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MARCH 2014

March Into Spring

Hello, NNABA members:

We hope you are enjoying these e-newsletters. If you have comments or suggestions, we would very much like to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us at

Mary Smith
Mary Smith
NNABA President, 2013-2015

NNABA Research: Participate in Focus Groups at Federal Bar Indian Law Conference

This January, in conjunction with the research and consulting firm Nextions, NNABA embarked upon a comprehensive research study designed to explore the experiences of Native American attorneys across all settings including private practice; government practice in state, federal and tribal arenas; the judiciary; corporate legal departments; and academia. This research will result in a first-of-its-kind study of your experiences and perspectives.

A secure and confidential survey has been distributed and can be taken by any attorney that identifies as American Indian/Alaska Native.

Click HERE to participate in the survey.

While surveys provide invaluable information, Nextions will also be conducting a series of live and telephone focus groups to explore the findings in greater depth. The goal of the focus groups is to deepen our understanding of the nuances in the data while adding a qualitative component to an already rich body of information.

The live and telephone focus groups will be run by Nextions. Live focus groups will be conducted during the Federal Bar Association Indian Law Section Meeting being held in Santa Fe, April 9th-April 11th. We will also be conducting two telephone focus groups. Sessions are limited to 15 people and will last approximately one hour. If you are interested in participating in a focus group, please click here to register.

Individuals are encouraged to participate in BOTH components by completing the survey and participating in a focus group. Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any individuals who identify or are affiliated with an American Indian/Alaska Native background.

Be a Sponsor of Groundbreaking Research on Native American Attorneys

NNABA is seeking sponsors of its groundbreaking research on Native American attorneys.

Contribute Here
We seek your support on this groundbreaking study. For more information on the study, click here

For information on how to contribute, click HERE. The net proceeds will be used to fund the Research Initiative. We plan to energize the business and legal communities to further improve the status of Native Americans in the legal profession because it is in the best interest of the profession to do so. We hope you will join us in these efforts with your support.

2014 NNABA Annual Meeting Save-the-Date

Wednesday April 9, 2014
1 PM – 5 PM
Hilton Santa Fe at Buffalo Thunder (Pueblo of Pojoaque)

If you would like to be on the agenda please respond no later than Friday, March 30.

If you have any questions about the upcoming meeting or about NNABA, contact NNABA Administrative Assistant or President Mary Smith.

We look forward to seeing you at the 2014 NNABA Annual Meeting. An agenda will be sent out closer to the meeting date and will also be posted out our website:

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 26-28, 2014. 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 February 28, 2014. Participants for the CBLA will be determined by a juried selection process. Applications can be found by clicking 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, or NNABA President-Elect Linda Benally at

News and Photos from ABA Midyear Meeting

ABA Midyear Meeting

A record 19 Native Americans attended the ABA Midyear Meeting which included six participants in the Minority Clerkship program (included were participants from NM, AZ, ND, and Cornell) as well as NNABA's three new YLD representatives. President Mary Smith, Immediate Past President Patty Ferguson-Bohnee and NNABA's ABA Delegate Robert Saunooke attended from NNABA. Robert Saunooke spoke on two panels. The first panel was a Town Hall Forum on the School-to-Prison Pipeline on Friday, February 7, 2014. On Thursday, February 6, 2014, Robert spoke on a panel entitled "Hot Topics in Diversity Law" sponsored by the Section of State and Local Government Law. Robert discussed the mascot issue at this panel.

ABA Midyear Meeting Programming: For highlights from the ABA Judicial Clerkship Program and the School-to-Prison Pipeline, below are links.

Judicial Clerkship Program jointly sponsored with the ABA Judicial Division: Watch Video

School-to-Prison Pipeline jointly sponsored with the ABA Coalition for Racial and Ethnic Justice and ABA Criminal Justice: Watch Video / Read Story

NNABA Launches New Website

NNABA has launched a website with new design and functionality. NNABA's new website is the place to go to see NNABA's nationwide job announcements, initiatives, letters of support, and press releases. NNABA's website also has new functionality such as being able to pay membership dues via credit card.

Please visit NNABA's new website to see all the activities in which NNABA is engaged on behalf of the Native American legal community at


Our Attorney Membership Form and Student Membership Form can be completed online, and are available to download as PDF files for those who prefer to mail in their forms. 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.

If you have any questions about membership or experience any difficulty with downloading, please feel free to contact us at


Scholarships from the Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas

The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of Texas will award two $5,000 scholarships, each to a woman and/or minority law student. Any woman or member of a recognized minority group, including but not limited to African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, and Native Americans who intends to practice IP law in the State of Texas, is eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school in Texas at the time the application is submitted. Thus, persons who have been accepted to law school but have not yet started classes at the time the application is submitted are ineligible. However, persons who have graduated at the time the scholarship is awarded are eligible.

The purpose of this scholarship is to facilitate and encourage women and minorities to enter the practice of intellectual property law in Texas, and to become active members of the State Bar IP Section, by assisting these students with their financial needs. Selection criteria of the scholarships include: merit, scholastic performance, and financial need. Consideration is also given to extracurricular activities both inside and outside law school.

Applications must be postmarked (or time-stamped if by email) by no later than May 12, 2014. The Scholarships will be awarded at the Annual Meeting in June 2014. The application is available on the SBOT IP Section’s website. Click here for the application.

Law Day 2014

Law Day 2014

Below are Law Day links and information.

Thank you for supporting Law Day 2014!

Download the 2014 Planning Guide

Law Day Website

It includes additional resources such as:
- Giveaways, awards, and gift options for Law Day program participants,
- Volunteers, and speakers
- Downloadable Law Day 2014 artwork
- Educational voting themed activities and information
- Downloadable voting themed coloring pages
- Sample Law Day proclamations