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MAY 2014

May Flower

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 [email protected].

Mary Smith
Mary Smith
NNABA President, 2013-2015


The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), in conjunction with the research and consulting firm Nextions, has embarked upon a comprehensive research study designed to explore the perspectives and experiences of Native American attorneys. This research will result in the first-of-its-kind study, and the findings from this study will be used to develop educational materials and programming that will help improve the retention and advancement of Native American attorneys in every corner of the legal profession.

A secure and confidential survey has been distributed and can be taken by any attorney that identifies as American Indian/Native Alaskan. If you have already filled out the survey, we thank you for your time! If you have not yet filled out the survey, please take the time to do so as soon as possible. The survey can be taken at the link below and will be closing on May 28, 2014. We need your voice!

Click HERE to participate in the survey.

If you would like the convenience of completing the above survey via telephone, you may do so in one of two ways:

  1. By contacting Nextions (312-922-0226) any Wednesday or Friday between 10:00am-4:00pm CDT to be directed to someone who will facilitate the delivery and completion of the survey. Telephone surveys are completely confidential and should take no longer than 20 minutes to complete.

  2. By contacting Nextions (312-922-0226) or Nextions' lead research associate, Jessica Shoemaker ([email protected]) to schedule a telephone survey for any time, including nights and weekends. While scheduling a specific time to participate in a telephone survey will necessitate the need for you to share your contact information, your survey responses will remain completely confidential.

Nextions will also be conducting a series of individual telephone interviews. The goal of the interviews is to deepen our understanding of the survey data by adding a qualitative component to an already rich body of information. Interviews will take no longer than 30 minutes and are absolutely and completely confidential. To schedule an interview, please forward your name, contact info and 2-3 preferred interview times to Jessica Shoemaker ([email protected] | 312-922-0226).

Respondents are encouraged to participate in both the survey and interview process. If you have questions about either the survey or the interview process, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nextions ([email protected] | 312.922.0226) or the National Native American Bar Association ([email protected]). Thank you in advance for your thoughtful participation!


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.


The NNABA Annual Meeting was held on Wednesday April 9, 2014, at Hilton Santa Fe at Buffalo Thunder (Pueblo of Pojoaque). NNABA members considered resolutions for the Coalition of Bar Associations of Color (CBAC) day of advocacy. NNABA’s resolutions were to support the first-ever comprehensive study of Native American attorneys, to increase Native American representation in the federal judiciary, and to preserve voting rights in Indian Country. To view the NNABA resolutions, click here.

NNABA members heard a report from the Law School Admission Council about its diversity efforts and its efforts to increase the pipeline of Native Americans in law school and also heard a presentation from Tonya Johnson from the American Bar Association (ABA) Diversity Center. Dr. Arin Reeves of Nextions also conducted a structured background group discussion for NNABA’s research initiative.

Annual Meeting


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.

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 [email protected], or NNABA President-Elect Linda Benally at [email protected].


NNABA is announcing an exciting new project, and we need you! We are beginning to collect some short YouTube videos of Native American attorneys. If you would like to highlight your career or some topic applicable to the legal profession, please record a short (no more than two minutes) video of yourself and send it to us. We will begin posting some of these videos on our website. The purpose of this project is to highlight the incredible Native American attorneys around the country.

Here are some guidelines:

  • Videos should be no more than two minutes.

  • The following one or more topics can be addressed: (1) why you went to law school; (2) describe your career and your practice; (3) describe one legal matter that you are most proud of or that was memorable; and (4) advice you would give to young Native American attorneys or advice you would give to young Native Americans considering whether to go to law school.

  • Alternatively, you can address an important legal issue facing Indian Country, e.g., ICWA, domestic violence, land into trust, voting rights.

  • If you have any questions, please e-mail [email protected].

  • Send the final videos to [email protected].


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 [email protected].


Call for Nominations - 2014 NABA-AZ Seven Generations Awards

The Native American Bar Associations of Arizona (NABA-AZ) Seven Generations Awards Committee is seeking nominations for the following awards:

  1. Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes and honors a senior attorney who has made a substantial contribution to the practice and administration of law in the State of Arizona

  2. Community Development Award: Recognizes and honors individuals or groups making an impact in Arizona

  3. NABA-AZ Member of the Year: Recognizes and honors a NABA-AZ member

Nominations are due May 23, 2014.

Recipients will be honored at the 6th Annual Seven Generations Dinner and Silent Auction on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Fort McDowell Radisson Resort, Fort McDowell, Arizona. If you have any questions regarding the awards and nomination process, please contact Kerry Patterson at [email protected]. Thank you very much.

Stonewall Award Nominations Open

On behalf of the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI Commission),
nominations for next year’s Stonewall Awards are officially open. The SOGI Commission encourages you to nominate individuals who have helped achieve full and equal participation in the legal profession by persons of differing sexual orientations and gender identities and applaud their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Nominations are due by May 30, 2014. For information about the nominations process, please visit the Stonewall website by clicking here.

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.