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Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 5, 2012

The meeting was chaired by Alan Haynes.

In Attendance: David Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen (by phone), Ellie Krug, Jodi Schmidt, Chris Courtney, Dale Bjorkman, Lawrencina Oramalu, Iris Ramos Nieves,  Christine Yun Sauer, John (Jack) Hennen, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Guest Speakers:  Jeremiah Brown and Joel Lampe of AchieveMpls.

AchieveMpls:
Jeremiah Brown and Joel Lampe presented the Committee with information about Step-Up Achieve – a program that places young people from Minneapolis in paid summer jobs with top local companies, nonprofits and public agencies and provides work readiness training, professional connections and ongoing support.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Lampe encouraged everyone to become involved either by sponsoring a student at his/her law firm; or becoming a member of the Advisory Board.  For more information, visit http://www.achievempls.org/

HCBA Diversity Committee/Big Brother Big Sister Lawyer Pipeline Project:
Ellen Krug presented the Committee with information regarding a Lawyer Pipeline Project, a collaboration between the Hennepin County Bar Association and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Twin Cities (BBBS). It is intended to encourage and support inner city youth who are interested in pursuing careers in the legal profession.  Ms. Krug encouraged everyone to consider becoming a mentor; and asked that everyone help spread the word about this exciting program.

Update on Voter ID Amendment:
It was reported that the Minnesota State Bar Association, at its September 28 Assembly meeting, voted not to take a position on this issue.  Committee members expressed their concerns and noted their disappointment in the lack of leadership by the MSBA on this important issue. After some discussion, it was agreed that Ellie Krug would draft a resolution to be circulated to the full committee via email for a vote.  The resolution will state the Committee’s objection to the MSBA Assembly’s vote in not taking a position and the lack of leadership by the MSBA on this issue.

Update on Diversity Strategic Planning Committee:
David Ahlvers provided a progress update on the initiative to recommend that the MSBA hire a full-time director-level position for diversity.  The next meeting is November 5.  The goal is to submit a recommendation to the MSBA Council by December 31, 2012.

Subcommittee Updates:

Next Meeting;
The Committee will meet next on November 5, 2012 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 7, 2012

The meeting was chaired by Alan Haynes.

In Attendance: David Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen, Ellie Krug, Justi Miller, Jodi Schmidt, Chris Courtney, Sonia Miller-Van Ort, John (Jack) Hennen, Gail Brandt, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Also in attendance:  Robert Enger (MSBA President, via phone).

Chair Alan Haynes welcomed everyone to the Committee and thanked everyone for attending.  Introductions were made.

Discussion on Voter ID Amendment:
The Committee discussed whether or not to take a position on the voter ID amendment that will be on the ballot this November.  It was noted that the MSBA General Policy Committee has voted to recommend that the MSBA oppose the amendment, and that the General Policy Committee’s Resolution will be on the Agenda for a vote at the MSBA Assembly meeting on September 14.

After a brief discussion, the Committee felt it was important for the Diversity Committee to also take a position on this issue.  A motion was made and seconded for the Committee to oppose the Voter ID Amendment and to recommend the MSBA also oppose the amendment.  Motion carried.

Discussion of request for support from Minnesota Legal Services Coalition regarding state funding for legal services resolution:
The Minnesota Legal Services Coalition has requested the Committee’s support in a resolution that calls for the removal of the rider language to the state appropriation for civil legal services.  Background information was circulated via email prior to the meeting and was distributed at the meeting. 

After some discussions, a motion was made and seconded for the Committee to endorse the Resolution adopted by the Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee and urges the MSBA to adopt a legislative position to support the removal of the rider language to the state appropriation for civil legal services.  Motion was carried.

Update on Diversity Strategic Planning Committee:
David Ahlvers provided a progress update on the initiative to recommend that the MSBA hire a full-time director-level position for diversity.  The group has divided into 4 Subcommittees (Overall Purpose, Internal Value-added Efforts, External Value-added Efforts, and Staff); and the goal is to have a report and recommendation to the MSBA leadership at the end of December.  The full committee meets next on September 25 at noon at the MSBA offices.  Members of the Diversity Committee are welcome to attend any of the upcoming meetings (September 25, November 6, and November 20).  All meetings are at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Subcommittee Updates:

Meeting Schedule:
The Committee will continue to meet monthly on the first Friday of the month from 12- 1 p.m. at the MSBA offices.  The next meeting is October 5.

Meeting adjourned.

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 8, 2012

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

In Attendance:   Lawrencia Oramalu, Divya Van Ness (via phone) and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates

Other Business
The MSBA will consider amending its Bylaws to allow a suspended lawyer to continue as member of the Association. According to Tim Groshens, MSBA Executive Director, the MSBA bylaws were amended in the early 1980’s to allow continued membership at the option of the member.  Mr. Groshens does not recall discussion leading to its removal and speculates that it may have been dropped in the process of amending other sections.  Mr. Groshens plans to suggest an amendment to allow membership and would welcome the support of interested organizations, including Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers and the Diversity Committee.  Joan Bibelhausen indicated that the LCL Board will consider a letter of support and proposed that the Diversity Committee support this as well because of the impact this may have when disability is involved.  This will be discussed further and voted on at the next meeting when we hopefully will have quorum.

