Native American Law Students Association

By-Laws

PREAMBLE

This document will function as both the NALSA constitution and bylaws.

We the Native American Law Students Association of the University of New Mexico School of Law, acknowledge the need to assume a proactive role in the development of the Native American Legal Community, articulate and promote the needs of Native Law Students and their allies, increase the degree of professionalism among Native attorneys, encourage and prepare Native Secondary and Collegiate students for higher education and increase the awareness of and a commitment to the needs of the Native Community as a whole, and do hereby establish this Document of the UNMSOL NALSA.

MISSION STATEMENT

The purpose of the UNMSOL NALSA shall be to: articulate and promote the professional needs and goals of Native Law Students and their allies; foster and encourage professional competence; focus upon the relationship of the Native American Law Student, the Native American Attorney and their allies to the American legal structure; instill in every attorney and Law Student a greater awareness and commitment to the needs of the Native American community; influence the legal community to bring about meaningful change to meet the needs of the Native American community; adopt and implement a policy of economic independence; encourage law students to pursue careers in the judiciary; and do all things necessary and appropriate to accomplish these purposes. However, this organization will not limit itself to this sole objective. We reserve the right to become involved in other objectives.

ARTICLE I-NAME

This organization shall be known as the University of New Mexico School of Law Native American Law Students Association, hereinafter referred to as NALSA.

ARTICLE II-AFFILIATION

NALSA is a member chapter of the National Native American Law Students Association, Incorporated.

ARTICLE III- MEMBERSHIP

Section 1: Eligibility for Membership

All law students currently enrolled at UNMSOL shall be eligible for chapter membership.

Section 2: Classification of Membership

  1. Membership of NALSA shall consist of dues-paying law students currently registered and attending UNMSOL on a full or part-time basis. Membership may be conferred at any time by payment of dues. UNMSOL students attending UNMSOL Fall semester must have NALSA and NNALSA dues paid prior to the NNALSA membership deadline. UNMSOL students attending UNM Spring semester must have NALSA dues paid by the first business day of February. All dues must be paid to the NALSA Secretary.
  2. Associate membership of NALSA for the purposes of the National Organization shall consist of dues-paying non-Native law students.

Section 3: Duties of Membership

  1. Regular participation in the activities of NALSA and attendance of one NALSA meeting per semester shall be incumbent upon each chapter member in order to be in good standing.
  2. The dues paying and attendance obligation of active members may be waived if a chapter member is unable to meet this requirement due to extenuating circumstances. The Executive Board shall make such determination.
  3. Continuous commitment to the development of the Native legal community is incumbent upon each member.

Section 4: Rights of Membership

  1. Only active members shall be entitled to all privileges of NALSA, including, without limitation, the privileges of voting, holding office, nominating a candidate for elected office, removing a member of the Executive Board and ratifying and amending this document.
  2. Members may serve on standing or ad-hoc committees & may serve in special appointed positions.
  3. Associate members shall be entitled to the same privileges as active members.

Section 5: Residual Rights

All powers not specifically delegated by this document shall be reserved to the chapter membership.

ARTICLE IV: OFFICERS

Section 1: Eligibility of Officers

Persons eligible to hold office in NALSA must be active members and in good academic standing, pursuant to the guidelines of UNMSOL. It is the duty of the members to inform the Executive Board if they are aware they not in good academic standing.

Section 2: Classification of Officers

The NALSA officers shall be: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and First Year Representative.

Section 3: Executive Board

The Executive Board shall be comprised of the President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and First Year Representative.

Section 4: Term of Office

The term of office for each Officer shall be one year.

Section 5: Duties of the Executive Board & Individual Officers

The officers shall perform the following duties and all others necessary for the efficient functioning of NALSA and the Executive Board.

