NALSA National Moot Court

Prof. Monte Mills

In the Native American Law Student Association competition, two-person teams argue cases on topics chosen from among a variety of legal issues involving Native American rights and concerns. UM team members are selected by a competitive process. Members must be second or third year law students in good academic standing (2.3 GPA) and have taken or be enrolled in Indian Law. NALSA Moot Court members receive two credits in the Spring Semester for the appropriate section of Law 699.



Indian law students from the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana recently competed in the 27th Annual National Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) Moot Court Competition. Third years Dan Eakin, Ashton Jackson, Rebecca Newsom, and Naomi Whitehead traveled to the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona to face off with over 40 other teams from schools across the country. After two preliminary round arguments, the team of Jackson and Newsom advanced to the Sweet Sixteen where they were eliminated on head-to-head scoring despite having an argument scoring in the top eight overall. Consistent with ABIII’s long history of success at the competition, this result marked the third year in a row that at least one team from ABIII advanced beyond the preliminary rounds at the NNALSA Moot Court competition. In addition to advancing, Jackson and Newsom also took home third place for best brief.

The students put in long hours of preparation for the competition, including writing briefs over their holiday breaks and, after submitting those briefs, conducting practice oral arguments for many hours per week. In addition to their faculty coaches (Profs. Maylinn Smith and Monte Mills), the students had the benefit of working with and hearing from a number of guest judges during their practice rounds, including other ABIII faculty, distinguished alumni, and past moot court competitors. We are particularly grateful to Managing Attorney Rhonda Swaney (‘05) and the attorneys of the Legal Department of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes (CSKT), who graciously organized, hosted, and conducted a practice in the CSKT Appellate Courtroom. Thank you to all who supported the teams and congrats to Dan, Ashton, Rebecca, and Naomi on all of their hard work and success!


Erin Shanley, Brooke Baracker, Nicole Ducheneaux, and Mark Jette

Congratulations to the two 2006 NALSA Moot Court Teams! The team of Nicole Ducheneaux and Mark Jette placed fourth out of 38 teams. The team of Brooke Baracker and Erin Shanley made it to the final 16.

2004 NALSA TeamThe 2004 Team, Amy Sings In The Timber and Susan Stahle, coached by Professor Raymond Cross and Professor Maylinn Smith, placed second in the nation. The 1997 Team, Sharon Noel and Kristen Romao, also placed second in the nation.