October 2012 Bar Bulletin
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October 2012 Bar Bulletin

Seattle U. Law School Awards Native American Scholarship

By Katherine Hedland Hansen


Seattle University School of Law is proud to present an annual, full-tuition scholarship to a member of a federally recognized tribe. The 2012-13 Native American Law Scholar is Jocelyn McCurtain.

McCurtain graduated from the University of Washington, where she studied vocal performance and sociology. She worked throughout her undergraduate career to engage students on issues pertaining to sexual assault and relationship violence.

As the director of the Committee Organizing Rape Education, McCurtain implemented various programs, including the Rock Riot Run 5K, the proceeds from which were donated to a domestic violence shelter. She also spearheaded the creation of the program "Through Our Eyes," which seeks to educate students on the effects of sexual assault and domestic violence amongst minority communities, and co-founded Students Against Sexually Exploited Youth.

She served as vice president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington in 2011 and was the student representative on the Board of Directors for the University Bookstore.

After graduation, McCurtain was chosen to attend the prestigious Pre-Law Summer Program sponsored by the American Indian Law Center in Albuquerque. Through this program, McCurtain was introduced to Native American scholars and advocates from around the country.

"This experience further solidified my aspiration of being an advocate on behalf of Native American women and children on issues pertaining to sexual assault and domestic violence within Indian Country," she said.

McCurtain is an enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and is very proud of her Indian heritage. She hopes to practice law with one of the many tribes in Washington, utilizing her law degree from Seattle University to make a positive impact on behalf of Native Americans.

She enjoys the outdoors and frequently hikes throughout the state with her family. She also is an avid runner and continues to pursue her love of music, as well as remaining engaged in advocacy on behalf of victims of sexual violence.

Native Americans have one of the smallest bars in the nation and Seattle University School of Law is committed to increasing the number of Native students who attend law school through this scholarship and other outreach. The scholars work closely with the law school's Center for Indian Law and Policy, which is committed to educating and training both Indian and non-Indian students, attorneys and community leaders in areas of federal Indian law and other legal, cultural and policy issues that impact tribes and Indian people.

Among its programs, the Center offers a summer Indian estate planning internship program, an Indian wills clinic and courses related to Indian Law, and collaborates with tribes on special projects.


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