National Native American Bar Association Releases Study of Native American Attorneys

The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) and NNABA Foundation recently released the results of the first-of-its-kind research study on Native American attorneys. This research is the only comprehensive research regarding Native American attorneys across all practice settings where each and every of the over 500 survey respondents identified as Native American.

One of the powerful findings of this study is that Native Americans often feel invisible and share an overarching perspective that their experiences are not valid or real. In addition to documenting the failure of traditional diversity and inclusion efforts to reach Native American attorneys, the study sheds light on unique challenges facing American Indians. Native Americans are clearly behind even other underrepresented groups in terms of inclusion, retention, and representation.

“This comprehensive research is not only the first – but the only – research that examines the experiences of Native American attorneys across all practice settings. It presents a stark portrait of an entire group of attorneys systematically excluded from the legal profession,” said Mary Smith, NNABA President. “It is clear that traditional diversity and inclusion programs are simply not working for Native American attorneys. NNABA hopes that this research will be used to build a more robust pipeline of Native American attorneys and to work toward the full inclusion of Native Americans in the legal profession.”

Highlights of the research include:

  • The survey captured information from 527 Native American attorneys, approximately 20% of the 2,640 Native American attorneys in the United States.
  • The most satisfied attorneys were working in the tribal sector, and the least satisfied attorneys were working for the federal/state government or law firms; however, tribal politics/cliques, overwhelming workloads, and not being able to make an impactful difference were cited as primary sources of dissatisfaction even in the context of being generally satisfied.
  • Over 40% of the attorneys overall in the study reported experiencing demeaning comments or other types of harassment based on their race, ethnicity, and/or tribal affiliation; and 33.63% reported experiencing one or more forms of discrimination based on their race, ethnicity, and/or tribal affiliation.
  • Women were more likely than men to report demeaning comments and/or harassment based on gender (38% to 3%); discrimination based on gender (35% to 4%); denial of advancement or promotional opportunities due to gender (21% to 3%); and denial of appropriate compensation due to gender (29% to 1%).
  • Over 76% of the attorneys in this study reported that more awareness and understanding of issues faced by Native Americans would have a positive impact on their careers. In comparison, only 60% of the attorneys felt that more effective implementation of diversity and inclusion policies in their workplace would have a positive impact on their careers. This is not surprising given the ways diversity and inclusion initiatives have largely ignored the issues and concerns of Native American attorneys.

For more information and to view the full report and the executive summary, go to http://www.nativeamericanbar.org/native-american-attorney-study/.

Founded in 1973, NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

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

Navajo Nation Law 2014 CLE Conference – Oct 24, 2014 – Early Bird Registration ends tomorrow 10/01 at 5 pm.

Navajo Nation Law 2014 CLE Conference – Oct 24, 2014 – Early Bird Registration ends tomorrow 10/01 at 5 pm.  Get your required annual Navajo Bar CLE credits here.   New Mexico MCLE approval pending.

Click here for Agenda and Registration:  

 

Professor Robert N. Clinton receives the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native American Bar Association of Arizona

Congratulations to ILP’s Professor Robert N. Clinton who received the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Native American Bar Association of Arizona last Saturday at the 6th Annual NABA-AZ – The Seven Generations Annual Awards Dinner & Silent Auction.

Quote from Carole E. Goldberg, UCLA Law,  Jonathan D. Varat Distinguished Professor of Law, Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel. B.A. Smith College, 1968, J.D. Stanford, 1971

In the spirited exchanges over treatment of cases and doctrines, Bob was not shy about expressing his views, and more than held his own with more senior colleagues.  His razor sharp analytical powers were on display from the start.  It became my lifetime goal to stay on the right side of that blade.  Over the next twenty years, I had occasion to learn from Bob’s many law review articles, including his classic explication of Indian country criminal jurisdiction – to this day called a “maze,” a term Bob coined – and his original designation of federal Indian policy as “colonialism.”

Some of the arguments about treatment of particular cases and doctrines, especially arguments between Bob and me, could get intense.  Rebecca became very adept at ducking.  But it was all done with respect and affection, and out of concern to make the casebook the best possible instrument for teaching federal Indian law.  We even included a tribal court opinion that Bob had written, and proceeded to critique it in the Notes.

