Grid with headshot images of the 14 interns for NHLC's summer class.

The Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation welcomes its 2024 Summer Students!

NHLC’s experiential learning program welcomes undergraduate, law, and other graduate students throughout the year. Most are with NHLC during the summer. NHLC’s program is a unique opportunity for students to learn in an Indigenous-lead, Indigenous rights legal practice. Each summer the program welcomes students from across the country who have a passion for law, Indigenous justice, and pono stewardship of the ‘āina.

This year’s class include 6 law students and 8 undergraduate students representing 11 colleges and universities across the United States. NHLC is proud to be a part of their career journey and is grateful to them for all they will contribute to the lāhui within the program supporting our staff attorneys with research, drafting, case management, and diverse legal projects across the breadth of NHLCʻs practice areas.

Summer 2024 Law Clerks:

Jasmine Bolte (Native Hawaiian)

University of Washington, Class of 2026

Jasmin Bolte is a rising 2L at the University of Washington. She graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a Bachelors in anthropology. She is excited to return to Oʻahu, engage in indigenous rights advocacy work, and practice ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi.

Madison Malia Devencenzi (Native Hawaiian)

Washington & Lee, Class of 2026

Malia Devencenzi is a rising 2L at the Washington & Lee School of Law. She is eager to work alongside the NHLC team to advance Native Hawaiian rights and support the lāhui.

Sigrid Howard

University of Hawaiʻi, Class of 2026

Sigrid Howard is a rising 2L at the University of Hawaiʻi Richardson School of Law. Sigrid is from Waimea on Hawai’i Island. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. Sigrid is passionate about environmental law and long-term sustainability in Hawai’i.

Alexis Owens

Seattle University, Class of 2026

Alexis is a rising 2L at Seattle University School of Law. Alexis brings a wealth of experience and passion to the field of law. With a background as a paralegal and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer, she has honed her skills in legal research, client advocacy, and community engagement. She is deeply committed to social justice, with a particular interest in Native Hawaiian and Indigenous American advocacy. Alexis Owens is driven by a desire to address systemic inequities and empower marginalized communities through the practice of law.

Lauren Wiederkehr

University of Maryland, Class of 2026

Lauren Wiederkehr is from Springdale, Arkansas and graduated from the University of Arkansas with degrees in Political Science and Communication in 2020. She is now a rising 2L at the University of Maryland Carey Law School in Baltimore, Maryland. Lauren is interested in environmental justice and international human rights issues, particularly in the effects of climate change and how it intersects with displaced populations.

Kaila Wilkinson

University of Hawaiʻi, Class of 2026

Kaila Wilkinson, was born and raised in Lahaina, Maui, and currently attends the William S. Richardson School of Law. Kaila always had a deep love for the environment, which is her reason for going to law school. Kaila believes that Native Hawaiian rights and law are essential to practicing environmental law in Hawaiʻi. With this, Kaila finds it is an honor and privilege to serve NHLC’s mission and the community this summer.

Summer 2024 Undergraduate Students:

Kea Cabaniero (Native Hawaiian)

Amherst College

Kea Cabaniero is from Maunalua, Oʻahu, and graduated from Kamehameha Schools Kapālama. Kea is currently attending Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts where he is double majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science! Kea is interested in pursuing law, and in his free time, loves surfing and hiking.

Joshua Ching (Native Hawaiian)

Yale University, Class of 2026

Joshua is a Kānaka Maoli rising junior at Yale University double-majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, focusing on Hawaiian mass incarceration and de-militarization of the Pacific. Over the past five years, he has led a number of grassroots youth advocacy initiatives fighting for Indigenous public health equity and civic participation in Hawaiʻi. Now at Yale, Joshua is the founding executive director of the Indigenous Peoples of Oceania student group, where he is organizing a joint initiative with Yale Divinity School to secure reparative programming for the University’s entanglements in missionization and looting of ancestral remains across the Pacific. He joins the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation as an Arthur Liman Undergraduate Fellow for Public Interest Law. Joshua is from the ahupuaʻa of Waikele on the island of Oʻahu.

Laura Gries

Cornell University

Laura Gries is from Honolulu, Hawai’i and is currently a rising senior at Cornell University studying Government and Psychology. Prior to NHLC, she worked as a policy intern at two environmental non-profits and as a research assistant at Cornell and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. After university, Laura has a strong interest in studying law for the betterment of Hawai’i and its people.

Selene Ho

Boston University

Selene Ho was born and raised in Honolulu and is first-generation Chinese-American. Currently, Selene is a college student at Boston University studying Computer Science, Economics, and Environmental Policy. Selene is very interested in law and sustainable development. One day, she hopes to combine her interests to improve policies in her community. In Selene’s free time, she enjoys weightlifting and baking.

Malie Nee

University of California Davis

Malie Nee is from the islands of Maui, Hawai’i, and O’ahu. Maile is a first-year undergraduate at the University of California Davis studying both political science with a depth in political theory and environmental science specializing in watersheds. In her studies, Malie emphasizes Native Hawaiians and other indigenous peoples. Malie is part of the pre-law society and Pacific Islander Student Association at Davis. Outside of school, Malie likes to surf, frolic in streams, and dabble in poetry.

Riley Ng

Whitworth University

Riley Ng is from Kaneohe, Hawaii and is currently an undergraduate student at Whitworth University. Riley is majoring in International Relations with an emphasis in Political Science on the Pre-law track. Additionally, she plays varsity soccer for the university.

Jake Siesel

Yale University

Jake Siesel is an incoming sophomore at Yale University, majoring in Global Affairs and History. As an Opinion Correspondent for Pasquines, a non-profit advocacy periodical, Jake crafts policy op-eds for the neglected voices of Puerto Rico, Guam, and American Samoa. At Yale, Jake writes as a Cops and Crime Beat Reporter for the Yale Daily News and works on behalf of the education policy research team. Last summer, Jake interned at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Public Defender’s Office—he seeks to hone his interests in law, advocacy, and journalism with the experts at the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation team.

Kaylah Toves (Native Hawaiian, Acoma Pueblo)

Cornell University

Kaylah is a rising junior at Cornell University, majoring in Government and double minoring in American Indian and Indigenous Studies & Law and Society. She is Kānaka Maoli and Acoma Pueblo. Kaylah dedicates her time to creating an inclusive space for indigenous students at Cornell by working in the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program Office, serving as an executive board member to various on-campus Indigenous organizations, and is currently co-founding Cornell’s only Pasifika student association. This Fall she is looking forward to participating in Cornell in Washington, where she will be interning in Washington D.C. for the semester to learn the ins and outs of policy making. She hopes to bring her indigenous perspective and amplify cultural based knowledge during her time there. Kaylah is extremely excited to spend her summer working with NHLC!

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