Thursday, September 03, 2009

Still alive, just going to school

I remember there used to be this blogger named V, like a million years ago, over on the blog Left In the West. Then V got into law school in Missoula, and he just disappeared. Now I know why.

It has been an eventful year, but in some ways, it seems easier to update you all in reverse.

There is this Critical Legal Journal at the University of Idaho. Critical Legal Studies, or the movement, emerged in America in the 70s and thrived for a while, then basically died out in law schools across the country. A good friend of mine got a new Journal started again at the University of Idaho. And I submitted to 'write on' to the crit, and made it. That's right, I will be working on a law journal, which is a big deal in law school, and not such a big deal to normal folk. So check in from time to time and see what we are up to.

I also have been working quite a bit on LGBT issues. I am presently the Co-President of the Sexual Orientation Diversity Alliance (SODA), and Vice President of the ACLU chapter at the UofI. One of the really stellar projects that we have worked on is a "Wills Clinic". The idea came from an unfortunate occurrence up here in Moscow.

A woman died unexpectedly. And while during her life her family had been accepting and supportive of the fact that she was a lesbian, and with her partner, when she died, her family completely shut the woman's partner out of the funeral and all decisions. Not ok.

So what we do, is we meet with people, answer some questions, ask some hard ones, then provide an opportunity for them to get wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives drafted all in one day. While it won't solve the funeral problem, it will allow people in committed relationships to get some of the rights that they should have already, without question. We did one of these clinics up in Moscow this January, and just got back from doing one in Boise in the middle of August.

I also helped form the UofI's first Native American Law Student Association, and we did lots of cool things. One of the best things was having tribe elders and judges come up to the school, and give talks about the differences between tribal court and state or federal courts. The Nez Perce and the Coeur d'Alene tribes have gone out of their way, and invited us to learn about native issues in the law. And asked us for help on things like a voter's rights pamphlet (guess who put that together?).

I also managed to get Idaho residency, which means I now pay in-state tuition. I feel a little traitor like about not being a Montana resident anymore, but then I realized that Montana is something you carry in your heart, and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

In not so legal like news, I met a boy. I am in love. I will bring him to MT for Thanksgiving, if not sooner so that he can fall in love with the place I call my home. Which would be a good thing, because he will be living there with me for a long time.... once I finish school.

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