Student Ambassadors

Lillian Alvernaz

Lillian AlvernazThe beautiful state of Montana has been my home for my whole life, and it seemed natural for me to continue my higher education here. I am enrolled in the in the Dakota and Assiniboine Tribes. I received my Bachelor's Degree in Social Work and Native American Studies here at the University of Montana. Upon receiving my degree, law school seemed a formidable feat, but I chose to engage myself in it and attend ABIII. My time spent here has provided many intellectual challenges that constantly stimulate me to do my very best. I am currently enrolled in the Indian Law program and I am seeking a joint MPA. Outside of class, I enjoy lifting weights and spending time with my family. I feel that the community of Missoula contains something for everyone, and my favorite thing about this town is that it provides the "vibes".

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Erika Colstad

Erika ColstadI was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana, and I attended Mills College, the University of Southern Queensland, as well as Montana State University to earn my undergraduate degree in Psychology. I came to ABIII because of the community-based atmosphere here at the school. The administration, staff, and professors are all incredibly eager to talk with students and establish personal relationships, which I think is a huge bonus for myself and many others. After my experiences of transitioning from one place to another, I can say with certainty that it’s critical a student love the town they live in, and Missoula has made it easy for myself to call it my home. Upon my admittance into the School of Law, I have been involved with the Women’s Law Caucus and Criminal Law Group, as well as an avid participant in intramural sports. Given all the recreation in Missoula, I’m also constantly exploring new trails, and enjoy live music and dancing of any kind.

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Adam Forslund

Adam ForslundFinding my way to law school a bit later in life was a difficult yet natural choice and progression for me. I grew up outside of Detroit and moved to Montana in 1998 in order to complete my undergraduate degree in Film and Theater at Montana State University graduating in 2000. I worked for 15 years as a cinematographer and photographer on feature films, documentaries, TV ads and photographing major international touring bands. Joining the ABIII class of 2018 has exceeded all expectations. The classes are challenging yet fun while the Professors are demanding and encouraging. After graduation my goal is to help Montanans in rural and underserved areas. I am a member of the Rural Advocacy League and the Federalist Society. When I’m not in school I’m fly fishing, skiing, climbing, hunting, and enjoying life in Missoula.

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Makenzi Hoffman

Makenzi HoffmanHaving grown up all over Montana, it only seemed logical that I would attend the ABIII Law School here in our beautiful state. For my undergraduate, I attended the University of Montana and received dual degrees in Business Administration and Marketing and Management with a certificate in Entertainment Management. I chose to continue my higher education at ABIII because I was very familiar with the campus, community, and people, and I feel that they empowered me to become the best possible version of myself. Some other motivators for my attendance here include my father (who graduated from ABIII in 1984!) and from my experiences working as a legal assistant at Darty Law Office. When I’m not involved in legal studies, I enjoy volunteering at the Humane Society and attending to my own pets, Bailey, Koach, Pilot, and Mario.

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Elliott McGill

Elliott McGillAfter having trekked from Utah to Montana to study at Carroll College in Helena, I developed a love for the state of Montana, and decided to attend ABIII. While attending Carroll, I received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Political Science. I also had the pleasure of working as an intern at Foster, Pepper, PLLC in Seattle, and as an intern for Montana Governor Steve Bullock. I selected ABIII because of its respectable reputation in the Environmental Law field, and because of the many opportunities it provides to stay in-state after graduation. Having come from large cities, I find it relaxing to live in a place as open and unique as Missoula, not to mention all the great fly-fishing, hiking, and camping areas all around. When not in class, I’m involved in the Environmental Law Group and Business & IP Club on campus.

