Emilie R. Ninan, a partner in the Public Finance Department of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, will receive the 2008 Cornerstone Award from the North American South Asian Bar Association (NASABA) on June 26. Ms. Ninan, who is responsible for the firm's public finance practice in Delaware, is a national advocate for South Asian lawyers and women of color in the legal field.

She is founder and president of the South Asian Bar Association of Delaware, which was the 24th chapter of NASABA and the state's first minority bar association. Ms. Ninan is the first female South Asian partner elected to a major law firm in Delaware and was the first partner of color in the 180-year history of her former firm, one of the largest in the state. Her experience as one of the few female South Asian partners in an Am Law 100 firm has prompted her to take a national lead in developing support for other lawyers with similar backgrounds.

Ms. Ninan co-founded the South Asian Women Attorneys' Network, which, among other things, creates professional development programming for NASABA's annual convention, and has just completed a series of speaking engagements on the report "Visible Invisibility: Women of Color in Law Firms"  by the American Bar Association's Commission on Women.

The Cornerstone Award recognizes individuals who best exemplify NASABA's objectives, including promoting professional development through networking, education advocacy, and mentoring; serving the legal markets and ensuring the civil liberties of the South Asian community and the community at large; and encouraging greater participation by the South Asian legal community in the legal profession. Ms. Ninan will receive the award at NASABA's annual convention, June 26-29 in Chicago.


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