Congrats also goes out to the following ILP Alums: 

Community Service Award:  Diane Enos, President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community  (Class of 1992)
NABA-AZ Member of the Year:  Diandra D. Benally, Assistant General Counsel, Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation (Class of 2005)

 

Kevin Gover – Moving beyond the “imaginary Indians” perception

Please see the Washington Post article about Kevin Gover – Moving beyond the “imaginary Indians” perception.

Kevin Gover – Moving beyond the “imaginary Indians” perception at http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/fred-hiatt-moving-beyond-the-imaginary-indians-perception/2014/09/21/ea1ee614-3f3b-11e4-9587-5dafd96295f0_story.html

Former ASU Law staffer to join Obama Administration in Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Office

Congratulations to Ann Marie Bledsoe Downes!

The White House appointed Ann Marie Downes, ASU Law Class of 1994 and former executive director of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, to serve in the assistant secretary’s office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), part of the U.S. Department of the Interior. Downes is now deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development.

“I’m a big believer in public service,” Downes said about the opportunity to join BIA, where she will work under Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn. “It was hard to leave my team at ASU, but it was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. When you get the chance to serve, you take it.”

In her new role, Downes will oversee the Office of Self-Governance and the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. She also will be a part of a new initiative, the White House Council on Native American Affairs. The council establishes a national policy to ensure that the federal government engages in a government-to-government relationship with federally recognized tribes in a more coordinated and effective manner.

“It’s an active and thriving office,” Downes said. “I see so much progress and positive steps being taken for Indian Country under this administration, and I look forward to continuing that work.”

Downes, a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, served as policy adviser for Tribal Affairs under former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano before joining the Indian Legal Program at ASU.

“Ann Marie has dedicated her entire career to serving the needs of Indian Country, and I could not be more proud of her as she answers this call to public service,” said College of Law Dean Douglas Sylvester. “We are extremely grateful for the work she accomplished as part of the ASU community and wish her the best in her new role.”

Professor Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, faculty director of the Indian Legal Program, said she will miss Downes’ leadership, “but the BIA will now have another incredible lawyer. Although the College of Law will feel the loss, the Indian Legal Program will continue to be the nation’s largest and strongest — and plans already are underway to find Ann Marie’s replacement.”

“The Department of Interior is gaining an invaluable resource with Ann Marie joining their team,” Ferguson-Bohnee added. “With her experience, Ann Marie takes a diverse background of tribal law and policy to an agency that works primarily with Indian tribes on a daily basis.”

Downes is a licensed attorney in California and earned her J.D. from the ASU College of Law in 1994.

 

https://www.law.asu.edu/News/CollegeofLawNews/TabId/803/ArtMID/7835/ArticleID/4720

Congrats to ILP Alums from the Class of 2006 Steve Bodmer and Courtney Monteiro for being recipients of the 40 under 40 award!

Congrats to ILP Alums from the Class of 2006 Steve Bodmer and Courtney Monteiro for being recipients of the 40 under 40!

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) is pleased to announce its 2014 “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients have been selected. This prestigious award recognizes 40 emerging American Indian leaders from across Indian Country who have demonstrated leadership, initiative, and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or in their community. 

http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=e712263dac83bf97d30c607ab&id=5accf007ce

Save the Date – Indian Legal Program Welcome Dinner – August 27, 2014

Please join us in welcoming the ILP’s newly admitted students of 2014.

Date: August 27, 2014
Time:  6:00 p.m.
Place: Round House Cafe, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Comm, 10005 E. Osbourne Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

The Indian Legal Program Welcome Dinner brings together faculty, current students, alumni, law school staff and administration, and legal and native communities to welcome the ILP’s 2014 incoming students.  Please join us!

RSVP – Darlene Lester at darlene.lester@asu.edu or call 480-965-7715.

See below map to SRPMIC  Two Waters Complex, 10005 E. Osbourne Rd, Scottsdale, AZ

Please see Google Directions at http://goo.gl/maps/qMgBL.