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Tori Nickol

Tori NickolI was born and raised in Helena, Montana, and I attended Carroll College, where I earned a B.A. in Political Science. I competed for the Carroll track team in the 400 meter hurdles and I loved every minute of it. I also had the opportunity to work for a private Ob/Gyn practice, a law firm specializing in estate planning, and as a grant-writer for several nonprofits. All of these experiences prompted me to pursue a career in law and so far I have not been disappointed. Until I attended the Admitted Student’s Day I was fairly committed to attending a law school out of state; however, my experiences talking with the faculty and current students at the Alexander Blewett School of Law made me reconsider my decision (and I’m so glad I did!). The environment here encourages students to challenge one another but still emphasizes the importance of comradery and professionalism. I love the community of Missoula and all it has to offer and I am excited to be a part of the University of Montana.

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Jennifer Shannon

Jennifer ShannonI grew up in the small town of Stevensville, Montana in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley. I received my undergraduate degree in History from the University of Montana and came to law school right after graduation. Having spent my entire life in the western part of Montana, I feel comfortable talking to anyone about what an amazing state we live in and giving advice about the best way to spend an afternoon in Missoula. I knew immediately that the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana was the law school for me; I love the small community, dedicated staff and practice-based curriculum. There has not been a dull moment since I started. In my spare time, I volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate and at various leadership programs for young women across the state. I am involved in Women’s Law Caucus and also enjoy kayaking, camping, knitting, and cats.

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Holly Suek

Holly SuekHailing from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, I came out west looking for something different than what Minnesota had to offer. I attended North Dakota State University prior to coming to ABIII, getting my Bachelor of Science in Management Communication with Minors in Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology. When I was considering law schools I was looking for a community to call home and a school that would challenge me intellectually. ABIII caught my attention, and has since met my expectations on every level. Everyone is extremely supportive and the professors genuinely want to get to know you and watch you succeed. On campus, I am involved in Kappa Alpha Theta as the Vice President of the Missoula Alumnae Chapter, the Women’s Law Caucus as well as the Criminal Law Student Group. Outside of class, I enjoy hiking, running, camping, hunting, snowshoeing, floating, softball, and reading.

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Calder Thingvold

Calder ThingvoldHailing from Forysth, Montana, I began my westward adventures at Montana State University. As an undergrad, I studied history but made great use of student organizations to create a “home away from home” for myself. My experiences in university provided me with the courage to expand my horizons further than I ever thought possible. My favorite adventure to-date has been my study abroad trip to New Zealand for a semester. Traveling taught me to treasure the communities one can find in Montana and to bring that feeling with you wherever you go. When I began applying for law schools, I searched for one that could both challenge me yet make me feel at home. ABIII certainly fit that bill. Since arriving, I have involved myself in the Phi Alpha Phi society and American Constitution Society.

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Austin Wallis

Austin WallisPrior to my residence in Missoula, I lived in Nevada, my home state, where I attended the University of Nevada-Reno where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Spanish. Upon completion, I headed north up to Bozeman where I worked as a manager of catering operations at Emerson Grill. I was content with this until the 2016 elections, which inspired me to become more involved in my community and take my career and voice up to the next level and attend ABIII here in Missoula. My interests have led me to pursue a Natural Resources and Environmental Law Certificate to help me make a difference in the world. Being in Missoula empowers me to be the best version of myself, and constantly being surrounded by natural beauty compels me to work my hardest every day. Around campus, I am involved with the Outlaw Student Group and the Women’s Law Caucus, as well as being involved with the Bike Walk Bitterroot Organization. When I’m not busy, I can be seen hiking all around Missoula or enjoying the vibrant music scene.

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Oliver Wood

Oliver WoodOriginating from the Evergreen State of Washington, I attended undergraduate school at Whitman College in Walla Walla, and received my Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Humanities. When I was considering law schools, I turned to ABIII because of its stellar reputation on environmental studies, and its holistic tackling of natural resource disputes. Upon arrival, I’ve felt drawn to the community of Missoula where something is always going on, whether it be socially, culturally, or academically. The unique combination of work and play in Missoula falls perfectly in-line with my aspirations, and provides many opportunities, making this a real great place to live. Outside of class, I head into the mountains with friends frequently, and enjoy baking and working in my garden.

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