MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR
On March 30, 2006, the National Bar Association (NBA) Diversity Pipeline Development Program (“Pipeline Program”) was launched as a pilot program in Phoenix, Arizona through the First Annual Diversity Symposium held at the Hyatt Hotel, Inc. In attendance where in-house counsel from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., General Motor Corporation, Microchip, Inc., jsg_photo1GoDaddy.com, MTV, Wells Fargo, Inc. and many more. Over 155 lawyers, diversity leaders and students were in attendance, which made the Diversity Symposium a huge success. Under the auspices of the Commercial Law Section of the NBA, the Pipeline Program was founded by Jo Ana Saint-George for the purpose of increasing the number of lawyers of color in the state of Arizona where there are currently only approximately 160 African-American lawyers in the entire state with Phoenix being one of the fastest growing cities of approximately 4.5 million people. The Pipeline Program is made-up of a four phase series of career and educational training courses offered over a three-year period to students of color who have been accepted into Arizona law schools (“Pipeline Students”). Phase I of the program is the six-week Pre-Law Prep Course that begins the summer before the Pipeline Students start their first year of law school. Ms. Saint-George is proud to announce that the March 30th symposium raised enough funds that eight students were accepted into the program and completed the six-week Prep-Law Course that ran from June 19 to August 4, 2006. The four phased program further described in this newsletter has been formulated so that at the end of the program Pipeline Students are not only practice ready upon completing law school; but, they are primed to become leaders in the Arizona legal community. To effectively deliver the Pipeline Programs on a state and local level, the NBA Pipeline Committee has partnered with the Association of Corporate Counsel, Arizona Chapter; the State Bar of Arizona, Committee on Minorities and Women in the law; and the Maricopa County Bar Association Task Force on Recruitment and Retention of Women and Minority Lawyers along with local minority bar associations.
Ms. Saint-George’s long-term goal for the Pipeline Program is to implement it nation-wide with the support of NBA local affiliates. To effectuate that goal, the Diversity Pipeline Program will be under the auspices of NBA Region 9 for the purpose of growing the program in Region 9 states of California, Washington, Nevada, Oregon and Utah.
Jo Ana Saint-George – Program Founder and Chair
Download the Newsletter