2011 AmeriCorps Legal Fellow, Jaimie Lynn Park
Jaimie Lynn Park
Name of Host Organization: Montana Legal Services Association
City, State: Billings, Montana
Issue area: Native American Rights, Environmental Justice Civil Rights/Civil Liberties
I am an AmeriCorps Legal Fellow specializing in Indian Law with Montana Legal Services Association. The primary focus of my fellowship is direct services to the great Indigenous Nations of Montana in the area of wills and estates planning, as well as probate. I will also teach CLE's and recruit pro bono attorneys to help draft Wills. Finally, I will be involved in developing a Tribal Law Lay Advocacy Curriculum at the Dull Knife Tribal College of the Northern Cheyenne.
Waynesville, North Carolina
Making the connection:
I was 15 years old when I told my A.P. History teacher I wanted to practice Indigenous Law and advocate for the great Indigenous Nations of this country. I went to law school specifically for Indigenous Law to achieve social justice for individual Tribal members and for Tribes as a whole. It was very important to me to serve in Indian Country before I went to law school.
Surviving law school:
I never had a problem maintaining my public service focus. Years of serving in Indian Country as an AmeriCorps VISTA member had made that focus unwavering. I'm really thankful for my summer clerkships with Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the Canadian Senate Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples. Those clerkships helped me go back to law school, where I felt extremely out of place. I went to a law school where public interest law was not promoted the way it should have been. The majority of my peers were interested in money, and money alone. I survived law school by collaborating with other students who were committed to public interest law, but more importantly, by engaging with different community members involved in public interest and social justice outside of law school.
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
Collapse by Jared Diamond
Turtle Talk: The MSU Law Indigenous Law & Policy Center Blog: http://turtletalk.wordpress.com/