James E. Rogers College of Law   
January 14, 2015



Great law schools share a common trait. They have distinctive programs that push the boundaries of excellence, with impacts reaching throughout the country and around the world. The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) program at Arizona Law is just such a program.


The IPLP program does not simply teach students -- it trains the next generation of advocates to make a difference. It is one of the few places where the opportunity to study with the top scholars in the field is paired with nearby tribal externship opportunities.


This week we feature the outstanding work of our Native American Law Students Association (NALSA), alumna Leah Lussier Sixkiller, and Professor Rob Williams, whose internationally acclaimed scholarship and engagement as a public intellectual has been reflected in national media. 


Until the Footnotes,




Arizona Law's Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)

NALSA Executive Board
NALSA members at an outreach event.


Student organizations offer the opportunity for students to apply their interests and skills. The Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) at Arizona Law strives to build community among its members and to promote the study of federal Indian law, tribal law, and international human rights law.


In recent years, the National NALSA has recognized two Arizona Law students as students of the year, and named Arizona Law as the national chapter of the year. Arizona Law students frequently serve on the National NALSA Executive Board, and our local chapter has twice hosted the National NALSA writing competition.


This year NALSA embarks on a new opportunity. On March 6 and 7, 2015, the College of Law will host the National NALSA Moot Court Competition. Arizona Law will welcome 71 teams from law schools across the nation.


In their bid to host the competition, now-alumnus Chad Ambroday and current NALSA President and 3L Chase Velasquez created a strong bid and an engaging YouTube video highlighting why Arizona Law was the best place for the 2015 competition. Their creativity, hard work, and determination paid off and gained us the prestigious honor of hosting the competition.


Chase, a member of the White Mountain Apache Tribe and current Vice President of the National NALSA, serves as the competition's organizer. Chase competed in 2014 and is excited about bringing the competition to Tucson.

NALSA's annual Fry Bread and Taco Sale at the college.
NALSA's annual Fry Bread and
Taco Sale at the college.


"Supporting NALSA's desire to host the competition demonstrates Arizona Law's commitment to supporting the diversity of its students as well as recognizing the issues indigenous peoples face globally. This competition gives the law school the opportunity to promote the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) program as well as the law school in general to students across the country. IPLP has the potential to recruit students for its LLM and SJD program."


After this leadership from our students -- and making sure we have the necessary space! - the next most important element is you! With 71 teams, it is going to be a largest competition in NALSA history, which is great news, but also a bit daunting. NALSA needs 120 oral argument judges, volunteers for registration and information desks, and timekeepers for the rounds.


If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Carrie Stusse in the IPLP office at cms1@email.arizona.edu or 520.626.6497.


Leah Lussier Sixkiller ('10)


Leah Lussier Sixkiller knows the challenges and rewards of leading NALSA.


She formerly served as president of the organization, during which time the chapter received the National NALSA chapter of the year award and she received the National NALSA 2L of the year award. She is also a big supporter of the National NALSA Moot Court Competition. She and her teammate (now husband) made it to the "elite eight" round at the competition. 


Today, based in Minneapolis, she is an associate at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP in the corporate group, focusing primarily on business and financing transactions in Indian Country. She recently represented a tribe in its acquisition of a Minnesota limited liability company, and is now representing another tribe in issuing bonds.


In her community work, Leah serves as a Council Member for the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, the Breck School Alumni Council, and the Harvard Club of Minnesota. She also helps law students in the area explore Indian Law careers.


For Leah, the path to law school entailed an enduring commitment to herself and the ability to make a difference in Indian law.

Leah's beautiful family!
Leah's beautiful family!


"I had wanted to be a psychologist since I was 10. Then in college I took a few courses in which I learned about how law and policy affect American Indian tribal nations and individuals. By the end of my college sophomore year I was set on becoming the first lawyer in my family."


In addition to her student activities and competitions, she was a summer associate at her current law firm during her first summer, and a summer associate at another law firm in Minneapolis during her second summer. At the end of her 3L year, she received the James M. Livermore Service Award and gave an eloquent commencement speech to her classmates.


After law school, she became a lifelong teammate with her college sweetheart and fellow Arizona Law classmate, Jesse Sixkiller ('10). They live in her hometown of Minneapolis with their "energetic and intelligent 15-month-old daughter." They enjoy winter activities such as skating, snowshoeing, and ice fishing, which she missed (she must have been just too busy!) while in Tucson. 


Professor Rob Williams


As Co-director of the IPLP Program, Professor Rob Williams knows the importance of supporting students in their professional pursuits, and how many opportunities emerge through experience. Rob is a highly engaged scholar, and hundreds of students have been mentored by him through their work with organizations, firms, and tribes.


Recently, Rob was invited to participate in an interview that aired on PBS's Bill Moyers & Company discussing a variety of Native American topics from sacred lands in Arizona to the legacy of US government-American Indian relations.


This interview gained widespread attention and included a Web Extra, in which Rob discussed the IPLP program, the new Undergraduate Law Program, and many of the great projects happening right now at Arizona Law.  


Rob also guest authored a post on Moyers' website and worked with the show's staff to develop a timeline of Native American history. It is a fascinating graphic -- I hope you will check it out.  


Also of note: Rob's book, Savage Anxieties, zoomed up on Amazon into the top 250 books sold for several days following the interview, and took the number one spot within the category of History-Native American and History of Civilization and Culture.


And on Monday, Rob became one of 53 historians throughout the United States invited by New York Magazine to participate in a national project on the legacy of President Obama.


