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Professional & Student Organizations

Minnesota Professional Organizations

Minnesota American Indian Bar Association
The Minnesota American Indian Bar Association (MAIBA) is composed of American Indian lawyers, officers of tribal courts, law students, and lawyers with interests in Indian law. MAIBA is committed to building and maintaining relationships with Twin Cities urban Indian organizations and the 11 tribal communities in Minnesota. Its goals are to promote unity, exchange of ideas, public education, legal representation, and justice in legal issues affecting Indian people, Indian law, and tribal government. The association awards student scholarships, offers CLE and other educational programs, and supports Indian law causes, and its members support each other professionally and personally, mentor law students and young lawyers, and network about job and volunteer opportunities.

Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers
The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers (MABL) is committed to representing the interests of black citizens and their community in the legal profession and in the judicial system throughout the state and beyond. MABL promotes and supports the professional development of black lawyers, judges, and law students in Minnesota; promotes networking and information sharing with other legal associations; and commissions a representative to the Minnesota State and Hennepin County bar associations to promote common interests and increase awareness of each other’s needs and opportunities. Through its MABL Foundation, the organization annually presents student scholarships to individuals who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and commitment to community issues and organizational goals.

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association
The Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) is dedicated to advancing the interests of Hispanic attorneys and law students in Minnesota. It strives to promote growth and opportunities for legal professionals; advocate for the Hispanic community; unify and organize lawyers, judges, law students, and other members of the Hispanic legal community; provide community service; and ensure access to justice for all. MHBA also aspires to serve as a valuable resource to Minnesota’s legal and academic professionals, as well as the community at large. Members include judges, attorneys, law students, and other professionals representing all sectors of the legal community. The MHBA endowment fund supports law student interns’ work at nonprofit organizations serving the Hispanic community, and its mentoring program matches law students with supervising attorneys.

Minnesota Lavender Bar Association
The Minnesota Lavender Bar Association (MLBA) began as a project of the OutFront Minnesota Legal Program in response to the limited opportunities for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex (GLBTI) legal professionals. In 1999, MLBA became an independent organization that works to ensure that legal professionals in Minnesota can thrive, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status. The group builds community among members through educational programs, networking opportunities, and social events, and it supports student groups at all of Minnesota’s law schools. MLBA is now the primary sponsor of the Regional Lavender Law conference for local GLBTI attorneys and students, and it has taken an active advocacy role toward anti-discrimination changes in the legal system.

Minnesota State Bar Association Diversity Committee
The Minnesota State Bar Association is committed to promoting diversity in the workplace generally, and to advancing culturally diverse legal workplaces in Minnesota particularly. Its Diversity Committee works to improve the environment for recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse lawyers in the community ("diverse" includes disability, gender, ethnicity, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation). The committee works with Minnesota law schools and the legal community to promote diversity opportunities in the legal profession and strives to increase representation and participation of Minnesota lawyers in its efforts.

Minnesota Women Lawyers
Established in 1972, Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) is dedicated to supporting the professional and leadership development of women lawyers, advocating for women lawyers within the legal profession, and supporting social action initiatives to end discrimination in the justice system and promote equality of women in society. Its 1,200 membership consists of attorneys and other legal professionals, judges, law students, and legal employers. MWL addresses the changing needs of women in the legal profession through programs and activities that meet its mission and values: advocacy of full equality for women lawyers, elimination of discrimination, enrichment of the practice of law through full participation of women lawyers, and promotion of diversity in its many forms.

MNLegalDiversity.org
MNLegalDiversity.org was created to help attract diverse attorneys and law students to Minnesota by providing a forum where they could learn about the opportunities available. Local law schools, law firms, corporations, and the public provided financial support for the website, created by local law schools, Minnesota state and county bar associations, and minority bar associations. Since 2007, the Minnesota State Bar Association Diversity Committee has been responsible for the website. MNLegalDiversity.org has become a conduit of information for potential as well as current Minnesota law students and legal practitioners regarding what the Twins Cities and surrounding areas offer in career networking, organizations, activities, clerkship programs, and more.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association–Minnesota Chapter
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association advocates for the legal needs and interests of the Asian Pacific American community and its member attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. Its mission is to foster professional development, legal scholarship, equity, and opportunity. The Minnesota chapter, one of more than 60 local Asian Pacific American bar associations, monitors legislative developments and judicial appointments in Minnesota, supports and promotes political leadership and professional development of members, and advocates for equal opportunity in education and the workplace. Members also continue to work toward elimination of bias and violence against Asian Pacific Americans.

Twin Cities Diversity in Practice
Twin Cities Diversity in Practice is an association of 21 law firms and 14 corporate legal departments that share a mission: to attract, recruit, advance, and retain attorneys of color in the Twin Cities legal community. The group of leading legal employers is also dedicated to promoting Minneapolis/St. Paul as a great place for attorneys of color to develop professionally and personally.

National Professional Organizations

American Bar Association
The American Bar Association (ABA) is the largest voluntary professional association in the world, with nearly 400,000 members. As part of its work to represent and improve the legal profession, the ABA has made eliminating bias and enhancing diversity among its members key goals. Its groups address civil rights, immigration, equal justice, equal opportunity, and many other diversity-related issues, and the organization issues annual reports on the progress of its commitment to diversity.

Hispanic National Bar Association
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) serves as the national voice for the concerns and opinions of Hispanics in the community generally and in the legal profession in particular. It promotes recruitment and retention of Hispanics in law schools, offers financial assistance, facilitates information exchange among Hispanics in all segments of the legal profession, and conducts CLE conventions and seminars to foster the exchange of ideas among its members. HNBA also provides testimony on issues of concern to Hispanics and works with other bar associations and agencies to achieve greater involvement in and understanding of the American legal system by the national Hispanic community.

National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national association of Asian Pacific American (APA) attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students, providing a national network for its members and affiliates. It advocates for the legal needs and interests of the APA community and represents the interests of more than 40,000 attorneys and 62 local APA bar associations.

National Association of Law Students with Disabilities
The National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD) was established in 2007 with the help of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the ABA to identify areas of concern for disabled law students and establish a platform for the national organization. It aims to provide a supportive community with other students with disabilities from across the country, information about career opportunities, and advice on overcoming obstacles and succeeding in law school and the legal profession. The NALSWD also works to establish peer-mentoring programs by pairing law students and lawyers with disabilities. Access to useful information and publications is available at the NALSWD Resources link.

National Bar Association
Founded in 1925, the National Bar Association (NBA) is the nation's oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges. The NBA's network has made significant strides in expanding opportunities for its membership of more than 20,000 lawyer, judges, educators, and law students and has been involved in a wide range of projects.

National Black Prosecutors Association
The National Black Prosecutors Association (NBPA) is the only professional membership organization dedicated to the advancement of Blacks as prosecutors. Founded in 1983, NBPA consists of more than 800 prosecutors nationwide, both chief and line prosecutors, as well as law students, former prosecutors, and law enforcement personnel. Its reputation for providing education and leadership through intensive training sessions and multidisciplined networking continues to grow.

National Native American Bar Association
The National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) represents Indian nations, not just Indian lawyers. It has many of the same goals as other minority bar associations, including diversity and better understanding of its communities’ unique cultural and legal issues. In addition, because most of its lawyers are citizens of both the United States and of their respective Tribal nations, its members share the communal responsibility, either directly or indirectly, of protecting the governmental sovereignty of the more than 560 independent Native American Tribal governments in the United States.