Shela Young: President of the Native American Law Students Association, University of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, NM

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					STUDENT PROFILE                                                                                    1. 800.973.1177

                             Shela Young: President of the Native American Law Students
                             Association, University of New Mexico School of Law,
                             Albuquerque, NM
                             [By Jen Woods]
                             There are many reasons to join student organizations. Participation in such groups can offer networking opportunities and
                             the chance to build your resume. Student groups also offer escapes from the daily pressures and stress of law school, said
                             Shela Young, a third-year student at the University of New Mexico School of Law. “Being involved in something non-
                             academic has kept me sane,” added Young, who is President of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) at
                             the university.

That does not mean NALSA is not academic            can change, and I have the ability to influence     housing, as well as federal supplemental
at all. “We do plenty to help students outline,     and change it,” she said.                           income,” she said.
read over memos and briefs, but we also work
within the surrounding communities,” Young          Her favorite class has been nonprofit               Last summer, Young worked for DNA
explained. It is rewarding to see how her efforts   organizations. “It is a hands-on class where        People’s Legal Services, a nonprofit law
with the organization help people living in the     I can design a nonprofit and compile the            firm that provides free legal services to
area, she said. The association is committed        documents I would need to file with both            low-income residents living near the Navajo
to the recruitment, retention, and success of       state and federal agencies,” she explained.         Nation. She landed the internship after
Native American law students and promotes the       Young said the class was intriguing because         attending the Rocky Mountain Career Fair in
study and development of Indian law.                she learned how to establish a nonprofit            Denver, CO. “I just applied so I could go to
                                                    and also how organizations legally maintain         Denver (I had never been to Colorado), and I
One of Young’s biggest responsibilities as the      nonprofit status.                                   ended up with a summer job,” she said.
association’s president is fundraising. This
year, Young helped raise $5,000 at a silent         Young has always been passionate about              But the job offered a lot more than she
auction, which included a raffle for a 2007         public interest work, she said. “Growing            expected. “The internship was the best one
Harley-Davidson motorcycle.                         up, I saw how so many people lack a voice           I have ever participated in. I was able to do
                                                    in the political and legal fields, and I want to    client intakes and manage files [while] doing
Young joined the organization as a first-           be able to take the tools I have learned and        the research and writing legal documents
year law student because she had recently           become an asset to my community, and I can          and memoranda,” she said.
moved to New Mexico from California, and            do that best through public interest work.”
she wanted to feel like she was part of a                                                               Young said she owes thanks to her boyfriend,
                                                    Young said her grandmother expressed                who has been supportive and encouraging
community, she said. She is also a member
                                                    concern because public interest positions           throughout her law school career. “My
of the Mexican American Law Students
                                                    typically offer lower salaries than those           boyfriend, Alexander Beattie, he has kept me
                                                    in other practice areas. But Young is not           in school, helping me understand topics and
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree           in it for the money. “I enjoy working with          reassuring my choice to stay in law school
in community studies from the University of         people who have real day-to-day problems.           and reminding me why I am here,” she said.
California at Santa Cruz, Young wanted to           Everyone needs a chance to be heard, and
work for a nonprofit organization. However,         if I can assist them in finding that voice and      ON THE NET
she soon realized that she did not have as          making a change in their life, then I am
                                                                                                        University of New Mexico School of Law
much experience as her competition.                 happy with that,” she said.

She thought that a law degree would provide         Young has spent two summers interning
                                                                                                        Native American Law Students Association
her with the necessary tools to make positive       with public interest law firms. In 2005,
changes in communities. As a lawyer, Young          she worked for Legal Services of Northern
will have the ability to make a difference in       California, a nonprofit organization that
                                                                                                        Mexican American Law Students Association
society, which is one of the most appealing         works to defeat poverty. “The experience
aspects of the profession, she said. “The law       was great. I learned a lot about California


Description: All About Shela Young The President Of Native American Law Students Association And Information About Student Organizations, Native American Law Students, Harley-Davidson Motorcycle And More.
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