Duluth EOB CLE – there is an anti-racism white privilege campaign underway in Duluth – www.unfaircampaign.org.  LCL was asked to present a CLE on March 21, 2012 and later asked if they could also do something related to the campaign.  LCL has connected with local attorney Melanie Ford. Ms. Ford has been involved in anti-racism for years and was recently the St. Louis County Attorney where she initiated a number of anti-racism efforts.  LCL will present an hour on stress, trauma, mental health and addiction.  This will segue into Ms. Ford’s presentation in the second hour which will include historical trauma. 

The Committee will co-sponsor the following William Mitchell upcoming programs:
           Fueling the Leadership Pipeline in a Post-Grutter and Post-Obama Era, featuring Chancellor Dennis Shield | Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. | William Mitchell College of Law
William Mitchell College of Law’s Office of Multicultural Affairs invites you to a forum to discuss the role of diversity in law school and in the legal profession.

•           Project 15 | Friday, March 30 – Noon – 1 p.m. | William Mitchell Auditorium
“515 – The Tour!”, an artistic representation of the real-life discrimination faced by same-sex couples and their families in Minnesota. Minnesota law defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Using this definition, research has shown that there are at least 515 laws in our state that exclude same-sex couples from certain rights and responsibilities conferred automatically via marriage. 515 high lights many of these laws through theater, dance and music. 515 presents a vision of a world of equality where all families are equally valued and respected under the law in their homes, neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities.

The next meeting is April 6, 2012.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 6, 2012

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

In Attendance:   Jodi Schmidt, Tom Nelson, Justi Miller, Divya Van Ness and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates

Other Business
The Committee’s resolution calling on the MSBA to join the ABA Pledge for Change will be on the MSBA Assembly Agenda in April.

Next meeting is February 3, 2012.

Meeting adjourned.

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 4, 2011

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

In Attendance:  Joan Bibelhausen, Alan Haynes, Tom Nelson, Justi Miller and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Updates on current projects

Report on October 25, 2011 Minority Bar Summit Meeting
Alan Haynes and Leslie Altman reported on the 2011 SAGE Report on Gender Equity and Diversity.  An update from the Affinity Project (a successful program on how to get more minorities onto the Bench) was also on the agenda.

Discuss future leadership of the Diversity Committee
David Ahlver’s term as Chair will be expiring June 30, 2011.  The Committee will need a new chair for 2011-12.  Members who are interested in this leadership opportunity should let Dave (davidahlvers@gmail.com) or Tram (tnguyen@mnbar.org) know.  Committee chairs are appointed by the MSBA incoming President. 

Next meeting:  December 2, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices.  This will be a working committee.  Please make every effort to attend and participate in the subcommittee meetings you have signed up for.

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 7, 2011

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

In Attendance:  Leslie Altman, Jack Hennen, Joan Bibelhausen, Yvonne Moore, Justi Miller, Alan Haynes, Anna Horning Nygren (from Women in the Legal Profession Committee), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by invitation:  Waeiz Syed (Council on American-Islamic Relations - Minnesota Chapter (CAIR-MN)

Update ABA Pledge for Change
Mr. Ahlvers reported that there is now quorum to pass the motion to adopt the ABA Pledge for Change following the email vote.  This is a committee-only position. Mr. Ahlvers will draft a resolution calling on the Minnesota State Bar Association to adopt it as well.

Muslim Networking Co-Sponsorship
The Committee welcomed Mr. Waeiz Syed, a law clerk with The Council on American-Islamic Relations - Minnesota Chapter (CAIR-MN), to the meeting.  CAIR-MN is a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance the understanding of Islam, protect civil liberties, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

Mr. Syed reported that CAIR-MN would like to sponsor a meet and greet among Muslim attorneys and Muslim law students in the Twin Cities area and requested the Diversity Committee co-sponsor the event.  The Committee agreed to co-sponsor this event. The event is scheduled for November 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at a location to be determined.  Mr. Syed will forward final details to Mr. Ahlvers and Ms. Nguyen.

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers 35th Anniversary
Joan Bibelhausen invited everyone to attend the event on October 28, 2011 at the University of Minnesota. The proceeds will support LCL’s core services including their Founders’ Fund.  This fund provides financial assistance for treatment related expenses for lawyers and law students who would otherwise be unable to afford them. 

Subcommittee/Working Group Meetings
The Committee broke into Subcommittee meetings/working groups for the remainder of the meeting time.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on November 4.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 16, 2011

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

In Attendance:  Tom Nelson, Alan Haynes, Yvonne Moore, Justi Miller, Marlene Garvis (via phone), Julie Plumitis (via phone), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Mr. Ahlvers welcomed everyone to the Committee; followed by brief introductions.

Best Practices Implementation Pilot Project
Ms. Garvis updated the Committee on the efforts of the Best Practices Outreach subcommittee.  Eleven employers have agreed to pilot implementation of some or all of the diversity best practices.  The next step is to meet with the employers and ask them to define their goals, as well as how the subcommittee might assist them.  A question was raised about sustainability and how to keep it going.  Ms. Garvis offered to provide quarterly progress reports to the Committee.

New Meeting Structure
Mr. Ahlvers would like to try a new meeting structure this year with alternating monthly meetings between full committee and subcommittee meetings. Committee members were encouraged to sign up for a subcommittee.  Tram will circulate a sign-up form via email to all members.

