As my term as NNABA President comes to an end, I want to highlight the great work that NNABA has been able to accomplish over the past two years. We have made tremendous strides, but there is much work left to do.
NNABA’s accomplishments have been truly monumental. NNABA commissioned and oversaw a groundbreaking study of Native American attorneys across all practice settings to be released on April 8, 2015. Before this first-of-its kind study, the legal profession had never formally studied the perceptions, experiences and career trajectories of Native American attorneys. Other studies have included Native Americans in their research, but the limited number of Native Americans participating in these projects has relegated them to a footnote, if they are mentioned at all. In this study, every single participant identified as Native American, and the study received an unheard-of response rate of over 20 percent of the entire population of Native American attorneys in the United States. Overall, the findings will offer a stark and searing portrait of an entire set of attorneys who have systemically been excluded from full participation in the legal profession.
One of NNABA’s hallmarks has to been to raise the visibility of Native American attorneys and to lift up the entire Native American community. Two years ago, there was not a single Native American federal judge among the more than 870 Article III federal judges in this country. NNABA was a strong supporter of the Hon. Diane Humetewa who was confirmed a district judge in Arizona in 2014 and became not only the only current sitting American Indian federal judge but the first Native American woman to be a federal judge in our nation’s history. Judge Humetewa acknowledged the efforts of NNABA during her historic investiture last year. NNABA also advocated in favor of the confirmation of the Hon. Keith Harper, the U.S. Representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council, who became the first Native American to achieve the rank of ambassador in U.S. history.
I am very grateful for all the tremendous work of the NNABA Executive Committee, Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, Linda Benally, Lawrence Baca, and Tom Weathers; the NNABA Board, Gabe Galanda, Loren Kieve, Aliza Organick, Robert Saunooke, Aarik Robertson, and Sara Dutschke Setshwaelo; and the independent directors of the NNABA Foundation, Jennifer Weddle, Sandra McCandless, and Jimmy Goodman. I am also very grateful for the fantastic work of NNABA Young Lawyer Division (YLD) Representative Makalika Naholowaa, and YLD Assembly representatives, Lauren van Schilfgaarde, Colleen Lamarre, and Thomasina Realbird. I also want to express my sincere appreciation for the work and dedication of Jennifer Williams, NNABA’s Administrative Assistant.
I want to send a special note of thanks to Walmart and David Blackorby, Gretchen Bellamy, Dr. Walter Sutton, and Lori Chumbler for their continuing support over the years and for making the inaugural round of NNABA Foundation scholarships a reality.
And, finally, thanks to all of you for all your support of NNABA! NNABA could not do what we do without the support of our members.
It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as NNABA’s President for the past two years! It has been an incredible journey, and I look forward to continuing to work with you.
NNABA President, 2013-2015
NNABA’s GROUNDBREAKING NATIVE AMERICAN ATTORNEY RESEARCH STUDY WILL BE UNVEILED AT THE 2015 FEDERAL BAR INDIAN LAW CONFERENCE
NNABA’s first-of-its-kind research on the status of Native American attorneys will be unveiled during a plenary session at the 2015 Federal Bar Indian Law Conference at the Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. The panel is entitled "Strength in Numbers: Native American Attorneys from Pre-Law to Practice” on Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Panelists include NNABA President Mary Smith; Dr. Arin Reeves, nationally-known and esteemed expert on diversity and inclusive research who lead completion of the study for NNABA; Francine Jaramillo, attorney at the American Indian Law Center; and NNABA YLD representative Makalika Naholowaa. The moderator will be Helen Padilla, Director, American Indian Law Center.
For more information about the 2015 Federal Bar Indian Law Conference and the panel, please click here.
2015 NNABA ANNUAL MEETING SAVE-THE-DATE
Wednesday April 8, 2015
1 PM – 5 PM
Talking Stick Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona
Room: Road Runner C
We look forward to seeing you at the 2015 NNABA Annual Meeting. Click HERE for the agenda.