Rob's pathbreaking work makes us proud to have him as a colleague. The IPLP program he has built with his close friend Professor Jim Anaya and others is a model for how scholarship, teaching, mentorship, and policy can be combined to the benefit of each dimension. More than a generation of graduates -- graduates like Leah Lussier Sixkiller who are themselves changing the legal profession and their communities -- testify to this success. 


Williams, Rob


Centennial Snapshot -- The School of Law becomes a College

Professor Samuel Fegtly (middle) became the Dean of the new College of Law
Professor Samuel Fegtly (middle) became the Dean of the
new College of Law





Professional instruction in law was started at the University of Arizona in September, 1915, and in 1925 the School of Law was changed to the College of Law. This made it the fifth College at the University of Arizona. The other four were the Colleges of Letters, Arts and Sciences; Mines and Engineering; Agriculture; and Education. 





Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law: Symposium Conference on the work of James Anaya


Alumni, partners, and friends are invited to the International Journal's Symposium Conference. There will be seven authors presenting -- including four authors traveling from overseas  -- on material published by Professor James Anaya while he was the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (May 2008-May 2014). A part of this conference will be acknowledging Professor Anaya's Nobel Peace Prize Nomination.


Brown Bag Lunch Discussion

Thursday, January 22

12 - 1 pm

Sullivan Conference Room (Room 272)


Symposium Conference

Friday, January 23

1:30 - 5:15 pm

Ares Auditorium (Room 164)


No RSVP Required. 



The Gutter Bowl is coming! Are you able to beat your managing partner and get the lowest score? How about your old classmate? Join us for an evening of fun, food, and good ol' fashioned competition.


March 4, 2015, Bowlmor Scottsdale.

7300 East Thomas Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85251.

Alumni, faculty, staff, and students are invited to attend.


Arizona Law and the Jenckes Cup serves as motivation for UA Athletics in this weekend's Arizona Daily Star by Greg Hansen.


My two cents: Territorial Cup matters in Tucson, Tempe

Jenckes Cup
Jenckes Cup


Arizona's 88-41 loss to Arizona State in Thursday's women's basketball game was the second-worst loss in school history. The Wildcats lost 95-44 to Washington in 1988, a 51-point margin.


Worse, Niya Butts' team pushed its recent streak against the Sun Devils to 2-18. It's difficult to remember that Arizona beat ASU 14 consecutive times in women's basketball from 1994-2000.


Furthermore, sitting on ASU's bench Thursday was Salpointe grad Sybil Dosty, an ASU grad who is now a graduate assistant on the Sun Devils staff.


Though it's not that popular, if nothing else, UA women's basketball matters in Territorial Cup points. Here's how much it matters around campus: The universities' law schools have their own "Territorial Cup" every November. It is called the Jenckes Closing Argument Competition. Arizona has won five consecutive "Jenckes Cups," coached by professor Tom Mauet. The trophy is on display in the Cracchiolo Law Library on the UA campus.


Maybe Greg Byrne can get some Territorial Cup credit for that.




QuantLaw Presents: A Conversation with John Donohue (Stanford), Jeff Fagan (Columbia), and Saul Levmore (Chicago)


Theory Work on Data

John Donohue, "The Big Controversy in Empirical Evaluation of Law and Policy"


Data Work on Policing

Jeff Fagan


Theory Work on Aging

Saul Levmore, "Aging: Retirement by Contract"


Monday, January 26th


Ares Auditorium (Room 164)


No RSVP Required. 



Terrorism In America


Arizona Law presents "Terrorism in America:  What are the current threats, and is the U.S. government doing enough to defend us?" with former CIA officer Michael Hurley. This is a free, open-to-the-public event, and CLE credit may be available. 


Wednesday, January 28th

4:30 - 6pm

Room 160


Register Here



U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Visit 


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will hold oral arguments during its annual visit to Arizona Law. Seating is available first to those who have registered. Others are welcome to observe on a first-come, first-serve basis as space is available. Arguments will be heard in three cases:  (1) Adobe Systems v. Joshua Christensen, (2) Arizona Libertarian Party v. Ken Bennett, and (3) Mauricio Margain v. Elsa Ruiz-Bours, followed by a Question and Answer Session. 


Thursday, January 29th

9:30 - 11:30am

Ares Auditorium (Room 164)


For more information and to register, please click here.



The Rehnquist Court: Ten Years Later


The William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures is hosting an all-day conference, examining the jurisprudence of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Conference Program topics include:  Federalism, The Role of the Chief Justice, Criminal Procedure, and The First Amendment and Religion. 


Friday, Feburary 6th

9 am - 5pm

Westward Look Resort & Spa

245 East Ina Road


For more information and to register, please click here.


Congratulations to Hope Sullivan ('14) and Nick Bielat ('14) on their recent marriage! 




Before our students even return from the semester break, we have reached the prime of our recruiting season for next year's entering class. Do you know of a prospective law student who would be a good fit for Arizona Law? Perhaps someone interested in Indian Law? Please let us know.


Our Assistant Dean of Admissions, Bianca Mack, is here to help facilitate the admissions process, and Rob Williams and all of the faculty welcome the opportunity to talk with great prospective students. We can always use your assistance in getting the word out, and telling prospective students about the meaningful work and careers that build upon an Arizona Law education.






Marc L. Miller  

Dean & Ralph W. Bilby Professor of Law
Shaping the next century of legal education
Arizona NOW campaign button


   Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter   Find us on Pinterest   View our profile on LinkedIn   View our videos on YouTube

University of Arizona James E Rogers College of Law

Copyright 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Join Our Mailing List button