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.

School-To-Prison Pipeline in Indian Country Symposium & Town Hall Meeting

What are the Problems?  What are the Solutions?

March 27, 2015
7:30 AM – 5:15 PM

Arizona State University
Armstrong Hall – The Great Hall
1100 S. McAllister Ave.
Tempe, AZ 85281

PDF Event Flyer

The “School-To-Prison Pipeline” has been a crucial concern of parents, educators, tribal leaders, ministers, civil rights activists, lawyers and youth advocates for a number of years. Recently, it has become a major concern of the general public across our country due in large part to the spiraling statistics and the negative impact on children of color. Some advocates have defined the problem as a systematic way of syphoning children out of public schools and funneling them into the juvenile and criminal justice system. In fact, many civil rights lawyers regard the journey from “School-To-Prison Pipeline,” as the most critical civil rights issue facing our country today.

The one day event will feature panel discussions, a keynote speaker, and a town hall. The symposium and town hall will bring together individuals to discuss pipeline concerns, experts who have developed successful programs and projects across the country to address pipeline issues, and individuals and organizations from diverse backgrounds who are working toward solutions to this issue.  This symposium and town hall is currently the only American Bar Association sponsored event to focus exclusively on the “School-To-Prison Pipeline” in Indian Country.

To register, click here.

For more information, contact Jennifer Williams at jennifer.h.williams@asu.edu or call (480) 727-0420.


PHOENIX—The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) Foundation is pleased to announce an inaugural round of scholarships will be awarded in April 2015. This year the NNABA Foundation will award four (4) $2500 scholarships.

The NABA Foundation awards scholarships on a nationwide basis to current and incoming law students who demonstrate a commitment to serve or contribute to the Native American community as future leaders. These scholarships are made possible by donations from numerous corporations, law firms, bar associations, and individuals. The inaugural scholarships awarded in 2015 were made possible by the generous support of Walmart.

More information and a copy of the NNABA Foundation Scholarship application is available HERE. The deadline to apply for these scholarships is March 15, 2015.

“These scholarships will help to improve the pipeline of Native American lawyers and encourage more Native Americans to attend law school,” said Mary Smith, NNABA Foundation president. “The scholarships help achieve the NNABA Foundation’s goal of supporting the full inclusion of Native American attorneys in the legal profession.”

The mission of the National Native American Bar Association Foundation (NNABA Foundation) is to develop and provide financial resources that advance the research and educational endeavors of the National Native American Bar Association. The NNABA Foundation qualifies as an exempt fund under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all contributions to the NNABA Foundation are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.

For more information contact 480-727-0420 or visit www.nativeamericanbar.org.