PUBLISHED:November 06, 2023

Alaska Law Review meets with local leaders, attorneys in Anchorage over fall break


Law review staff traveled to Anchorage to learn about current legal issues impacting Alaska and explore the local culture and landscape.

Last month, the Alaska Law Review (ALR) made its annual fall break trip to Anchorage, where eight students met with government officials, law faculty, and local attorneys practicing in the private, government, and nonprofit sectors. Through these talks, students develop a range of topics to feature in their next edition of ALR that help to educate and raise awareness about legal issues currently impacting Alaska.

“This year, we’ve really gotten the impression that two key issues in the Alaska legal community are access to justice and subsistence,” said 3L Scott Anderson, an ALR editor who spoke about these issues in his one-day takeover of Duke Law’s Instagram during the trip. “I think we’re all interested in the future of that legal landscape and hoping maybe we can highlight some of the stuff that attorneys are doing on the ground to help move it forward.”

group of people standing in courtroom at Alaska Supreme Court
ALR staff met with Justices Jennifer Erin Stuart Henderson and Dario Borghesan, as well as judicial clerks and staff, at the Alaska Supreme Court.
alaska law review staff at Shore of Cook Inlet near Downtown Anchorage
The Shore of Cook Inlet near Downtown Anchorage

Over the course of five days, students met with members of the Alaska Bar Association, U.S. Attorney for the District of Alaska Lane Tucker, Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, Representative Andy Josephson, University of Alaska Anchorage Associate Professor Ryan Fortson, National Parks Conservation Association Alaska Regional Director Jim Adams, and Mara Kimmel and Susan Orlansky – executive director and cooperating counsel for the ACLU of Alaska, respectively.

“We are very grateful to all the attorneys who took time to meet with us and to our hosts,” said Connor Sakati JD/MPP ’24. “In particular, we would like to thank Danielle Bailey for helping us organize this trip and Professor Ryan Fortson for his assistance brainstorming our Alaska Law Review Symposium topic for next year.”

Students visited local sites, like the Alaska Supreme Court and Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, and attended the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention. At the event, the ALR staff spoke with Alaskans from across the state and were able to listen to delegates debate subsistence resolutions.

alaska law review Byron Glacier near Girdwood, AK
Byron Glacier near Girdwood, Alaska
Reed Lakes Trail in Palmer alaska law review
Reed Lakes Trail in Palmer, Alaska

ALR Lead Editor Anighya Crocker ‘24 said, “It’s one of the largest meetups of indigenous peoples anywhere in the world. We get to see some of the important things that are important to [them].”

ALR staff also spent time with local Duke alums, including Jim Adams ‘93, Alaska Regional Director for the National Parks Conservation Association, and Jessica Graham ‘97, Chief Risk Officer and General Counsel at the Global Credit Union in Anchorage. Several Duke alums helped provide boarding for the ALR staff, as well, Anderson said.

Students also took time to simply appreciate the great outdoors, from Reed Lake in Hatcher Pass to Exit Glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park, with stops in Chugach State Park and Girdwood along the way. To learn more about the ALR and read the current issue, visit See more from the trip on Twitter and Instagram

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center  and  Goose Lake near the University of Alaska, Anchorage
Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center; Goose Lake near the University of Alaska, Anchorage