ABA Pledge for Change
Motion was made for the Committee to sign onto the ABA Pledge for Change.  Motion was passed unanimously by those present; however, the Committee did not have quorum to carry the motion.  An email vote will be necessary in order to have quorum. Mr Ahlvers will draft a Resolution to have the MSBA as a whole sign on to the Pledge as well.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
Mr. Ahlvers reported that commitment forms have been sent out to employers. Deadline to respond is September 30.  The goal is to have at least fifteen employers.

Diversity Survey Final Report
Mr. Haynes provided a summary of the final results of the SAGE/Diversity survey.  Overall, there have been improvements in some areas and regression in others. A link to the report will be circulated to the Committee.  There was also a suggestion to email the link to the report to the 1501 participants that participated in the survey. The next step is to have the Diversity and Women in the Legal Profession Committees work together to build a best practices guide and then take it to the Best Practices Subcommittee for implementation.
CLE
Mr. Ahlvers reported that he met with Ashley Wenger, Co- Chair of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee.  The two of them discussed the possibility of doing a three part CLE series on the findings of the Diversity Survey.  The goal is to hold the first CLE in early November. 

Part 1:  Providing the survey results
Part 2:  What the results mean going forward
Part 3: Bring in national speaker to talk about execution and implementation

This will be further discussed at future meetings.

Minority Bar Summit:
Mr. Ahlvers reported the next meeting of the Minority Bar Summit is October 25 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting Schedule for 2011-2012:
The Committee will continue to meet monthly on the first Friday of the month from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. at the MSBA offices.  Please mark your calendars.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on October 7.

Meeting adjourned.

 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 1, 2011
MSBA Offices – Honors Room


Present: David Ahlvers, Lawrencina Mason Oromalu, Tom Nelson, Rebecca Heltzer, Steve Benolkin, Alan Hayes
By telephone: Marlene, Gail, Joan

  1. Updates: Diversity Survey Update Committee; MN CLE Institutes; MARS "Disability" status designation; including diversity in law school ranking systems
    1. Surveys went out to MSBA members, specialty bar associations, employers with more than 10 lawyers. If anyone hasn’t received the survey, contact Nancy Mischel for link.
    2. If you haven’t been contacted for a focus group, contact Alan or Nancy.
    3. MN CLE wants to work with the committee on an annual elimination of bias program. Tim Morrow will send list of past programs and see if committee is interested in replicating any of them. Also open to exploring new programs. Interested in coordinating on speakers bureau.
    4. MARS website: being re-done. Will look at alternatives for lawyers who register as disabled.
    5. Report from California hasn’t been finalized, and not available to outside groups yet. David has informed Women in the Legal Profession. No further action until David has received contact from California.
  2. Discuss and approve change in MSBA Minority Clerkship regarding scope of eligible participants
    1. Want expand definition to include people of Middle Eastern descent.
    2. New York definition: “Available to all under-represented populations in the field of law.”
    3. Increase in applicants with this definition would be manageable.
    4. David will discuss possible new definition with participating employers and law schools, and report back to committee. Decision doesn’t need to be made until Nov. 1. Committee will discuss at next meeting whether to raise this issue at the next minority bar summit.
  3. Discuss Diversity Speakers Bureau and interplay with mnlegaldiversity.org
    1. Include form on MSBA diversity website.
    2. Lawrencina has drafted forms – will present at May meeting.
  4. Discuss Best Practices Guide Implementation Task Force's Action Plan
    1. Packet: employer letter, new commitment statement, partial timeline for implementation, list of employers. Nancy Mischel has presented the new packet to the MSBA Council. Want to develop best practices materials for employers. Also need to develop materials for employers showing benefits of participating. Need to develop MSBA staffing plan.
    2. David has suggestions for other employers to include – will forward those. Also need to articulate to MSBA challenges and frustrations in implementing program.
  5. Update on Diversity Pipeline Summit
    1. Developed list of 35 pipeline programs in area. Need to decide what to do with that information. Possible role for MSBA: track outcomes for students, develop quantitative data on pipeline programs. Also publish program information on MSBA diversity website.
    2. Further discussion at next meeting.
  6. Discuss Comprehensive "Pipeline" website idea proposed by Tom Nelson and the FBA Diversity Committee
    1. Tom Nelson reported: FBA developing website that would include all diversity groups in the area. Modeled after Pipeline website. Planning now for a Diversity Summit on April 28. Invitations will go out shortly with contact sign-up form.
  7. Other Business
    1. None.

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 4, 2011
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Attendance:  Leslie Altman, Christine Bjorkman, Gail Brandt, Kahla Bunde, Marlene Garvis, Alan Haynes, Tom Nelson, Lawrencina Mason Oramalu, and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).  By phone: Joan Bibelhausen and Justi Miller.

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Final interviews with employers will be conducted on March 11 at Lindquist & Vennum.  A training for the selected clerks will be held on April 15, including a social event in the late afternoon.  Funds for the social event will come from the minority clerkship budget and contributions from the minority bars.

Update on Diversity Survey Update Committee:
The Committee solicited input from minority and affiliated bars regarding the survey instruments and focus group questions at a Minority Bar Summit meeting on February 15.  The U of M was able to sponsor a law fellow to serve as project manager for the focus groups.  The committee plans to send the surveys the week of March 21.   