1. Executive Board: The Executive Board

  1. Shall be responsible for the management and control of NALSA,
  2. May create committees with powers and duties as needed,
  3. Shall make all student appointments, which shall be controlling,
  4. Shall approve the final budget,
  5. Shall have at least two (2) NALSA membership meetings each semester. Notice of each membership meeting shall be announced at least three (3) days in advance, and
  6. Shall maintain individual Officer folders and train the incoming Executive Board members immediately following the election.

2. President: The President shall

  1. Have delegatory authority for all events,
  2. Be the representative and spokesperson of NALSA,
  3. Have ultimate responsibility for all NALSA activities,
  4. Chair all meetings of the Executive Board and the chapter membership,
  5. Be responsible for all standing and ad hoc committees of NALSA,
  6. Serve as the main contact with outside organizations,
  7. Approve the agenda for membership and executive board meetings,
  8. Coordinate the annual PLSI Barbeque,
  9. Be responsible for announcing students at Convocation and must MC the annual Alumni Dinner,
  10. Oversee the treasurer for keeping expenditures within the budget,
  11. Coauthor the annual NNALSA chapter report,
  12. Be responsible for checking the NALSA mailbox,
  13. In the event no UNM NALSA member is elected to the NNALSA Executive Board, serve as its primary contact,
  14. Attend the annual chartership meeting at the beginning of each academic year and shall delegate one other officer to also be in attendance, and
  15. Be responsible for filing the appropriate paperwork to charter the organization.

3. Vice President: The Vice President shall

  1. Be specifically responsible for the coordination of the NALSA component for the Minority Mixer,
  2. Be responsible for the organization of the Alumni Dinner and any delegation that may require,
  3. Be the primary liaison between the Indian Law Certificate Committee Student Representatives and the NALSA Executive Board,
  4. In the event of the incapacity, absence or removal of the President, assume the responsibilities of the President, and
  5. Assist the President and other officers with any responsibilities as needed.

4. Secretary: The Secretary shall

  1. Be responsible for maintaining records and correspondence of NALSA,
  2. Be responsible for the maintenance and distribution of minutes, agendas and announcements of meetings of the Executive Board and the chapter membership meetings,
  3. Assist the President and other officers with any responsibilities as needed.
  4. Coauthor the annual NNALSA chapter report,
  5. Collect all dues for NNALSA and NALSA and maintain all membership lists, and
  6. Keep a history folder that shall include all publishings, posters, member achievements and the like.

5. Treasurer: The Treasurer shall

  1. Be responsible for the maintenance of all finances and overseeing and coordinating fund-raising activities of NALSA,
  2. Be responsible for signing all checks issued by NALSA,
  3. Make monthly financial reports to the Executive Board and the chapter membership,
  4. Assist the President and other officers with any responsibilities as needed.
  5. Be responsible for reserving a table at the annual Fed Bar event, and
  6. Make all payments in a timely fashion to NNALSA for chapter and individual membership dues.

6. First-Year Representative: The First-Year Representative shall

  1. Be the representative of the first year class
  2. Be responsible for Spring & Fall carnivals, and
  3. Be responsible for organizing all 1L academic assistance (such as: Brief & Memo readings, Oral argument practice, informing the Executive Board of the 1L schedule, and exam-taking lectures).

ARTICLE V: ELECTION OF OFFICERS

Section 1: Election Committee

  1. The Election Committee shall be composed of the Executive Board or may appoint an impartial committee as needed.
  2. The Election Committee shall supply all necessary details for election procedure, subject to the written approval of the Executive Board.

Section 2: Nominations

  1. Candidates for all elected positions may be self-nominated or by another member through submission of a written notice of candidacy to the Election Committee during a nomination period to be determined by the Election Committee.
  2. Candidates for any Officer position must have fully read this document and be willing to publicly take the NALSA oath upon transfer of the new Executive Board at the annual Alumni Dinner.
  3. All candidates may campaign through the NALSA list serve or at any NALSA meetings within the nomination timeframe.

Article VI: Governance

Section 1: The Executive Board

  1. Each executive board member shall have one vote.

Article VII: General Body Voting Procedure

Section 1: Quorum

Quorum shall consist of one-third of the members of NALSA and shall be required for all votes, unless otherwise specified in this document.

