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  • 12 Apr 2018 4:48 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    Minnesota Women Lawyers Announces its 2018 Annual Awards Recipients

    Tuesday, April 10, 2018   (0 Comments
    Posted by: Hannah Zuercher

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  

    April 10, 2018
    Contact: Debra Pexa (612/338-3205; dpexa@mwlawyers.org)

    Minnesota Women Lawyers Announces its 2018 Annual Awards Recipients

    Minnesota Women Lawyers is pleased to announce its 2018 Annual Award recipients.  The Awards will be presented at MWL's 46th Annual Meeting on April 27, 2018.


    The MWL Equal Justice Award will be presented to Rebecca Rosefelt, a second-year law student at the University of Minnesota Law School, for her paper entitled “Empowerment to Breastfeed as a Right: Making Minneapolis a Global Leader in Women’s Rights.”  Honorable mention recognition will also go to Trevor Matthews, a third-year law student at University of Minnesota Law School for his paper entitled “Most Integrated Setting:  Omstead, Fry and Segregated Public Schools for Students with Disabilities.”  All Minnesota law students are invited to submit papers or articles they have written on a topic involving law and social justice.

    The MWL Leadership Award will be presented to Fish & Richardson P.C.  This award recognizes legal employers throughout the state that strive to enhance the status, influence and effectiveness of women lawyers in their employ.

    The Myra Bradwell Award will be presented to Luz Maria Frias, President & CEO at YWCA Minneapolis. This award is presented to an MWL member who expresses the highest ideals of the legal profession and who possesses the qualities exemplified by Myra Bradwell such as courage, perseverance and leadership on issues of concern to women. 

    The Service to MWL Award will be presented to Veena Iyer, Shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis.  This award is designed to recognize the MWL member, group of members or 100% club member whose efforts during the past program year have contributed substantially to advance MWL’s mission.

    Please join us at the MWL 46th Annual Meeting luncheon, as we honor each of our award recipients. All Annual Meeting guests and MWL Conference attendees are also invited to join us for a dessert reception immediately following the Annual Meeting luncheon and program.  Registration is available HERE.  Please RSVP by Monday, April 23rd, 2018.

    COMING SOON: MWL will highlight each of our award recipients in the forthcoming April 2018 issue of With Equal Right.

    For more information, Executive Director Debra Pexa (612/338-3205; dpexa@mwlawyers.org)

    Minnesota Women Lawyers is an association of nearly 1,300 attorneys, judges, law students and legal employers, dedicated to advancing the success of women attorneys and striving for a just society. 

  • 04 Apr 2018 10:49 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    Criminal Defense Services, Inc. (CDSI) is seeking applications for panel attorneys.  We are a nonprofit serving clients in Ramsey County, Minnesota.  Our attorneys provide representation at a reduced rate to people who do not qualify for the public defender but cannot afford private attorney rates.  CDSI attorneys are compensated a flat fee for their services based on the type of case handled.  Working with CDSI is a great way to give back to the community, gain courtroom experience, develop a solid reputation with Ramsey County justice partners, and supplement an existing practice.  Candidates must be licensed in Minnesota.  For more information, please check out criminaldefenseservices.org.  If interested, please email Shauna Verheyen for an application at criminal.defense.services@gmail.com.  Attorneys from diverse backgrounds encouraged to apply. 

  • 04 Apr 2018 10:37 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    The 2018 MWL Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis (1300 Nicollet Mall) and will feature a full day of CLE programming, geared towards the diverse practice areas and experience levels represented by MWL's membership. 

     MWL is honored to welcome morning keynote speaker Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the New York Public Library and past Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession from 2014-2017.  The 2018 MWL Conference will also incorporate MWL's 46th Annual Meeting as a luncheon program.  To conclude the day MWL is pleased to present an interactive workshop led by Toni Halleen, COO and Co-Owner of Schaefer Halleen, entitled: “Say Yes to Diversity! What Improv can Teach Us About Embracing the ‘Big Tent’”.  

    AFFINITY BAR REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: All Minnesota Affinity Bar Members are welcome to register for the 2018 MWL Conference at the MWL Member rate. (Registrants: simply choose the MWL member rate, and then list your affinity bar on the registration form.)