Update on MNCLE Institutes:  Joan Bibelhausen has contacted MN CLE to request a meeting to discuss making diversity a component of all MN CLE Institutes. 

Social Event/Happy Hour: 
This event will be held in conjunction with the training of the minority clerkship participants; see above.

Update on “Disability” Status with MARS:
Joan has drafted a letter requesting the public database of attorney information be changed so that lawyers with disability status are not strictly identified as such.  Joan will send the letter to David for review.

Adding diversity as a factor in law school rankings (National Law Journal article):  The Committee discussed whether to encourage the MSBA to take a policy position adding diversity as a factor in law school rankings.  The Committee agreed this would be worthwhile despite concerns regarding the ranking systems used.  David Ahlvers will contact the California bar to see whether other bars have taken similar positions and whether the California bar plans to present a recommendation to the ABA. 

Diversity Pipeline Summit:  Everyone is invited to this summit on March 15 from 2-5 p.m. at the MSBA offices.  All of the Minority Bar Summit participants have been invited, in addition to other entities such as the Minneapolis public schools. 

Speakers Bureau: 
No update.  A brief meeting of those interested in working on this was held following the Committee meeting. 

Proposed MSBA Mission, Vision, Values and Goals:  The Committee discussed the areas related to diversity.  David agreed to propose changes that incorporate suggestions made by Committee members.  David will send the proposed changes to Committee members for before forwarding them to the MSBA Council for consideration.  The new MSBA mission, vision, values and goals will be before the Assembly in April.

Diversity Commitment Statement:  Marlene Garvis and Gail Brandt presented a draft commitment statement for legal employers that is largely modeled after the diversity best practices.  The commitment statement will be discussed at the next Women in the Legal Profession Committee meeting to see how it fits with the SAGE best practices.  Members discussed additional work to be done regarding accountability and the ability to measure results.  A suggestion was made to solicit some firms as early sponsors who could then be listed in the cover letter encouraging other firms to be sign on.  Marlene and Gail agreed to come back to the Committee in April with a cover letter to accompany the commitment statement and a work plan.

Next Meeting:
Friday, April 1 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 4, 2011
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers (by phone).

Attendance:  Leslie Altman, Sitso Bediako, Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Kahla Bunde, Justi Miller, Lawrencina Mason Oramalu, Julie Plumitis and Jessica Rajtar (by phone), and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
75 students applied this year, nine from out of state.  The employer pool dropped to 13 total due to a last minute withdrawal.  Interviews will be conducted next week.  The goal is to increase to 20 the number of participating employers for next year.

Update on Diversity Survey Update Committee:
Subcommittees are closely reviewing the employer and individual surveys and the focus group questions from five years ago to determine if any changes should be made.  The Committee will be soliciting input from minority and affiliated bars regarding the survey instruments at an upcoming meeting on February 15.  The committee expects to finish its work sometime between June-September 2011.

Social Event/Happy Hour: 
Sitso Bediako volunteered to help with this event, although he did ask for a few others to assist as well.  A notice will go out to the Committee asking for volunteers.  Ideally the event would take place in March or April.

Lawyers Selecting “Disability” Status with MARS:
Joan Bibelhausen spoke with the Court regarding this issue.  The preliminary indication is that probably no change in the court rules is required to adjust what the public sees when they enter an attorney’s name in the MARS system.  The goal is rather than having “disabled” pop up next to the attorney’s name, that it be changed to “disabled/retired”.  Joan will talk with Eric Cooperstein, chair of the MSBA’s Rules of Professional Conduct Committee about this issue and see if that Committee will lend its support.  The court requested a letter describing the problem and proposed solution.  Joan and David will send a joint letter, David as Chair of the Diversity Committee and Joan as Executive Director of LCL.

Speakers Bureau: 
The email diversityspeakersbureau@mnbar.org has been set up and incoming messages to this address can be automatically forwarded to the appropriate volunteer.  Lawrencina Mason Oramalu volunteered to organize the speakers bureau. 

Diversity CLE at Nine Days:  Don Zoufal will present on issues surrounding profiling in airport screening.  The Day 9 Planning Committee is also considering a possible CLE with Pamela Alexander, former Hennepin County judge and now Director of the Council on Crime & Justice. 

Next Meeting:
Friday, March 4 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 7, 2011
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Attendance:  Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Christine Bjorkman, Dale Bjorkman, Kahla Bunde, Lori Lannan, Jessica Rajtar, Lisa Spencer, and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
David is looking for a few more people to conduct interviews; he has 7-8 now and ideally would like 14.  David will follow up on a suggestion to ask members of the HCBA and RCBA Diversity Committees.  There are 14 employers participating this year.  David is looking for a location for the March interviews.  He needs 14 rooms and the location is usually one of the sponsoring firms. 

Lori put together a letter to the law schools asking them to collect data from former MMCP participants; 17 responses have been received, representing almost 20% of the 100 people who have gone through the program.  In the future, MMCP participants will be asked to sign a release form so that the MSBA can collect this information directly, rather than having to go through the law schools.  Ideally the response rate would be 50%; David plans to write an article for Bench & Bar on the success of the program and use it as a recruiting tool.

