University Of Arizona Indigenous Peoples Law And Policy Program Enrolls Record Number Of Native Students, Doubles Fundraising Goals
The Huerta Scholars Program, Powered by its Global #GivingTuesday Campaign, Helped Boost Native Enrollment to Record Numbers
TUCSON (Oct. 22, 2015) — Alumni, friends and supporters of the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program have helped recruit a record-breaking class of Native students through the Huerta Scholars Program’s #GivingTuesday 2014 scholarship campaign. This year, for its #GivingTuesday 2015 campaign, IPLP’s goal is to double the $60,000 donated to the scholarship fund last year. On Giving Tuesday 2015, which falls on December 1 this year, lawyers and other supporters of American Indian legal rights and legal education will be asked to donate the first billable hour of their day to the Huerta Scholars Program to support the law college’s efforts to raise at least an additional $120,000 in scholarship funds for Native law students.
The record-breaking class of 19 new Native American students entering the law school this year (triple the numbers from just two years ago) was made possible in large part by the successful fundraising campaign launched by the law college’s #GivingTuesday campaign. The Huerta Scholars Program was established by Arizona Law in 2014 in honor of Judge Lawrence Huerta, a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe and the first Native American to graduate from the University of Arizona’s law school (Class of ’53) and to practice law in Arizona.
“The Huerta scholarship funds allowed us to provide the strong levels of financial aid and scholarship support needed by our Native students to help them realize their dream of becoming Native lawyers,” said Professor Robert A. Williams Jr., IPLP faculty co-chair. “We admitted nine new Native JD students to our first-year JD class. We are particularly pleased that three of those students are enrolled members of Arizona tribes, along with three additional Arizona tribal members admitted into our graduate law programs.
Meet the 2015 Huerta Scholars
“The first student to receive the Huerta Scholar Program’s full tuition scholarship and matching financial aid award for 2015-16 is Francisco Olea, a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe,” said Williams. “He will be the first member of his tribe to grow up on the Pascua Yaqui reservation and attend the College of Law. With his outstanding academic achievements and extensive record of service to his community and people, he perfectly embodies the values and ideals exemplified by Judge Huerta during his distinguished career as a lawyer, Indian rights advocate and proud member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe.”
Besides the JD entering class, IPLP was able to attract a large and diverse group of indigenous students from around the world to its graduate degree programs. IPLP is the only law school program in the world that offers all three law degrees (JD, LLM, SJD) along with the newly established MLS (Masters of Legal Studies) degree.
“Seven of our nine new IPLP, LLM and SJD students come from Native communities, three from the U.S and four from foreign indigenous communities,” said Professor James Anaya, faculty co-chair of the IPLP program. “And both of our two new Native MLS students are enrolled tribal members from U.S. tribes. Along with the great diversity they bring to our program, these students bring with them incredibly strong qualifications.”
Anaya cites Miriam Matinda from the Masai tribe in Tanzania, as an example of the diversity and strong qualifications of this year’s entering graduate law class. Miriam is enrolled in the IPLP SJD program this year, after a very successful year in IPLP’s LLM. program. She received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Tanzania and is the recipient of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) International Fellowship for the 2015-2016 academic year.
Anaya personally recruited Antonio Q’apaj Conde to become one of IPLP’s new LLM students this year. Q’apaj is an Aymara indigenous community member from Bolivia who received a bachelor in law from the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés in La Paz and a master’s in human rights, democratization and security from Seville University in Spain. Between 2013 and 2015 he served in Geneva as a WIPO indigenous fellow.
For this year’s Huerta Scholars Program #Giving Tuesday scholarship drive, law alum (‘00) Gabe Galanda, of the law firm Galanda Broadman in Seattle, will serve as the national co-chair once again, along with Williams. Galanda believes there is good reason to support Native scholarships at Arizona Law: “It’s the impact of those scholarship dollars combined with other sources of financial aid and the strong academic support that IPLP can provide that make it possible to recruit and enroll such a large and diverse group of Native students,” says Galanda. “Think of it. In one single year, the law school recruited and admitted a total of 19 Native students, six who are from Arizona tribes. That’s never happened before. The Huerta Scholars Program is a key factor in the success of those recruitment efforts. We have to keep it going. It’s why we are doubling our efforts this year to reach $120,000 for Native scholarships at Arizona Law.”
Along with the Huerta scholarship funds, an intensive recruitment effort involving the admissions office, Arizona Law’s Native American Law Students Association (NNALSA) and Dean Marc Miller’s personal involvement were key to the law school’s success in its strategic, targeted and personalized approach to Native student recruitment.
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