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  • 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

  • 30 Oct 2017 12:15 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    The  U.S.  District  Court,  District  of  Minnesota  invites comments from members of the bar and public as to whether incumbent U.S. Magistrate Judge Leo I. Brisbois should be recommended for reappointment. Comments should be received  by  5:00  p.m.  (CST)  on  Friday,  December  1, 2017, and may be directed to:

                        U.S. District Court Clerk’s Office
                      ATTN: Tricia Pepin, Chief Deputy Clerk
                         300 South Fourth Street, Room 202
                               Minneapolis, MN 55415

    To   view   the   full   public   notice,  visit  the  Court’s  website  at

  • 06 Sep 2017 3:02 PM | Priscila Barron Sanchez (Administrator)

    Governor Dayton Appoints Thomas J. Conley and Nelson L. Peralta to Fill Fourth Judicial District Vacancies

     ST. PAUL, MN – Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the appointments of Thomas J. Conley and Nelson L. Peralta as District Court Judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District. Mr. Conley and Mr. Peralta will be replacing the Honorable Lyonel Norris and the Honorable Thomas M. Sipkins, and will be chambered at Minneapolis in Hennepin County.

     “I am pleased to appoint Mr. Thomas J. Conley and Mr. Nelson L. Peralta to serve as judges in Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Both Mr. Conley and Mr. Peralta will bring a diverse range of legal experience to the bench. I thank them for their willingness to serve their fellow Minnesotans.”

    About Thomas J. Conley

    Mr. Conley is a solo practitioner at the Law Office of Thomas J. Conley, where he handles employment discrimination cases and business disputes involving non-competition and confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, and contractual matters. Previously, he was a partner at Leonard, Street and Deinard, P.A., an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School, and an attorney at Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistant. Mr. Conley earned his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School.

     Mr. Conley is a volunteer mediator for the Minneapolis Commission on Civil Rights and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, past Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Loft Literacy Center.

     About Nelson L. Peralta

    Mr. Peralta is a solo practitioner at Peralta Law Firm, where his practice includes areas of immigration law, personal injury, and general litigation. Previously, he was a founding shareholder of Peralta & Peralta, Ltd., and an associate attorney at Capistrant & Associates, P.A., Livgard & Rabuse, P.L.L.P., and Peterson Fishman, Livgard & Capistrant, P.L.L.P. Mr. Peralta earned his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Michigan.

     Mr. Peralta is a board member of the Collaborative Community Law Initiative, a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and a volunteer attorney at Volunteer Lawyers Network. He is also a member and past president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association, and previously served on the Board of Directors for Minnesota Continuing Legal Education.

     Minnesota’s Fourth Judicial District consists of Hennepin County.

     More information on the Commission on Judicial Selection, as well as vacancies it is currently considering, can be found at http://mn.gov/governor/appointments/judicial-appointments/.

     Click here for headshots of Mr. Conley and Mr. Peralta. 

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