Native American Attorney Study


In order to raise the visibility of Native American attorneys in the legal profession at large, to effectuate lasting reforms in the legal community, and to help build a better pipeline to law school, the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) conducted the first-of-its-kind study of Native American attorneys. NNABA enlisted Dr. Arin Reeves from Nextions to conduct the research. This study is entitled “The Pursuit of Inclusion: An In-Depth Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Native American Attorneys in the Legal Profession. ”

This research provides the first comprehensive picture of the issues confronting Native American attorneys across all settings – including private practice; government practice in state, federal and tribal arenas; the judiciary; corporate legal departments; and academia. Ultimately, NNABA – and hopefully others – will use the findings in this study to develop educational materials and programs that will help improve the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of Native American attorneys in the legal profession.

In NNABA’s study, every participant identified as American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian. Over 500 people responded to a detailed survey, and we also conducted 50 one-on-one telephone interviews. Our respondents represent over 20 percent of the Native American attorneys in the United States.

NNABA is deeply appreciative of those who took the time to complete the online survey, telephone interview or both. We also are very grateful to those firms and individuals who sponsored this important initiative. Without everyone’s participation and support, this study would not have been possible.

To view the full report, click HERE.

To view the executive summary, click HERE.

To view one-pagers on the entire study HERE, on the experiences of Native American women HERE, and the experiences of young lawyers HERE.

To view a list of presentations that NNABA has given about the study, click HERE

If you have questions, please contact the National Native American Bar Association at [email protected].

NNABA thanks the sponsors who have donated to the study:

Diamond Sponsors

William Neukom

 Gold Premier Sponsors


Premier Sponsors

 Kieve Law Offices JPEG Logo

Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc.


Benefactor Sponsors


National Indian Gaming Association

Michael Byowitz & Ruth Holzer Fund




Patron Sponsors

Makalika Naholowaa

Wilson Pipestem

Dr. John and Claudia Holliman Fund

Mary Smith

Robert Saunooke





Hnba logo

Keith Harper | William T. Robinson III | Northwest Indian Bar Association

Shannon Keller O’Loughlin | Linda Benally | Lawrence Baca

Colleen Lamarre | Patty Ferguson-Bohnee

Mashantucket Pequot Bar Association

Tom Weathers | Sandra McCandless | Lauren van Shilfgaarde

Jennifer Weddle | McElroy, Meyer, Walker & Condon, P.C.

The Honorable Leslie Miller | The Honorable Leo Brisbois | Aliza Organick

Jimmy and Debby Goodman | Marni Pedorella | D. Michael McBride III