  • 11 Mar 2018 12:05 AM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    State Law Library to host exhibit, panel discussion on the “Latino Legal Experience in Minnesota”

    Exhibit open March 19-30; panel discussion to be held March 27


    For immediate release


    St. Paul, Minn. (February 28, 2018) – In March, the Minnesota State Law Library in St. Paul will host a traveling exhibit celebrating the successes and accomplishments of Latino professionals in Minnesota’s legal community, and recognizing legal struggles faced by the state’s Hispanic community. The exhibit, the “Latino Legal Experience in Minnesota,” will be available for free, self-guided tours at the Minnesota State Law Library from Monday, March 19, through Friday, March 30.


    During the exhibition, the State Law Library will also host a panel discussion with several of the people who helped develop the “Latino Legal Experience in Minnesota” exhibit.The panel discussion, which will feature welcoming remarks from Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie S. Gildea, will be held on Tuesday, March 27, from Noon to 1:15 p.m. The discussion will be moderated by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery, and will feature Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge Peter M. Reyes, Jr.; Ann Anaya of 3M, who previously served as an assistant U.S. attorney; and Assistant United States Attorney Lola Velazquez-Aguilu. The event will be held in Room 230 of theMinnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul, two floors above the State Law Library.


    Following the panel discussion on March 27, visitors will be invited to the State Law Library to tour the “Latino Legal Experience in Minnesota” exhibit.  Visitors to the Library may also view a 30-minute film titled, “Someone Like Me Can Do This,” created from eighteen unscripted conversations with members of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association.


    Both the exhibit and panel discussion are free and open to the public. The State Law Library has applied for one hour of Elimination of Bias CLE credit for the March 27 panel discussion.


    The Minnesota State Law Library is located on the ground floor of the Minnesota Judicial Center at 25 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in St. Paul. The Library is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.


    The "Latino Legal Experience in Minnesota" exhibit is on loan from the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.


    About the Minnesota Judiciary


    The Minnesota Judicial Branch is made up of 10 judicial districts with 293 district court judgeships, 19 Court of Appeals judges, and seven Supreme Court justices. The Judicial Branch is governed by the Judicial Council, which is chaired by Lorie S. Gildea, Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.  The Minnesota Judicial Branch is mandated by the Minnesota Constitution to resolve disputes promptly and without delay. In 2017, there were nearly 1.3 million cases filed in district courts in Minnesota. For more information please visit www.mncourts.gov

  • 02 Feb 2018 10:37 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    ** SAVE THE DATE ** 

    Chief Judge John R. Tunheim, 
    Judge Wilhelmina M. Wright, 
    Judge Michael J. Davis, 
    Magistrate Judge Tony N. Leung 
    and the 
    Judges of the District of Minnesota 

    invite you to join them in 

    honoring our minority judges in the Minnesota State and Federal Courts 

    at a reception on 

    Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm 
    to be held at the United States Courthouse 

    300 South 4
    th Street, Minneapolis, MN. 

    NOTE: A group picture will be taken at 6:00 pm 

    A formal invitation with details will follow.

  • 26 Jan 2018 8:54 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    The Volunteer Lawyers Network and Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association present
    Journey to Citizenship CLE Training: Representing Citizenship Applicants Pro Bono

    Monday, March 5, 2018
    11:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
    Faegre Baker Daniels LLP
    90 South Seventh Street, Suite 2200
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    Achieving the dream of becoming a U.S. citizen is the goal of many immigrants in the U.S. The Volunteer Lawyers Network is presenting this CLE in partnership with the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association to train volunteer lawyers who will represent VLN clients in the naturalization process. 

    The CLE will:

    ·   Define U.S. citizenship, who is a citizen, and the different ways to obtain U.S. citizenship

    ·   Explain the benefits to becoming a U.S. citizen

    ·   Educate on the requirements to naturalize in the U.S.A.  through lecture and group work on hypothetical situations

    ·   Educate on the naturalization application process

    ·   Review local and national resources

    ·   Provide lawyers volunteer opportunities through VLN to represent clients ready to apply for naturalization. 

    3.5 CLE credits applied for. Lunch provided. Space is limited.
    VLN will ask participants to volunteer with this project.
    For more information or to volunteer for this project please contact barb@vlnmn.org
    Please register by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2018. 

    Register by 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 28, 2018. 
    To register for this CLE, visit 



    Colleen Beebe Purisaca, Program Manager/Resource Attorney

    Immigrant Legal Services Program and Community Clinics
    Volunteer Lawyers Network

    600 Nicollet Mall, Ste 390A

    Minneapolis, MN  55402

    612.752.6670 (direct line) | 612.752.6656 (fax) | www.vlnmn.org

    Colleen is in office, generally, Monday thru Thursday mornings. Emails are normally reviewed and responded to on those days.


