I graduated from a tribal university with highest honors this week. I had been planning to go to law school long before then, but life got in the way. I am now 27 and have been working as a research professional at a different university, studying and modeling the spread of infectious diseases, for the past year as I was granted the ability to finish my final requirements remotely. It's been challenging, as the work I am doing was not particularly in my wheelhouse prior to starting, but my long experience with computer programming (my dad introduced me to it at a very young age) allowed me to be of greater use than they anticipated when they hired me originally as a communications professional.

Now that I am finally graduating and have gotten into the groove of my present job, I anticipate having much greater time to spend on studying for the LSAT. My diagnostic practice tests were far better than I expected, though the logic games were certainly a weak link. Thankfully, those logic games are going away in August. I have high hopes that I'll perform well enough on the LSAT to get into my preferred law schools.

That said, working as I am now at a non-tribal university and very far from anywhere I would consider to be Indian Country, I worry that I'll struggle socially in law school. Pretendians are a sore spot for me, as my tribe is one of the most often claimed, particularly in the southeast where I currently reside. I don't feel that I get much support from my present institution; perhaps due to the fact that I am one of only three enrolled American Indians on their payroll, the other two both being professors. I fear that this will also occur at any law school I attend, though presumably a place like Yale will at least pretend to care.

That said, Yale recently hired a non-Cherokee to teach my language. I know this person, and they certainly do speak Cherokee, having learned from some of the same elders that I learned from. It was only after their appointment at Yale that they started to falsely claim that they themselves are Cherokee. Funny how that works.

If there are any natives here that have been through law school, I'd be very curious what your experiences have been. I've spoken to a few, but most of them attended ASU or OU, which naturally have a very different culture surrounding Indigeneity than the schools I'm most interested in attending.
You should try getting in touch with this person: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raymond-fadel-2a6a6779/

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