Section 2: Discussion Period

There shall be a debate and discussion period, the length of which is to be determined by the presiding officer, on the date the vote is taken. Active members may move to call the question at any time during this period.

Section 3: NALSA Statements

Proposals for official NALSA statement to be released to the general public, not including general press releases regarding NALSA events, shall require two-thirds of present active members’ votes to pass. Votes for official statements may be received through e-mail.

Section 4: Document Amendments

Amendments to this Document shall be adopted pursuant to Article VIII below.

Section 5: Officer Elections

Officers shall be elected pursuant to Article V above.

Section 6: Other Matters

All other matters to be voted on by the general NALSA body shall require a simple majority of present active members’ votes to pass.

ARTICLE VIII: RATIFICATION & AMENDMENTS

Section 1: Ratification

This Document shall be adopted by a simple majority vote of active members, where there is a quorum consisting of one-half of active members.

Section 2: Amendments

  1. This Document shall be amended pursuant to a motion receiving a two-thirds vote of active members present in a meeting with a quorum consisting of one-half of the active membership. Such a motion shall be announced at least two (2) weeks prior to the said meeting in a manner reasonably calculated to notify the active membership.
  2. There shall be a debate and discussion period, the length of which is to be determined by the presiding officer, on the date the vote is taken. Active members may move to call the question at any time during this period.

ARTICLE IX: IMPEACHMENT OF OFFICERS & EXPULSION OF MEMBERS

Section 1: Grounds for Impeachment & Expulsion

An elected officer may be impeached for failure to fulfill his or her duties or for grave misconduct. If an officer or member has been impeached/expelled or has resigned from their position without good cause, they are no longer eligible at any time to run for the Executive Board. If a member chooses to resign from the membership, they must submit a letter to this affect to the NALSA Secretary. In this situation, no refund for paid dues shall be returned.

Section 2: Initiation of Impeachment

  1. The Executive Board may initiate an impeachment proceeding by a simple majority vote of the Executive Officers.
  2. The active membership may initiate an impeachment proceeding by circulating a petition stating the reasons for impeachment, attaining signatures of one-fourth of the active membership and submitting the petition to the Executive Board.

Section 3: Notice

The officer to be impeached shall be given written and verbal notice of impeachment and the reasons therefore within a reasonable time prior to the specially convened meeting referred to in Section 4, Subsection 1.

Section 4: Impeachment Procedure

  1. The Executive Board shall call a specially convened meeting for the chapter membership to hear the impeachment charge and defense.
  2. The highest elected official not involved in the impeachment proceeding shall chair the specially convened meeting.
  3. In the event the Executive Board initiates an impeachment proceeding, an Executive Board member, voting for the initiation of such proceeding, shall have an opportunity to present the case for impeachment at the specially-convened meeting.
  4. In the event the active membership initiates an impeachment proceeding, a petitioner for the impeachment shall have an opportunity to present the case for impeachment at the specially convened meeting.
  5. Any officer/member being impeached shall have an opportunity to respond to the case for impeachment at the specially convened meeting.
  6. A vote for removal shall be held if a quorum consisting of one-half of active members is present.
  7. The officer/member shall be removed if two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor of impeachment.

Article X: Advisor

Section 1: Position of the Advisor

The advisor for NALSA shall be Professor Gloria Valencia-Weber unless she resigns or is ceases to be a professor at UNMSOL. In this instance, an advisor shall be selected from Indian Law faculty who is tenured. This change of advisory requires majority vote of the Executive Board.

Section 2: Advisor Duties

The Advisor shall act to appropriately assist NALSA. The advisor shall oversee the activities of the Board and be the primary contact for dispute resolution. Other activities by the advisor to support NALSA include, but are not limited to, hosting social events for organization, providing information on employment opportunities in Indian law and career development, and providing appropriate assistance when requested by NALSA.