    Celebrate VLN’s 50 years of serving the community by making a donation at https://www.vlnmn.org/donate/


  • 03 Jan 2018 9:34 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    Volunteer Opportunity

    Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota: Community Defense Project

    The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota is seeking the assistance of 6-8 volunteer attorneys to participate in a pilot pro bono project we are launching in 2018; The Community Defense Project. Community Defense Project volunteers will travel with ILCM staff attorneys to local detention facilities to provide legal screenings and pro se assistance to detained immigrants.

    These services are desperately needed. The number of immigrants being apprehended by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has skyrocketed over the past year; with hundreds of individuals being detained and facing deportation in facilities throughout the state. Cut off from family and resources, these individuals face an uphill battle in accessing services and defending themselves against removal. The Community Defense Project will mobilize volunteers to help detainees overcome these barriers. Volunteers, with the assistance of supervising attorneys, will provide detainees with much needed legal advice, pro se assistance, and assist organizations like ILCM identify cases for potential full representation.

    Volunteer Opportunity Overview:

    Volunteers will participate in a short training in February 2018. Following the training, volunteers will participate in 1-2 detention facility visits per month from February-April 2018. The dates of detention facility visits will be scheduled by ILCM staff (dates TBA). Visits will be during the work week, and will generally last from 7:00 AM-5:30 PM (volunteers must be able to commit to the full shift). Volunteers will be required to travel 1-2 hours for detention facility visits. The services provided by Community Defense volunteer will be brief service, so there will be no responsibilities outside of the visits themselves.

    Volunteer Requirements:

    No immigration experience is needed to participate in this project. Volunteers will be provided training and intensive on-sight mentorship throughout the project. There is also no second-language requirement for this project. Preference will be given to Spanish-speaking volunteers, but all volunteers are welcome and are encouraged to participate. All volunteers must have an active attorney license, and be able to commit to at least one full-day volunteer shift per month from February 2018-April 2018.

    How to Get Involved:

    If you are interested in volunteering with the Community Defense Project please fill out ILCM’s attached Interested Volunteer Form and email it to probono@ilcm.org by January 10th 2018. In the email Subject Line, please list “Community Defense Project.” A representative from ILCM will follow-up with all interested volunteers following the January 10th deadline.

  • 29 Dec 2017 9:23 AM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    The Advocates for Human Rights has an ongoing need for volunteer interpreters and translators to assist our low-income asylum clients.

    We need volunteers to translate documents and help with in-person meetings/interviews. Our clients speak nearly 50 different languages, so the need for language assistance is great. In particular, we need individuals who speak French, Amharic, Oromo, Somali, Arabic, Spanish, and Hmong.

    We train, support, and provide resource materials to our volunteers. Training is provided through periodic orientations.

    Interpreters do not need to attend a training before beginning work on a case, but all volunteers must complete a confidentiality agreement.

    To volunteer, please fill out our Volunteer Interpreter Sign-Up Form and someone will contact you to talk more about how you can help.

    To access the our Volunteer Interpreter Manual, click here.

    *If you are interested in working specifically on asylum cases, please contact Allison Griffith (agriffith@advrights.org).

  • 13 Nov 2017 2:30 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)


    Minnesota Department of Human Rights logo

    Diverse group of individuals meet to discuss ideas


    Serve on a State Board or Commission

    Connect, engage and participate in the policy decisions that impact you by serving on a state board, commission or taskforce. Attend an information session to meet others who have served, hear about current opportunities and learn how to apply. Light refreshments will be provided.

    To request an ADA accommodation, please contact Civic Engagement Coordinator Mai Thor at 651.539.1165 or mai.thor@state.mn.us at least four business days in advance.

    Learn more and register online.


    All sessions 6-8pm

    • Bemidji, November 15th
    • Duluth, November 16th
    • Worthington, November 29th
    • Rochester, November 30th
    • St. Paul, December 6th
    • Brooklyn Center, December 13th
    • St. Cloud, December 14th


    This project is a joint initiative of the Office of Governor Mark Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith, Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Olmstead Implementation Office and Nexus Community Partners, aimed at increasing the diversity of the State's Boards and Commissions.


    learn more

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