Phoenix, AZ – This month, the NNABA Foundation, in partnership with The State Bar of South Dakota and the South Dakota Indian Country Bar Association, will launch the Native American Pipeline to Law School in Rapid City, South Dakota. Over the course of three days, President Linda Benally, NNABA, along with Eric C. Schulte, President of The State Bar of South Dakota and Seth Pearman, President of the South Dakota Indian Country Bar Association will visit tribal colleges, tribal high schools, and other universities to encourage interest among students to pursue law careers. They will be joined by other representatives from all three organizations.

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 pipeline to law school, NNABA conducted the 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 Professionprovides 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.

One of the goals of the study is for others to use the findings to develop educational materials and programs to help improve the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of Native American attorneys in the legal profession. The State Bar of South Dakota’s Native American Pipeline to Law School outreach does just that. The NNABA Foundation is incredibly proud to partner with these organizations. This partnership has the potential to achieve favorable results in increasing the number of Native American law students.

Tours are being scheduled for September 28 – October 2, 2015. If you are interested in participating in this important effort, please contact NNABA at adminassistant@nativeamericanbar.org for more information.

To learn more about The Pursuit of Inclusion: An In-Depth Exploration of the Experiences and Perspectives of Native American Attorneys in the Legal Profession, click HERE.

Established in 2014, the NNABA Foundation works to foster development of Native American lawyers and addressing social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, through the grant of scholarships to law students, the organization of seminars and conferences on topics of interest to the legal profession, and the preparation and distribution of articles and reports on legal issues.

Here, and an excerpt:

Right now, high school seniors across the country are trying hard not to think about what is — or isn’t — coming in the mail.

They’re anxiously awaiting acceptance letters (or the opposite) from their top-choice colleges and universities. But this story isn’t about them. It’s about a big group of seniors who could get into great schools but don’t apply: high-achieving students from low-income families who live outside of America’s big cities.

These students often wind up in community college or mediocre four-year schools. It’s a phenomenon known in education circles as “undermatching.”

Why does it happen?

Reason No. 1: Location, Location, Location

Kristen Hannah Perez is an 18-year-old senior at Celina High School in Celina, Texas. When she’s not studying for her AP classes, practicing the euphonium (she made all-state band) or running bingo at the local nursing home, she’s working at the only McDonald’s in town.

Last year a Bill was introduced to provide in-state tuition to Native Americans from tribes with historical ties to Colorado.  We posted on it here, here, and here.  We also offered testimony in support of the bill, which can be seen here.  Unfortunately, the bill did not pass.

However, the bill has again been introduced and is scheduled to be heard in the Colorado House Education Committee on January 26, 2015.  The bill can be seen here.

The American Indian/Alaska Native Employees Association (AIANEA) is offering two scholarships to AI/AN students pursuing a degree in the natural resources field. The scholarship amount varies between $150 and $500. Recipients will also receive a one-year AIANEA Student Membership.

Eligibility

• Applicant must be attending (or planning to attend) an accredited college or university
• Must be enrolled (or planning to be enrolled) in a course directly related to a natural resources field
• Must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher

Application Materials

• Access the scholarship application form here.
• Enclose a copy of the most recent grade transcript or, if this is your first semester, include a letter from each instructor stating present grade average in the course.
• A photo and short biography, including your plans for the future.

Application Deadline: October 26, 2014

Visit http://www.cnay.org for a comprehensive list of available resources (scholarships, fellowships, summer programs, grant opportunities, etc.).