MISSOULA – The Native American Law Student Association recently won the bid to host the 32nd annual National NALSA Moot Court competition, a first for Montana. The competition will take place in February 2024 at the Alexander Blewett III School of Law at the University of Montana.

The competition will feature over 40 teams from law schools around the country. In this two-day event, participants will compete by filing briefs and giving oral arguments in front of volunteer judges from the Montana legal community. The event allows students to showcase their skills in a courtroom setting, while networking with other future lawyers from around the country.

Two Montana law students have been elected to the 2023-24 National NALSA executive board. Sapphire Carter (Juris Doctorate candidate ’25, Rocky Boy) holds the position of treasurer and TaNeel Filesteel (Juris Doctorate candidate ’24, Fort Belknap) is the moot court administrator. Students will lead and administer this competition.

“We are very excited to be able to hold this prestigious competition at our school,” said Carter, a Chippewa-Cree tribal citizen. “It is a great opportunity to show our program to the rest of the country.”

Filesteel, an Aaniiih tribal citizen, said she is happy to be part of the national leadership.

“There is a lot to plan, but there is plenty of support from faculty and staff,” said Filesteel. “We want to make this a memorable event.”

The UM law school has built a nationally recognized Indian Law program. It is home to the Margery Hunter Brown Indian Law Clinic, the oldest Indian Law clinic in the country. Established in 1980, the clinic provides students with practical experience regarding Indian law issues. Students in the clinic work on a variety of projects promoting tribal sovereignty, cultural preservation, access to justice and economic development in Indian Country. It is because of this quality program that the Blewett School of Law has been chosen to host this high-profile competition.

For more information regarding the National NALSA Moot Court Competition and to volunteer as judges, email Filesteel.

- by UM News Service -

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