For Immediate Release, February 17, 2016
Contact: Linda Benally (623) 308-2329
NNABA APPLAUDS THE ABA'S PASSAGE OF RESOLUTION NO. 117
CALLS UPON STATE BARS TO CONSIDER IMPACT OF UNIFORM BAR EXAM
ON MINORITY ATTORNEYS AND TO
CONSIDER INCLUDING INDIAN LAW IN STATES WITH SIZABLE AMERICAN
Phoenix, AZ - On February 8, 2016, the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates adopted Resolution 117, calling for state bar authorities to consider the impact of the uniform bar exam (UBE) on minority attorneys.
The Resolution also urges bar admission groups to consider including subjects that are important in their jurisdictions—particularly Indian law, which is important in some regions but not covered by the UBE.
The Resolution was introduced by the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) and the State Bar of South Dakota and passed by the ABA unanimously, and is now official ABA policy.
"We enthusiastically applaud the ABA for pausing to consider the impacts the UBE may have on the admission of Native American and other minority lawyers, and how standardized bar admissions topics might be married with Indian law in as many as 30 states," said NNABA President Linda Benally. "Resolution 117 will help ensure that the legal profession reflects an increasingly diverse society. It will also enhance lawyer competence."
"No one has taken a comprehensive look at how minorities fare on the UBE, but previous research on the Law School Admission Test shows that minorities on average score lower," said Mary Smith, immediate past NNABA President and the nominee for ABA Secretary starting in August 2017. “I hope this [Resolution] sends a message to the states that are going to adopt the UBE or have already adopted it that they should try to analyze the impact on minority applicants. The pipeline is critical to the future of our profession.”
Read the full text of ABA Resolution No. 117 HERE.
NNABA was founded in 1973 and serves as the national association for Native American attorneys, judges, law professors and law students, tribal court practitioners, and tribal advocates and strives to be a leader on social, cultural, political and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. NNABA’s work is centered on representation of indigenous communities and individuals, broadly covering issues important to the Native American community.