NNABA YOUNG LAWYERS COMMITTEE LAUNCHED
NNABA is excited to announce that a NNABA Young Lawyers Committee has been formed. The committee’s purpose is to provide a group within NNABA for young and/or new to practice NNABA lawyers to network and drive programming and initiatives of particular importance to young attorneys. The committee will meet again in-person at the NNABA Annual Meeting on April 8th.
In-person meeting on Wednesday, April 8, 2015
5 p.m. – 6 p.m. MT (following NNABA Annual Meeting)
Talking Stick Resort, Room Road Runner C
ELECTION YEAR: RUN FOR NNABA OFFICER AND BOARD POSITIONS
It is election year! Elections for NNABA President-Elect, Secretary and At-Large Directors will take place at the 2015 NNABA Annual Meeting. Please note that President-Elect Linda Benally will assume the presidency at the close of the Annual Meeting. The newly elected NNABA board will also begin their terms at the close of the Annual Meeting. The NNABA treasurer position is appointed by the Board.
Nominations for each position will be made on the floor during the meeting. Each Director will be responsible for leading a NNABA initiative. If you are interested in serving on the NNABA Board of Directors, NNABA will be circulating a list of those who express an interest in the Board to the membership prior to the meeting. To be included in this circulation, please send an e-mail with a short paragraph of interest and one paragraph bio to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than April 3, 2015.
NNABA RECEPTION ON APRIL 8
The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) invites you to gather with its leadership for a reception to celebrate the publication of its historic and first-of-its-kind study of Native American attorneys: "The Pursuit of Inclusion: An In-Depth Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Native American Attorneys in the Legal Profession."
NNABA will also be recognizing its President’s Award recipient at the event.
Perkins Coie LLP and Microsoft Corporation are proud sponsors of the reception. NNABA, Perkins Coie, and Microsoft look forward to seeing you.
Kindly RSVP using the button to the left.
Please contact Talia Lundy via email if you have any questions.
Date: April 8, 2015
Time: 6 PM – 9 PM
Location: Talking Stick Resort, Scottsdale, AZ – Room: Dove G
2014 COLLABORATIVE BAR LEADERSHIP ACADEMY - APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
Applications are now available for the second annual Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy (CBLA) in Minneapolis, MN, on June 25-27, 2015. The CBLA is a collaborative effort among the American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, National Bar Association, National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), and National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. The CBLA will strengthen the pipeline of diverse bar association leaders through leadership training and professional development programs. The CBLA is intended for up-and-coming bar leaders who have been in practice for 5-15 years.
Applications must be submitted by 8:00pm EST on April 10, 2015. Participants for the CBLA will be determined by a juried selection process. For full guidelines and more information, click here. Applicants will be asked to submit a brief essay of 250-500 words, a CV/resume, and two letters of recommendation. More information about the program can be found on the CBLA website. Please contact CBLA Steering Committee members, NNABA President Mary Smith at email@example.com or NNABA President-Elect Linda Benally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NNABA recently released its accomplishments. During her term as President from 2013-2015, President Mary Smith laid out six priorities for NNABA (1) Raising the visibility of NNABA and Native American attorneys; (2) Increasing the Pipeline and Leadership of Native American attorneys; (3) Improving Member Benefits; (4) Strengthening the Organization and Governance; (5) Establishing a NNABA Foundation; and (6) Promoting Diversity and Inclusion, the Rule of Law, and Access to Justice. To learn more, click HERE.
NNABA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES INAUGURAL ROUND OF SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
On March 23, 2015, the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) Foundation announced the inaugural round of scholarships to law students who demonstrate a commitment to serve the Native American community as future leaders. After a rigorous review process, the Awards Committee selected six highly-qualified winners from across the country. To learn more, click HERE.
NNABA PRESIDENT MARY SMITH TO SPEAK AT NALSA KICKOFF EVENT AT NORTHWESTERN LAW SCHOOL
On April 6, 2015, NNABA President Mary Smith will participate in a Native American Law Student Association Kickoff Panel at Northwestern University Law School in Chicago, Illinois. Other panelists included Professor Ned Blackhawk, member, John Evans Study Committee; Phil Harris, University Trustee and Co-Chair of Native American Outreach and Task Force; and Andrew Johnson, Executive Director, American Indian Center of Chicago.
