Name: Lokina Kishoiyian
Degree: Master of Laws in Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy
Black Law Students Association (BLSA)
Native American Law Students Association (NALSA)
Williams Achievement Award
Bertha Hollis Award
Justice Advocates Coalition (JAC) Fellowship
Undergrad: Africa Nazarene University, Bachelor of Laws (LLB)
Hometown: Narok, Kenya
What made you pursue your LLM degree?
As an attorney for indigenous communities and minority groups, I wanted to specialize in a program that could equip me with the necessary skills in international human rights laws on both of those areas. The Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy (IPLP) Program offers a unique approach to legal education as it provides graduate students with the opportunity to work on real life cases.
Why did you choose University of Arizona Law?
I chose to study at University of Arizona Law because it is a reputable research institute offering a world-class Master of Laws (LLM) concentration in Indigenous Peoples’ Law and Policy. I wanted the opportunity to learn from the highly competent faculty members at Arizona Law, and to explore new subjects in my area of expertise. I also wanted to experience its flexible methods of teaching and continuous development programs for students in the various fields of studies.
What is your favorite Arizona Law memory?
During spring break, I had the opportunity of accompanying extraordinarily talented and accomplished Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) colleagues to an academic tour through the Navajo Nation. This was an amazing time, as I had the opportunity of putting in practice what I had been learning throughout the year. I got to see how a real-life Tribal Court works, and I had the opportunity of speaking with the leadership of Navajo Nation, including President Jonathan Nez, Deputy Attorney General Kimberly Dutcher and the Honorable Judge Neomi Gilmore of the Dilkon Court House. While on this tour, I also got to check one of the items in my bucket list, as I got to visit the Grand Canyon.
How do you think you’ve changed from your first year here to now?
I have advanced my knowledge and understanding in international indigenous peoples laws. I am therefore enabled with deep insight to conduct real and meaningful research.
What are you most proud of during your time at Arizona Law?
All-around growth! I was challenged academically, both inside and outside the lecture hall, making me a better attorney. I was also able to make professional networks with people from different nationalities, religions and ethnicities.
What do you wish you would have known your first year at Arizona Law, that you know now?
That time flies! One should engage and take advantage of all opportunities available within the campus to broaden their skill set.
Do you have any advice for students who will begin their LLM in the fall?
To keep an open mind and to heed to the Native American quote that says, “Walk tall as the trees, Live strong as the Mountains, be gentle as the spring winds, keep the warmth of the summer in your heart, and a great spirit will always be with you.”
What is next for you?
Although I am graduating in May with a Master of Laws, I am fortunate to have an opportunity to transition to the Doctor of Juridical Sciences Program (SJD).
Do you have any message for your fellow members of the Class of 2020?
This marks new beginnings in your lives. Here’s to wishing you success, happiness and opportunities!