The Native Amicus Briefing Project (NAB) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of federal Indian law in the federal courts as well as in the legal community at large.
NAB ensures that its goals are met through a unique two part system, driven by a dedicated volunteer network of attorneys, legal scholars, and law students.
- Tracking Program: Law student groups, or Tracking Teams, identify, analyze, and summarize cases in the lower federal courts that are pertinent to Indian Country. Each Tracking Team is trained and overseen by an attorney supervisor. Tracking Teams identify cases involving Indian law issues by searching dockets nationwide using Bloomberg. Once identified, under the supervision of a NAB attorney, the students prepare a summary of each case, which is added to NAB’s Tracking Wiki, and continue to monitor future litigation in the case. The Tracking Wiki serves two essential functions. First, it provides centralized, easy-to-access information on pending Indian law cases in the lower federal courts, and, second, it allows the Briefing Program to determine which of these cases may require amicus support from NAB. Through the Tracking Program, students learn the building blocks of litigation while summarizing, analyzing, and recommending cases for potential amicus support.
- Briefing Program: Through a process called Crowdbriefing that combines the efforts of pro bono attorneys, NAB’s managing board, NAB’s advisory board, and law students, NAB is able to provide Amicus support to cases quickly and efficiently. With recommendations from the Tracking Program and outside referrals, the managing board and advisory board identify and evaluate cases that they believe are in need of amicus support. Once a case is selected, the board then divides the case into separate research questions and drafting assignments and identifies specialists from NAB’s pro bono attorney network who can best contribute to those assignments. We call this process Crowdbriefing. The board and its assembled team of lawyers and law students work together to research and draft an amicus brief for that case. Once a brief is completed, our network of editorial support engages in cite checking, proofreading, and bluebooking before the managing board submits the brief to the court. This Briefing Program offers law students essential litigation training and hands-on experience with the litigation process. Moreover, it provides an opportunity for pro bono attorneys to contribute in a meaningful way to Indian Country and the development of Indian law.