Founded in 1925, the National Bar Association (NBA) is the nation's oldest and largest association of African American lawyers and judges.

The NBA continues "to protect the civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the United States."


National Bar Association Legislative Agenda


The resolutions discussed in this document embody the principals that were established by our founding members nearly a hundred years ago. Below is a summary of the different advocacy areas we have a made a top priority this Congressional session click here.


Voter Protection

This past election was a startling example of how state governments can impede the fundamental right to vote through the enactment of suppressive legislation. The NBA opposes the wave of restrictive voting laws that threaten the rights of voters across the country. In addition, the NBA urges the Department of Justice to continue its investigation into the legality of these laws under the Voters Rights Act. And supports legislation that enfranchises citizens and protects their right to vote. Specifically, the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013, the Democracy Restoration Act and the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act.

The Federal Judiciary

Millions of Americans have been harmed by these challenges in already overburdened courts across the country. In addition, they deprive our federal courts of the capacity to deliver timely justice and has harmful consequences to the citizens it has sworn to serve and protect. The judiciary does not have the discretion to decline or defer cases based on resource constraints, it is required to adjudicate the cases regardless of staffing and resource levels in the federal courts. Increased funding for the judiciary and immediate action on judicial vacancies is essential. 

Immigration Reform

Nearly every American family has their own immigration story. Generations of immigrants braved hardship and great risk to reach our shores in search of a better life for themselves and their families. The NBA joins the President in calling on all Americans to work together to foster a constructive national conversation on immigration reform that builds a bipartisan consensus and leads to legislative reform. Furthermore, the NBA supports legislation that addresses the shortcoming of the current immigration system plaguing the US.

Criminal Justice

The United States’ criminal justice system faces significant challenges.  Over the past twenty-five years, the U.S. prison and jail population reached an all-time high and the number of people on probation and parole doubled. The NBA supports legislation that reduces the availability of firearms and ultimately decreases the number of violent crimes. The NBA also supports legislation that will address the shortcomings of the criminal justice system.



The disparate treatment of people of color and women in the work place is a problem that spans decades in the United States. Practices like unequal pay and assessing credit worthiness as a contingency of employment have a negative impact of minorities. It is of the utmost importance that the 113th Congress put in place legislation that increases the disclosure of information about how much workers are paid and prohibits the use of consumer reports in the assessment of potential employees.


Housing discrimination is a painful reality that targets communities of color and the poor. Furthermore, substandard segregated housing in minority communities exacerbates economic, political and educational disparities. The 113th Congress must increase the supply of affordable and accessible housing options that are integrated in the community, including home ownership and rental housing.



In the United States, racial and ethnic disparities in education exist across an array of domains. A number of studies document such disparities and show that they have developed and persisted over time in the context of historical and structural racism in ways that may influence policies, practices and programs. The NBA supports programming and legislation that addresses disparities in the education system and provides creative and specialized responses to adjudicated youths.




Past Initiatives

  • In conjunction with various state, local, and national legal groups, (including ABA, ATLA, NAACP, LDF and LCCR) the NBA co-sponsors various events to promote the continuing development of the profession.

  • Provided legal assistance to elderly African-Americans through the NBA Black Elderly Legal Assistance Support Project (BELASP). After its inception in 1986, BELASP conducted a variety of programs designed to improve the Black elderly's access to legal assistance. It provided many training and continuing legal education seminars for lawyers, including "Saving the Home and Defending Against Fraud and Scams."

  • Used a grant received from the Department Health and Human Services Administration on Aging to study the means of improving the delivery of legal services to the African American elderly poor, and to develop a process to recruit African American lawyers for providing pro bono and reduced fee services to this growing segment of the population.

    Intervened in Driscoll v. Regents of the University of California, a case which sought to invalidate the University's financial aid program.
  • Researched statistics and held public hearing on minority employment and promotion in the criminal system. 
  • Engaged in a Title VII loan fund sponsored by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to assist lawyers in litigating discrimination grievances.
  • Monitored attack on affirmative action programs in the nation's colleges and universities and educated students on the need for responsive activities.
  • Supported the right of Haitian refugees to seek asylum in the United States.
  • Promoted minority business enterprise and development through advocacy, technical assistance, and educational programs.
  • Launched the NBA Minority Bar Involvement Project, with funding from the Legal Services Corporation, which awarded grants to 12 sub-grantee organizations for the delivery of pro bono or reduced legal fee services.

Members the service below will assist you in identifying and emailing your U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senators.  






A Guide To Effective Federal, State And Local Lobbying

Provided By The National Bar Association Legislative Division And THE NBA PAC

Two objectives of the National Bar Association are ".. to promote legislation that will improve the economic condition of all American citizens, regardless of race, sex or creed in their efforts to secure a free and untrammeled use of the franchise guaranteed by the constitution of the United States; and to protect the civil and political rights of the citizens and residents of the United States ."

This pamphlet is designed to assist affiliate members in developing an advocacy strategy to accomplish these objectives. Affiliate members are encouraged to become advocates on issues that relate to our profession or affect the quality of life for individuals in their communities. Partnerships with like-minded organizations are also encouraged. 

Download Pamphlet (PDF)

Senator Durbin Hearing Testimony - National Bar Association.pdf247.41 KB
NBA_Legislative_Agenda_113th_Congress.pdf5.21 MB
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