Alum Heads Up Indian Legal Clinic in Arizona
James O’Neill 212-854-1584 Cell: 646-596-2935
September 14, 2007 (NEW YORK) – Columbia Law School graduate Patty Ferguson-Bohnee has been named director of the Indian Legal Clinic at Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law.
The clinic provides students with training to research and apply tribal law. As director, Ferguson-Bohnee will guide students through cases in tribal, state and federal courtrooms and help Native populations in Indian country and urban settings across the country.
Ferguson-Bohnee, a 2001 Columbia Law School graduate, is a former associate in the Indian Law and Tribal Relations Practice Group at the Scottsdale, Arizona, law firm of Sacks Tierney P.A. She is also a visiting clinical professor at the O’Connor College of Law, in Tempe, Arizona.
``I’ve followed Patty’s career with admiration and a great deal of pleasure. She has always followed her core beliefs,’’ said Professor Carol B. Liebman, who taught Ferguson-Bohnee at Columbia Law School.
``This is a perfect fit because it gives Patty an opportunity to continue to use her considerable skills to fight for Indian rights and also pass on her passion and expertise to her students,’’ said Liebman, a clinical professor of law.
After getting hooked on law and politics while competing in a mock trial as a high school student in rural Louisiana, Ferguson-Bohnee earned her undergraduate degree in Native American Studies from Stanford. She said that at Columbia Law School she was able to interact with people of different backgrounds who were interested in public interest law.
Before she joined the law firm, Ferguson-Bohnee clerked for Judge Betty Binns Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Ferguson-Bohnee, a member of the Pointe-au-Chien tribe and its only attorney, helped that tribe and three other bayou tribes recently obtain recognition from Louisiana. She is currently seeking federal recognition of the 700-member Pointe-au-Chien tribe.
For more on Ferguson-Bohnee’s work, click here.
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, and criminal law.