The Native Amicus Briefing Project (NAB) is collaboratively managed by a board of young Native attorneys and works in conjunction with a broad network of pro bono litigators, Indian law scholars, and well-established and respected Native organizations.
Our experiences with the lower federal courts—either as litigators or clerks—and with Tribal courts revealed the strong need for additional, high-quality briefing on Indian law cases.
NAB is trying its hand at a totally novel concept—Crowdsourced amicus briefs—in order to remedy a huge dearth of legal advice on matters related to Indian Country. The term amicus curiae is Latin for “friend of the court.” Individuals or organizations not parties to a case may file an amicus brief that brings to the attention of the Court relevant matter not already brought to its attention by the parties involved. An amicus brief may be of considerable help to the Court (Native American Rights Fund, accessed April 11, 2016).
We started NAB to provide educational support to the courts in a streamlined and efficient manner utilizing online tools to support our volunteer network and facilitate group work. Despite our forward thinking approach to the assignment of research and writing tasks, we are structuring our brief management in the same fashion as most law firms—with an assigned manager overseeing a brief from start to finish with the help of a broad range of attorneys supplying research, drafts, and memoranda.
NAB ensures that its goals are met through a unique two-part system—the Tracking Program and the Briefing Program—driven by a dedicated volunteer network of attorneys, legal scholars, and law students.