National Bar Association, 1225 11th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
August 15, 2007
Corporate Counsel Elected President of National Bar Association
WASHINGTON, DC - (August 8, 2007) …Vanita Banks, Counsel, Allstate Insurance Company,
Northbrook, Illinois, was sworn in as President of the National Bar Association (NBA)
on August 3, 2007. Banks is only the second female attorney from corporate America
to be elected as NBA President since the organization was founded in 1925.
Banks, a senior corporate counsel and dedicated community advocate, assumed the position
of the 65th President of the National Bar Association during its 82nd Annual Convention,
held July 28-August 4, 2007, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia.
"I am proud and humbled to serve as the 65th President of the National Bar Association,
a professional association of talented leaders whose collaborative efforts uplift
our communities", said Banks. "I will continue to focus on increasing diversity in
the legal profession so that our profession reflects our communities which it serves".
Banks has a long-standing record of tireless dedication to increasing diversity in
the legal profession. As a founding member of the Allstate Law & Regulation Department
Diversity Committee, her accomplishments include a summer internship program that
provides learning and employment opportunities for minority law school students,
and a collaborative effort with Allstate's Premier Law Firms that includes working
with minority high school students to promote legal career opportunities, mentoring
college and law school students, participating in minority job fairs, and providing
"So many people whose opinions I highly regard see the same path as I do in the NBA's
future", said Banks. "Civic groups, professional and fraternal organizations comprised
of people of color have never been so powerful, and at the same time, so needed.
The National Bar Association is the natural nexus for cooperative efforts among organizations
committed to serving our communities".
Banks earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Purdue University
in West Lafayette, and her Juris Doctor from The Valparaiso University School of
Law, in Valparaiso, Indiana. She also received an L.L.M. in Taxation from DePaul
University College of Law in Chicago. Banks was recently designated a Purdue University
Old Master and is a member of the American Bar Association, Cook County Bar Association,
Black Women Lawyers of Chicago and North Shore Labor Counsel. She is a member of
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Links, Incorporated. Vanita Banks is married
to businessman James Bly, also a graduate of Purdue University.