Update on Diversity Survey Update Committee:
At the first meeting in December, the Committee divided into three subcommittees.  One will work on the employer survey, another will work on the individual survey and the third will work on the focus groups.  The Committee’s next meeting is January 12 at noon.   It is anticipated that the committee will finish its work and submit a report to the MSBA Assembly meeting in June of 2011.  Anyone interested in participating on this committee should contact Nancy Mischel at nmischel@mnbar.org.

Social Event: 
No update.

Lawyers Selecting “Disability” Status with MARS:
No update; Joan Bibelhausen will follow up with Court staff regarding this issue.

Update on incorporating diversity in MNCLE Institutes:
Joan brought a list of institutes where a diversity component could be incorporated.  Joan will contact MN CLE and invite the appropriate staff to the next Diversity Committee meeting to discuss this further.

Speakers Bureau:  
Chris Bjorkman suggested that the MSBA set up an email address that would receive requests for a diversity speaker.  Nancy Mischel will have diversityspeakersbureau@mnbar.org set up as an email address.  Messages received at this email will be automatically forwarded to a volunteer who would respond to the requests. 

Members agreed that information on the Speakers Bureau should be posted on both the Diversity Committee’s webpage and the mnlegaldiversity.org website.  A form to fill out to request a speaker will be posted online.  A list of possible diversity CLE topics will also eventually be listed.  Speakers will need to be recruited.  Jessica agreed to talk with William Mitchell regarding how their speakers bureau is run.  Dave will mention the Speakers Bureau at the Minority Bar Summit meeting in February.

Diversity CLE at Nine Days:
The Committee agreed they would like to plan a diversity program for Day 9 at Target Field.  Nancy will let the Day 9 Planning Committee know of this offer and report back on the response.

Additional staff for Diversity work:
Dave asked whether the Committee would like to see increased MSBA staff support for diversity work.  Members agreed there is a lot more that could be done with additional staff time.  Dave will work with Nancy to put something in the staff budget narrative supporting the request to bump up Tram’s time to 100% in the area of diversity.

Next Meeting:
Friday, February 4 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 3, 2010
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Attendance:  Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Kahla Bunde, Alan Haynes, Rebecca Heltzer, Lori Lannan, Justi Miller, Julie Plumitis, Lisa Spencer,  Janet Totter, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
To date, 13 employers have committed to the summer of 2011 program. The law school presentations have been completed. Student application deadline is January 21, 2011.  It is anticipated we will get around 70-80 applicants again this year. 

Committee members were encouraged to volunteer to serve on the Selection Committee.  The Selection Committee is comprised of members of the Diversity Committee and representatives from the employer participants. Selection interviews will take place February 7 – 11, 2011 from 4 – 7 p.m.  The Selection Committee will meet on February 16 to select the candidates. Anyone interested in serving on the Selection Committee and/or help grade the writing samples should contact Dave or Tram.  An email will be sent to the committee email listserv soliciting volunteers as well.

Update on Diversity Survey Update Committee:
The first meeting will be held December 8 at Noon at the MSBA offices.  The Committee will continue to meet monthly on the second Wednesday at Noon thereafter.  It is anticipated that the committee will finish its work and submit a report to the MSBA Assembly meeting in June of 2011.  Anyone interested in participating on this committee should contact Tram at tnguyen@mnbar.org.

Lawyers Selecting “Disability” Status with MARS:
An issue was raised regarding attorneys who select “disability” as a status on their attorney registration statement and having this information show on the Court’s website as “not authorized to practice”, which could carry a negative connotation for the attorney. It was noted that retired attorneys are listed this way as well. It was suggested that instead of listing these attorneys as “not authorized to practice”, they should be listed as “inactive”. Dave will have a conversation with MSBA President Votel first and then will contact Fred Grittner to further discuss and offer up the Committee’s suggestion for possible changes.

Update on incorporating diversity in MNCLE Institutes:
Joan Bibelhausen will talk to MNCLE and identify each institute where a diversity component could be incorporated. Committee members will sign up to serve on the planning committee for each institute.  The goal is to have a diversity CLE at each of the MNCLE institute in the coming years.

Next Meeting:
Friday, January 7 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 5, 2010
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Attendance: Sitso Bediako, Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Kahla Bunde, Emily Good, Alan Haynes, Rebecca Heltzer, Lori Lannan, Julie Plumitis, Janet Totter,

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:

Update on Diversity Survey Update Committee:

Identify topics for CLE:

Update on incorporating diversity in MNCLE Institutes:

Update on Diversity Speakers Bureau:

District Court Judges Conference (December 8-10):

  1. Justice Gildea indicated that the agenda is filled up at this point but is interested in working with the committee.  It was suggested we try to get on the monthly Judicial Council meetings.

Social Event/Happy Hour:

  1. Tabled to the December meeting

Next Meeting:

  1. Friday, December 3 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 1, 2010
MSBA Offices – Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers via phone.