COALITION OF BAR ASSOCIATIONS OF COLOR (CBAC) ADVOCACY DAY
Participating in CBAC were (from left to right) NAPABA President-Elect Jin Hwang, NBA Secretary Juan Thomas, NNABA President Mary Smith, HNBA President Cynthia Mares, NAPABA President George Chen, and HNBA President-Elect Robert Maldonado.
On March 2 and 3, 2015, NNABA President Mary Smith attended the annual Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) advocacy day, along with representatives of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Hispanic National Bar Association, and the National Bar Association. CBAC’s leaders discussed key issues affecting communities of color, including immigration reform, racial profiling, and judicial vacancies. This year’s Annual Meeting included visits with key executive branch officials and members of Congress, including Senator Chuck Grassley, Deputy Assistant and Deputy Counsel to the President Christopher Kang, Special Assistant to the President for Immigration Policy Felicia Escobar, and high-level staffers from the offices of Senators Harry Reid and Patrick Leahy.
NNABA PRESIDENT MARY SMITH MAKES LAWYERS OF COLOR POWER LIST: MOST INFLUENTIAL MINORITY ATTORNEYS & NON-MINORITY LEGAL ADVOCATES
On March 3, 2015, Lawyers of Color released the names of those included in the Fourth Annual Power List Issue (release date: March 18, 2015), which is a comprehensive catalog of the nation's most influential minority attorneys and non-minority legal diversity advocates, including corporate general counsel, law firm managing partners, law school deans, and the highest ranking government attorneys.
Native Americans on the list include Solicitor Hilary Tompkins, U.S. Department of the Interior; John Echohawk, Native American Rights Fund; and NNABA President Mary Smith.
NNABA PRESIDENT MARY SMITH ATTENDS HNBA CORPORATE COUNSEL CONFERENCE
(from left to right) HNBA President Cynthia Mares, NNABA President Mary Smith, and HNBA President-Elect Robert Maldonado at the 2015 HNBA Corporate Counsel Conference.
The Hon. Peter Reyes, past president of HNBA, with NNABA President Mary Smith.
On March 20, 2015, NNABA President Mary Smith attended the 2015 Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) Corporate Counsel Conference in San Antonio, Texas. President Smith spoke on a panel entitled “Leadership Skills for Lawyers” along with past HNBA Presidents, Roman Hernandez and the Honorable Peter Reyes.
JOIN NNABA NOW!
Our Attorney Membership Form and Student Membership Form are available to download as PDF files. Benefits of being a NNABA member include weekly access to a variety of new, nationwide job announcements by email and on this site. To join, click here.
The membership year runs from April to April and dues are $75 per year.
NEW! In addition to checks and money orders, NNABA is now able to accept credit card payment for payment of dues.
ABA SECTION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 2015 SPRING MEETING IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
The ABA Section of International Law invites you to attend its 2015 Spring Meeting in the beautiful and historic city of Washington, DC from April 28 – May 2, 2015. Join over 1,200 leading attorneys, corporate counsel, government officials, academics and NGO lawyers for four days of networking and programming on the latest international legal and ethics issues. The NNABA is a Cooperating Entity on this event and members can register for the conference at the discounted ABA Section of International Law Member Rates by using the discount code “ICSM0428” on the checkout page of the online registration portal.
The 2015 Spring Meeting will offer you:
Opportunities to learn from top legal experts and hear from world class speakers including: Bill Browder, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Hermitage Capital Management; International Court of Justice Judge Joan Donoghue; and United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Save on your registration by taking advantage of early bird rates before March 16th! Registration rates are further discounted for young lawyers (35 years and under), full time government and NGO employees, academics, law students, corporate counsel, solo / small practice and retired attorneys.
Please visit http://ambar.org/ILSpring2015 to register and for more information on programming, hotel accommodations and the latest updates on the 2015 Spring Meeting.
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