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Men and women sharing a common heritage in a chosen profession.

President's Messages


A welcome to the National Italian American Bar Association.

(February 2023)

The Board of Directors met in New York City in February 2023.  Directors from across the United States, Canada and Italy attended meetings at the Columbus Citizens Foundation. 

At the Thursday evening dinner the Board and our many guests were welcomed by the Consul General of New York, Fabrizio DiMichele.  The Saturday evening dinner crowd enjoyed remarks from Arthur Aidala, the leading criminal defense lawyer in the City.  The Dean of the John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, Anthony Tamburri, PhD, addressed the Board.  The Institute is working with our Director Maria Chiara Parisi on a significant study of discriminatory patterns that continue today.  We were visited, as well, by Maria Tamburri, Chair of The National Organization of Italian American Women.

During the Board meeting, there were in person and virtual events of special note:

  1. We joined with our colleagues and friends of the Australian Italian Bar Association (AIBA).  We jointly announced that in September 2024, NIABA and AIBA will conduct a joint seminar in Italy for our members.  The seminar will be attended, as well, by Italian lawyers, bringing the number of attorney attendees to one-hundred fifty.  As details are finalized among the two associations and in concert with our Italian partners, Unione CRINT Italianae, there will be confirmation of date, details regarding the location, and opportunities presented for participation.  As always, the attorneys attending the seminar are welcome to bring family, friends, and those interested in our cause!  See details to follow!

  2. We were joined, as well, by Honorable Basil Russo, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major Italian American Organizations (COPOMIAO).  Judge Russo brought our Board current with ongoing litigation.  Attorney George Bochetto of Philadelphia, the counsel undertaking litigation in a number of jurisdictions on the Columbus statue and holiday defense explained the basis and nature of ongoing proceedings.  A protocol is being worked out between the Conference of Presidents and NIABA so that our association can serve as resource to communities particularly impacted by unlawful takings or destruction of Columbus statues and improper stripping of Columbus holidays.  Any members or readers with deep interest in the litigation, administrative proceedings or other forums in which success can be found on these subjects should contact NIABA at cindylu616@comcast.net.

  3. A cocktail hour arranged by Chairwoman Cristina Carabetta for New York-area law students.  Nearly twenty students from Fordham, Cardozo, St John’s, and Catholic law schools joined an august group of our directors and officers for robust conversation. A NIABA welcome of warmth and emotion was extended to these students which included several Italian admitted attorneys now making their way through schools in the United States.

  4. The annual general membership meeting of NIABA will take place in Chicago on June 8 through 11, 2023.  All NIABA members are welcome to attend!  Please make your travel reservations, particularly airline, now.  The designated hotel and dinner events will soon be posted at niaba.org.

During the two-year term now concluding, I have been privileged to serve as president.  I look forward to continued participation under the new leadership team!

Special thanks are given to those with whom I have served as officers.  Our Executive Vice President, Frank Sommario of Chicago, our Secretary, Alice Salvo of Los Angeles, and our Treasurer, P. Charles DiLorenzo of New Jersey, have each been dedicated servants of NIABA and great partners in the last two years.  I thank, as well, our Chairwoman of the Board, Cristina Carabetta of Connecticut and New York.  Our Chairwoman has led us well and is drawing law students and recent admittees from the bars of all the states to NIABA.  Her special attention and regard for the lifeblood of the future for NIABA has been so much appreciated by us all. 

In June, a new era under the leadership of Attorney Frank Sommario of Chicago will be underway.  As a great indicator of how it will go, I can assure that Frank is already actively engaged and will hit the ground running upon his inaugural event on June 8-11, 2023.  Of particular importance to all NIABA members and readers, Frank is strengthening our committee structure and urges participation by any NIABA member in each of those committees.  See on this website the collection of committees for the opportunities.  Kindly email your interest in service and be assured that with a smoothly functioning committee system, your participation will be real, active, and recognized!

As my term as president nears its end, I look backward with appreciation but look forward with renewed excitement and dedication to our NIABA cause and mission!

Francis M. Donnarumma


(March 2023)

Dear Colleagues,

We are reaching out to seek your involvement on an important new project. The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute, part of The City University of New York (CUNY), and the National Italian American Bar Association (NIABA) have partnered to conduct a study on Italian Americans and the legal profession. Although data on diversity in the legal profession is often published by national and state bar associations, there has not yet been a study that includes data on the career paths of Italian American law students and lawyers. This study is the first to explore Italian Americans’ representation and experiences in various sectors of the legal field, helping us gain valuable insight into how Italian Americans are currently situated in the legal profession. 

We hope you will contribute to the study by filling out a 3-minute survey that we are distributing to Italian American law students and lawyers throughout the country. The deadline to complete the survey is April 30th.

Though we know that Italian American lawyers have made great strides over the last century, this survey addresses salient unanswered questions on Italian Americans and the legal profession. For example, what legal practice areas, such as employment or property law, do Italian American lawyers gravitate towards? How are Italian American lawyers distributed among different employment sectors, such as private firms, non-profits, or government? To what extent are Italian American lawyers represented in the most “elite” legal spaces, such as academia, the federal judiciary, major law firms, or top law schools? How many Italian American lawyers feel that they have been discriminated against in their legal careers due to their ethnicity? And how might the legal paths of Italian Americans diverge depending on age, gender, sexual orientation, or immigration status? 

Broad participation in the survey is imperative to build the empirical grounding to start a conversationboth within and outside of the Italian American communityabout the unique challenges and opportunities Italian Americans face in their legal careers. We hope you will participate in this opportunity to get a deeper understanding of Italian Americans and the legal profession. 

Thank you, 

Francis Donnarumma

President, National Italian American Bar Association (NIABA)

Dr. Anthony Tamburri 

Dean, John D. Calandra Italian American Institute of Queens College at The City University of New York (CUNY)


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