Attendance: Chris Bjorkman, Dale Bjorkman, Leslie Altman, Rebecca Heltzer, Janet Totter, Jane Bowman (by phone), Joan Bibelhausen (by phone), Emily Good, Paulette Yoyer, Sitso Bediako, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:

Update on SAGE Survey Project:

Minnesota CLE:

Identify topics for CLE:

District Court Judges Conference (December 8-10):

Social Event/Happy Hour:

Next Meeting:

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
September 10, 2010
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Attendance: Lisa Spencer, Chris Bjorkman, Dale Bjorkman, Leslie Altman, Yvonne Moore, Alan Haynes, Rebecca Heltzer, Janet Totter, Chris Tymchuck, Jane Bowman, Justi Miller,  and Joan Bibelhausen

David presented the upcoming update on the SAGE Report.  The Committee will be working in conjunction with Women in the Legal Profession Committee to create a joint subcommittee to handle updating the 2005 SAGE Report.  David solicited interest for a Committee member to act as co-chair of the Committee with an appointee from the WILP Committee.  Tram will send an email to the entire Committee Listserve seeking interest for the chair position. 

The committee discussed ideas upon which to focus for the year.  Those initiatives included:

Specific comments on the CLE topics included:

Recruitment: the committee should work on expanding the minority representation on the Committee.  This can start by contacting the various Minority affiliate Bar Associations and relevant organizations to spark interest.  Also, the Committee should work on getting out-state representatives involved, including participation in the monthly meetings by telephone and out-state events.

Retention: the Committee needs to find ways to keep people involved with the Committee.

Nine Days in June: the Committee discussed the role of the Committee and diversity issues in Nine Days in June.  Various members expressed concern over the lack of Elimination of Bias CLEs during each day of Nine Days in June.  Only one of the nine days had a diversity-related CLE that qualified for EOB credit.  Three other EOB CLEs were part of the offering but none of the three received sufficient membership votes to be selected for programming on any of the nine days.  The Committee talked about collaborating with any other group (section, committee, or other groups asked to submit CLE proposals for Nine Days in June) in creating one diversity presentation to be included in the programming selection for next year.  Also, the Committee discussed the possibility of finding other ways to have diversity present at each day of Nine Days in June to insure it remains at the forefront of the conference due to it also being an initiative of the MSBA Council and Organization itself.

The next meeting will be October 1, 2010, at noon at the MSBA office.  And future meetings will continue to be held at noon on the first Friday of each month.

 


 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 5, 2010

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Steve Benolkin, Dale Bjorkman, Chris Bjorkman, Rachel Bowe, Phil Duran, Yvonne Shorts Lind, Danielle Shelton-Walczak and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Reports:

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:  Danielle Shelton-Walczak reported there were a total of 71 applications this year.  The Selections Interviews will take place February 8 – 10, 2010 from 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.  at the MSBA offices.  The Selection Committee will meet on February 19, 2010 to select the 14-15 students to participate in the Program.  Final interviews with employers and accepted students will be held on March 12, 2010 at Dorsey & Whitney.  We are seeking an organization to help sponsor the June reception with TCDIP.  Medtronic is a possibility – Danielle will contact.

CLE – Nine Days in June:  The Committee’s diversity program was not picked as one of the programs to be presented at Nine Days in June; however, the committee has been offered an opportunity to do a two-minute commercial on diversity which will be shown to all convention attendees in between CLE programs.  Dave will keep the Committee informed as details develop.

Dave also met with Tim Moorow at Minnesota CLE on the possibility of another joint CLE on diversity to be held between now and June, 2010.   More details to follow.

Events/Member Recruitment/Recognition: It was reported that Sitso Bediako raised $6000 in sponsorhip money for the February 19 diversity gathering at Windows on Minnesota..  Justice Lorie Gildea and MSBA President Leo Brisbois will be speaking.  Robins Kaplan is donating the sponsor signages.  David Alhvers expressed interest in the possibility holding another social event before June of 2010 or in the fall of 2010.  Phil Duran and Sitso Bediako were commended for their work on the event; and Sitso was especially thanked for his hard work in raising the $6000.

Update on Various MSBA Diversity Initiatives

Diversity Planning Task Force:  Phil Duran reported that the task force is working on a strategic planning document on diversity; and is currently evaluating the MSBA diversity structure to determine if it’s effective the way it is or whether changes need to be made.  The two models that the task force is considering is: 1) creating an internal “minority bar summit”/ umbrella organization to oversee all the diversity programs/sevices; or 2) consolidate in whole or in part.

Other Business
Phil Duran reported that the same-sex marriage resolution will be on the February 8 Women in the Legal Profession Committee meeting agenda.  Chris Bjorkman will draft a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” resolution for MSBA support.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, March 5, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.   

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 8, 2010

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Leslie Altman, Sitso Bediako, Joan Bibelhausen (by phone), Dale Bjorkman, Chris Bjorkman, Gail Brandt, Phil Duran, Alan Haynes, Justin Page, Danielle Shelton-Walczak and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Reports:

CLE – Nine Days in June:  The Committee has signed up to do all nine days.  Joan Bibelhausen has volunteered to work on the program and present on behalf of the Committee.  Here is the brief description of the program:

Diversity and Inclusion for All of MinnesotaThis Elimination of Bias Seminar will provide a framework for discussing diversity issues throughout our profession and the role of the MSBA and related organizations in fostering inclusion.  Topics will include a review of the work of the MSBA Diversity Planning Task Force which is assessing programs and infrastructure within the MSBA, a discussion of the impact of and opportunities to reduce bias in the legal community, and a regional perspective on diversity and inclusion.
The Committee will get a status update on whether or not our program has been picked to be one of the programs at the next meeting. 

