Jacob Metoxen has positioned himself as a leader on the national stage after being elected President of the National Native American Law Students Association. Metoxen, a law student at the University of Arizona, received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin and is expected to graduate in May of 2018.
NNALSA promotes the study and development of Federal Indian Law, Tribal Law, and traditional forms of governance, as well as supports Native Americans in law school, both in their own personal academic and life achievements, and in their efforts to educate their peers and communities about Indian law issues.
Metoxen was intrigued by what the University of Arizona’s Law Program offered.
“The Indigenous People’s Law and Policy Program (interested me). The program specializes in federal Indian law and international indigenous people’s rights. That’s one of the legal fields I’m interested in working with,” said Metoxen.
Along with academic responsibilities Metoxen has added additional duties of president of a national board. Metoxen is well prepared for the additional workload.
“My role is to manage the activities and overall operations and make sure everything is on schedule and help where need be,” said Metoxen. “I was Treasurer of the local and national chapter last year. I was able to gain experience about our projects and events. It gave me a good insight into what to expect.”
Metoxen served as a Policy Analyst under former Chairwoman Tina Danforth. Metoxen’s desire to pursue law grew during that time.
“That was a good introduction some of the issues tribes are facing, particular Oneida when they try to have successful intergovernmental service agreements. (I’m interested) in finding ways to make relationships better between tribes, municipalities, and states. I learned more about the role the federal government plays with tribes. It made me realize law school was the next step I wanted to take,” said Metoxen.
When Metoxen graduates next spring he hopes a position that challenges him shortly follows.
“I’m drawn to Indian law because tribes do so many things like healthcare, intergovernmental agreements, and negotiations with states and federal government. I would like something that gives me a diverse experience and gets me introduced to all the different ways tribes make impacts in their communities,” he said.