Since its founding in 1982, the National Bar Institute (NBI) has established and implemented many successful programs. The NBI also collaborates with other groups and organizations to ensure the best possible outcomes in sustaining and supporting various projects aligned with promoting the legal profession and serving those in need of assistance.

Programs Include:

  • NBI Law Scholars receive scholarships and bar exam fee assistance as rising 2L students.
  • The NBI Clyde E. Bailey, Sr. and Rapheal M. Prevot, Jr. Annual Golf Tournament.

NBI Law Scholars Program

In May 2021, the National Bar Institute (NBI) launched a new scholarship program with the first phase targeting law students attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The first cohort of selected law students are attending the following law schools: Florida A&M College of Law; Howard University School of Law; North Carolina Central University School of Law; Southern University Law Center; University of the District of Columbia School of Law; and Texas Southern University (Marshall) Law School.

Each law school Dean nominated two 2L law students. Based on certain academic criteria, the NBI Grants Committee selected one student from each school as the NBI Law Scholar.

The program is structured to award each Law Scholar a grant at the beginning of his/her second year. Another grant will be awarded at the beginning of the third year of law school. At the end of the third year, the Scholar will receive a grant to help cover the cost of a bar review course and bar application fees. During the summer, between their 2L and 3L year, Law Scholars will be required to submit a detailed essay addressing ways corporate America can advance social justice. The overall scholarship amount is based on the Law Scholar continuing to qualify each year.

For the students not selected as Law Scholars, the NBI will award a one-time scholarship of $1,000 each to help with law school expenses.

National Bar Association Commercial Law Section (NBA-CLS)

The National Bar Association Commercial Law Section (NBA-CLS) is committed to creating networking, learning and sharing opportunities for external and in-house counsel practicing in the area of Commercial Law.

This is primarily achieved by offering meaningful programming and networking opportunities for its members to learn from and share with each other, including at the NBA-CLS Annual Corporate Counsel Conference each year in February.

Since 2017, the National Bar Institute (NBI) has partnered with the NBA-CLS to put on community outreach projects in conjunction with the annual Corporate Counsel Conference. This impactful program has also resulted in scholarship awards to African American students who are attending or who have expressed an intent to attend law school. Representatives from the NBI and the NBA-CLS have met with the predominantly African American leadership teams at various schools to exchange ideas and suggestions on how each respective program could better serve its objective of preparing diverse talent for a legal career.

2018 NBA CLS Conference, Orlando, FL
Section Members with Florida A&M Law Students

Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Program

The National Bar Association’s inaugural Martin Luther King, Jr. Drum Major for Justice Advocacy Competition was held at the 75th Annual Convention in Washington, D.C. The competition originated under the leadership of NBA Past President Harold D. Pope, with the assistance of Vanessa Miree Mays, and resulted from the historical success of a similar competition created in 1993 by A. Kay Stanfield Spinks, Past President of the NBA Affiliate Chapter D. Augustus Straker Bar Association, Southfield, Michigan. As a result of the overwhelming success of the Competition, the National Bar Association with the support of the National Bar Institute (NBI), adopted it as a national program.

Presently, the NBI partners with the National Bar Association Commercial Law Section to conduct the National Competition.

Contestants progress through Regional Competitions. No more than 12 contestants (one from each National Bar Association Region) will be invited to compete in the National Competition.

According to placement, winners will receive a one-time scholarship in the following amounts: First Place – $5,000, Second Place – $3,500, Third Place – $2,000 and $500 for the remaining competitors.

Crump Law Camp

An amazing opportunity to experience entry into the legal profession

The National Bar Institute (NBI) is a sustaining supporter of the Crump Law Camp, providing 9th to 11th grade students of diverse backgrounds and ethnicities an opportunity to become better informed about the American judicial system.

The Law Camp’s namesake is Mr. John Crump, Emeritus Executive Director of the National Bar Association, who oversaw its operations for 35 years. Mr. Crump shares chairing the program with Evett L. Simmons, Esq., founder of the program and former National Bar Association President.

Ms. Simmons believed that with so few students of color entering the pipeline to become lawyers, it was necessary for the NBA to think outside of the box and create an incubator process of “growing our own attorneys.” Today, the award-winning Law Camp has graduated nearly 600 students from across the country and internationally. The Hispanic National Bar Association, the Native American Bar Association and the National Asian Pacific Bar Association have also supported the Law Camp.

The first two-week program was held in 2001 at Howard University Law School, in which 32 students were chaperoned in campus dormitories and taught civil and criminal law by actual law professors in Howard University School of Law classrooms. This remained the format until the pandemic when the Law Camp was conducted virtually.

The highlight of the Law Camp is the Evett L. Simmons Mock Trial Competition, which allows students to sharpen their communication, persuasion, and public speaking skills. Law Professors are assigned to give special attention to each student to improve his or her trial speaking skills.

The Law Camp allows for students to develop lasting friendships and has been the incubator for many who are lawyers today. The motto of the Law Camp is “Growing Lawyers-Building Character.”

Clyde E. Bailey, Sr. & Rapheal M. Prevot, Jr. NBI Annual Golf Tournament

For more than two decades, the National Bar Institute (NBI) has been the sponsor of the golf tournament held during the National Bar Association Annual Convention.

The Clyde E. Bailey, Sr. and Rapheal M. Prevot, Jr. National Bar Institute Annual Golf Tournament has been a major fundraiser for the NBI for over two (2) decades. The inaugural naming event took place in New Orleans, Louisiana on August 12, 2010, during the National Bar Association’s 85th Annual Convention. Both of the namesakes were stalwart NBI members and avid golfers:

Clyde E. Bailey, Sr. was a distinguished patent lawyer for Eastman Kodak Company of Rochester, New York. During his illustrious career as a patent attorney, he prepared and prosecuted well over 500 patent applications world-wide. He was a past president of the NBA, past president of the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors, and served in numerous leadership positions in trade and charitable organizations.

Rapheal M. Prevot, Jr. was based in New York City, where he served for more than 15 years, as labor relations counsel for the National Football League. Previously, he served as an assistant attorney and division chief, in the office of the Dade County, Florida State Attorney’s Office, under State’s Attorney Janet Reno, and as a litigator for Florida-based Adorno & Zeder. He was a dedicated member of the NBA and was inducted into the Entertainment, Sports, and Art Law Section’s Hall of Fame. He was a member of NBI’s Board of Directors and served on the golf committee for several years.

Proceeds from the annual golf tournament support the signature programs of the NBI, including sponsorship and assistance to local youth golf clinics.

Left to right Chair Walter Sutton, NBI Tournament Co-Chair Frieda L. Wheaton, Treasurer Frank Seales, and Tournament Co-Chair Fred Dorse. Frieda and Fred were instrumental in running the event for many years.

Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO)

Since first being established in 1968, the Council on Legal Education Opportunity, Inc. (CLEO) has diligently strived to fulfill its mission, which is “to inspire, motivate, and prepare students from underrepresented communities to succeed in law school and beyond.”

For decades, the generous, steadfast support that CLEO has consistently received from both the National Bar Association and National Bar Institute (NBI) has significantly aided in this effort and positioned the organization to reach even more members of their target demographic.

Photo taken at AIE/ASAP Pre-Law Seminar in summer of 2017 at New York Law School.

Other Supported Organizations

Financial support has also been granted to the following:

National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA)

National Bar Association Women’s Lawyers Division

National Bar Association Young Lawyers Division

National Bar Association Judicial Council Division

National Association of the Bench and Bar