Marketing/Website: mnlegaldiversity.org is up and running.  Committee members were encouraged to check out the new site if you have not done so.

Events/Member Recruitment/Recognition: Sitso Bediako is working out the details of the social event to be held either February 18 or 19, 2010 in conjuction with the National Black Law Students Association Midwest Regional Convention being held in Minneapolis.  Possible location discussed was the Marquette Hotel.  The expectation is approximately 300 people will attend this event (175 students +100 people from diversity organizations and law firms).  The goal is to raise $6000 in sponsorships to cover the expenses.  Targetted sponsors are the minority bars, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and participating employers in the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program.  Marketing for the event to be done about a month in advance.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:  Danielle Shelton reported that Dorsey Whitney has graciously volunteered to host the employer-student interviews in March.  There will be a Subcommittee meeting soon.  Deadline for applications is January 22, 2010.  Volunteers are needed to read the students’ essays.

Discuss Continuing Support of the MSBA Legislative Position Opposing Any Amendment to the State Constitution Banning Same-Sex Marriage
On April 16, 2004, the MSBA adopted the following legislative position that was brought forward by the Human Rights Committee, the Diversity Committee and the Family Law Section:

Resolved:  that the Minnesota State Bar Association opposes any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex.
 
Legislative positions are effective for six  years, after which time they drop off the MSBA list unless action is taken to renew them (or they are removed earlier because they are passed, for example).  The Legislative Committee will meet sometime in March prior to the April Assembly meeting.  The Committee has been requested to let the Legislative Committee know whether the Committee would like to sponsor renewal of this legislative position.   The Committee voted to renew the position. 

Update on Various MSBA Diversity Initiatives
 
The Minority Bar Summit meets on January 19, 2010.  Guest speaker will be Judge Frank Donovan from the U.S. District Court – District of Minnesota who will speak on the National Federal Bar Association’s newly appointed Task Force on Diversity; and the Eighth Circuit Judical Conference.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, February 5, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.   

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 4, 2009

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Leslie Altman, Steve Benolke, Sitso Bediako, Dale Bjorkman, Gail Brandt, Kayla Bunde, Phil Duran, Yvonne Moore, Julie Plumitis, Danielle Shelton-Walczak (by phone), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Invited: Chris Bjorkman (new student member)

Resolution on Same-Sex Marriage
Phil Duran presented the resolution which calls on the MBSA to urge the Minnesota Legislature to permit same-sex couples access to civil marriage.  The resolution was unanimously passed by the MSBA Human Rights Committee.  It was also passed by the RCBA Diversity Committee.  After some discussion on lobbying tactics, the Committee passed the resolution.  The Committee will be informed when it comes to the MSBA Assembly.

Continued Discussion regarding amdendment to admission criteria to allwo for graduates of non-ABA accredited law school to sit for the Minnesota Bar
David Ahlvers reported that the MSBA Rules of Professional Conduct is looking at this issue and has asked for written comments from other committees and sections by December 11.  The Committee discussed what, if any, position the Committee should take on this issue and whether we would be providing comments to the RPC Committee.  There were concerns raised regarding whether or not there is a diversity component to this.  After a lengthy discussion, the Committee decided to look into this issue further. No formal comments will be provided to the RPC Committee.  David Ahlvers will send an informal email to the Chair of the RPC Committee stating our positon.

CLE – 9 Days in June
David Alhvers reported that the Committee has signed up to do all nine days.  Joan Bibelhausen has volunteered to work on the program and present on behalf of the Committee.  Here is the brief description of what Joan is proposing:

Diversity and Inclusion for All of Minnesota.  This Elimination of Bias Seminar       will provide a framework for discussing diversity issues throughout our profession and the role of the MSBA and related organizations in fostering inclusion.  Topics will include a review of the work of the MSBA Diversity Planning Task Force which is assessing programs and infrastructure within the MSBA, a discussion of the impact of and opportunities to reduce bias in the legal community, and a regional perspective on diversity and inclusion.

Marketing/Website
Mnlegaldiversity.org is now live.

Events/Member Recruitment/Recognition
The Committee would like to host a social event, a gathering of people with common interest.  Sitso Bediako, Phil Duran and Yvonne Moore have volunteered to work on this.  It was suggested that perhaps this event can be done jointly with the National Black Law Students Association Midwest Region Conference during February 17-21, 2010 at the Marquette Hotel.  Alan Hayes will send Tram Nguyen the information for distribution to the Committee via the email listserv.
 
Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, January 8, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.   

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 6, 2009

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Steve Benolke, Dale Bjorkman, Phil Duran, Lori Lannan, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Update on Various Diversity Initiatives in the MSBA

Minority Bar Summit
Mnlegaldiversity.org website was prelaunched at the November 5 meeting.  Summit members had a few suggested ideas for improvement and we are working with the website designer to incorporate those ideas. MSBA President Leo Brisbois also discussed a possible Diversity pipeline initiative for Summit participants to undertake, modeled after the Memphis Bar Association High School Law Summer Internship Program. 

Diversity Planning Task Force
Progress continues within the three working groups.  The task force will meet next on November 18 1t 9 a.m. at the MSBA offices.  A report will be submitted to the Assembly in June.

Task Force on the Rights on Unmarried Couples
No update.

