The National Bar Association (NBA), Arnold & Porter, and the Arnold & Porter Foundation are committed to addressing retention issues in the nation’s largest law firms (e.g., the AmLaw 200 law firms). To that end, the NBA has entered into a partnership with Arnold & Porter and the Arnold & Porter Foundation (collectively, "A&P") to develop and implement a program specifically intended to facilitate the retention and advancement of Black attorneys in AmLaw 200 firms. As part of the partnership, NBA is proud to announce the development of the NBA Associate Advancement Academy for Excellence-a tailored career advancement academy for Black associates within the first 3 years of practice in an AmLaw 200 firm developed with the support of NBA’s Minority Partners in Majority Firms Division, Young Lawyer Division, Commercial Law Section and Corporate Law Section.
About the NBA Associate Advancement Academy for Excellence
The NBA Associate Advancement Academy for Excellence ("NBA Advancement Academy" or "Academy") is specifically intended to facilitate the advancement and retention of Black attorneys in the nation's largest law firms. The Academy, which will run annually from July 1st to June 30th of each year, includes educational, networking, mentoring, and pro bono/community service components tailored to advance the careers of Black attorneys within the first 3 years of practice in an AmLaw 200 firm. The Academy will cover a range of topics integral to successful advancement in law firm practice, including the following:
- Anatomy of a Big Law Firm
- Navigating a Law Firm and Capitalizing on Firm Professional Staff
- Legal Research & Writing Skills
- Accounting 101 & Corporate Basics
- The Art of Business Development/Learning a Client's Business
- The Clients: In House Legal Perspectives
- Overview of Regulatory Practices
- Building your Brand-Externally
- Building your Brand-Internally
- The NBA & Using Your Legal Skills to Benefit the Black Community
- Wellness (physical and mental)
- Doing Well While Doing Good (successfully integrating pro bono/service into firm practice and as a tool for training building your brand)
Academy participants, ("NBA Associate Advancement Academy for Excellence Fellows" and "Fellows"), will participate in monthly educational and networking sessions, monthly mentoring check=ins with an NBA law firm partner mentor and in-house mentor, and various NBA events throughout the year. In particular, Fellows will be expected to commit to the following:
- Attendance at a 1.5 hour monthly virtual professional development session
- Mentoring check-ins with NBA law firm partner mentor and corporate mentor
- Attendance at the following NBA Events:
- Annual Convention - (Launch) - July 2021
- Corporate Law Section's Gateway to Success Seminar - November 2021*
- Commercial Law Section Conference - February 2022
- NBA Annual Convention (Graduation) - July 2022
The first cohort (2021-2022) will include 20 associates, with no more than two associates from any one firm.
*Dependent on the current state of the Covid-19 pandemic. May be rescheduled to March 2022 if needed.
How To Apply?
Each applicant must submit the following materials by May 28, 2021:
1. NBA Associate Advancement Academy Application - Applicant Form
2. NBA Associate Advancement Academy Application - Firm Support Certification
3. Statement from Firm Managing Partner, Office Managing Partner, or your Practice Group Chair explaining why the firm recommends you for the Academy (no more than 250 words)
4. Current Resume
5. Letter of Interest detailing why you want to be a participant in the Academy
The Application Materials should be submitted as one PDF to
For more information about the Academy, please contact us at AAAcademy@nationalbar.org
About the National Bar Association
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 66,000 lawyers, judges, law professors, and law students. The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law section, 10 divisions, 12 regions, and over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world, including the Young Lawyer Division, Minority Partners in Majority Firms Division, Commercial Law Section and Corporate Law Section. The NBA has a relationship with a number of corporate sponsors .
Interested in serving as a mentor for the Academy? Please click here to submit your information.