Students Provide Pro Bono Work and Learn about Tribal Law on Trip to Navajo Nation

One of the largest groups of American University Washington College of Law students to date volunteered on the Navajo Nation Reservation over spring break, providing pro bono services while learning about the tribal law.

Students received substantive legal experience while learning the heritage and fundamental law of the Navajo Nation. Erin Mee, a 2L, drafted an entire opinion for the Navajo Nation Supreme Court. Pious Ahuja, also a 2L, flew with the chief prosecutor to Tuba City to assist during trial.

“It really was amazing how many students were interested in assisting this sovereign nation and how quickly word spread among the Navajo Nation reservation,” said Jeanna Lee, 2L and organizer of the Navajo Nation Alternative Spring Break trip. “I actually started getting emails from different agencies and organizations in the Navajo Nation requesting law student volunteers. Once we arrived, it was clear how desperately assistance and resources were needed.”

Nearly 20 AUWCL students received placements in offices such as DNA Legal Services, Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Navajo Nation Supreme Court, Navajo Nation Public Defender Services, Navajo Nation Tax Commission Office, and Window Rock District Court.

Submitted by Jeanna Lee '15