Resources Available To Native American Applicants
While law schools still lack diversity, experts say Native American applicants shouldn’t feel discouraged from applying.
Gabriel Kuris, founder of Top Law Coach and contributor at US News, recently discussed what resources and opportunities Native American applicants have access to and how they can make the best use of them.
One of the resources that Kuris recommends is Pipeline to Law Initiative. The initiative is sponsored by the Indian Legal Program at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, the Indigenous Law Program at Michigan State University College of Law, Office of Admissions at University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and the American Indian Law Center, Inc. Applicants can join virtual admissions workshops held weekly and learn how to successfully apply to law school and network with law school professionals.
Additionally, Native American applicants can apply for scholarships such as the American Indian Law School Scholarship, a three-year, full tuition scholarship for Harvard Law admits.
While applicants can check the box for Native American heritage in their applications, Kuris recommends making use of the essays and statements to highlight heritage and identity.
“Rather than obsess about boxes or paperwork, Indigenous applicants should provide context on their heritage, identity and engagement with Indigenous communities or organizations through their personal statement, diversity statement or an addendum,” Kuris writes.
REACH OUT TO PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS
Kuris also recommends Native American applicants actively reach out to law school professors and students to ask questions about the application process or the program.
“Every Native American law professor is involved in recruitment,” Robert A. Williams, Jr., faculty co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, tells US News. “We are happy to have applicants reach out. Native American law professors want students for our courses and programs.”