Diversity Best Practices Outreach Task Force
The task force continues its work through the two Subcommittees (Cle and Pilot).  The Diversity Committee discussed the possibility of cosponsoring a CLE with the task force and providing support.

The Resolution re MSBA Bylaw 9.3.4 Amendment
The resolution was approved by the Governance Committee and is on the December Assembly agenda.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
The planning is underway!  The law school presentation panels have been scheduled at the four law schools. We currently have 14 employers confirmed; and US Bank is considering participating. 

Discussion regarding amdendment to admission criteria to allwo for graduates of non-ABA accredited law school to sit for the Minnesota Bar
The Committee discussed whether or not to take a positon on this issue.  One possible position woul dbe for the MSB Ato encourage the ABA to develop criteria for evaluating non-traditional programs.  After some discussion, the Committee decided to table any action on this issue.  Tram will send more information regarding this amendment via the committee email listserv.

New Committee Meeting Format
David Ahlvers suggested anew meeting format, with the hope to increase attendance and participation and minmize having to attend multiple meetings.  The new format would be for each of the Sucbommittees to meet on the same day as the regularly scheduled committee meetings (first Friday of the month), and then everyone will come together afterwards for the full committee meeting. 

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, December 4, 2009  at Noon at the MSBA offices.  One of the agenda items to be included will be a Human Rights Committee resolution on same sex marriage.  Phil Duran will get Tram the information to be sent out with the December meeting notice and agenda.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 3, 2009

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Steven Benolkin, Sitso Bediako, Kahla Bunde, Phil Duran, Yvonne Shorts Lind, Yvonne Moore and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Discussion of Law School Table Times
There was general consensus amongst those who volunteered at the table times that this may not be worthy effort, energy or time for the Committee to be involved in because of the low traffic of students.  It was suggested that for future years, a brochure could be made available at the MSBA booth for students to pick up.  The Committee will leave this on the agenda for future discussions.

Discuss Committee Goals and Structure
The Committee decided to create defined subcommittees to help us achieve our mission of Diversity in the legal profession.  What follows is a list of those subcommittees and a brief description of each:

1.         MSBA Minority Clerkship Program - This Subcommittee is responsible for administering, along with staff support from the MSBA, the MSBA Minority Clerkship Program.  The program provides summer clerkship opportunities for approximately 20 1L law students (mostly from Minnesota law schools) at some of the Twin Cities largest law firms and corporate legal departments.  This Subcommittee is fully staffed at this time.

2.         Continuing Legal Education - This Subcommittee is responsible
For planning and executing CLEs regarding Diversity in the legal profession.  This includes creating a "stock" CLE that will be  available for the new MSBA Convention known as "Nine Days in June."   It is the Chair’s expectation that this committee will execute at least two CLEs (including the CLE for convention) per year, in addition to seeking opportunities to partner with other organizations in sponsoring CLEs that include some component of Diversity.

3.         Minority Bar Association Liaison - This Subcommittee is responsible
for contacting and connecting with the Minority Bar Associations to ensure that each Association has a voice in the MSBA Diversity Committee.

4.         Website/Marketing - This Subcommittee is responsible for completing the relaunching of mnlegaldiversity.org and identifying opportunities to increase the Diversity Committee's visibility within the MSBA and the greater Minnesota legal and civic community.

5.         Events/Member Recruitment/Recognition - This Subcommittee is 
responsible for coordinating at least one social event per year; identify ways to increase participation of Diversity Committee members, as well as, increase the Diversity Committee membership; and identify and implement ways to recognize persons and institutions for their commitment to the mission of the Diversity Committee.

Subcommittee Reports

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program – Commitment forms for 2010 have been sent out to participating employers with a response deadline of September 18th.  Evaluations to students and employers are scheduled to be sent out in the next couple of weeks.

Diversity Website (mnlegaldiversity.org) – Yvonne Shorts Lind reported that the launch date has been scheduled for mid-October and that the temporary website is up and running until then.

Discussion of Resolution re MSBA Bylaw 9.3.4 Amendment
Motion was made for the Committee to sponsor a resolution calling on the MSBA to amend its Bylaw 9.3.4, pertaining to the nomination of an at-large officer to be selected by the Assembly, as follows:  “The Assembly shall consider the need to provide for gender, racial, and other forms of diversity in the leadership of the MSBA when electing the officer at-large”.  (The amendment is in italics).  Motion was seconded and carried.  The resolution will be presented at the December Assembly meeting for approval.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, October 2, 2009  at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
July 24, 2009

The meeting was chaired by David Ahlvers.

Members Present: Sitso Bediako, Steve Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen (by phone), Angela Cabatat, Phil Duran, Alan Haynes, Lori Lannan, Brad Pederson, Danielle Shelton, Nadege Souvenir, and Kenneth Udoibok (by phone).

MSBA Staff:  Tram Nguyen

Welcome and Introductions
Committee Chair David Ahlvers welcomed everyone to the Committee for the 2009-10 bar year, followed by brief introductions of all those present.

Discussion of Law School Table Times
The Committee discussed the importance of having a presence at the law schools’ table times to provide information on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program (MMCP) to 1L students.  Members from the MMCP Subcommittee will be at the table times to provide the information to students. The MSBA will have a booth there so the Committee will partner up with the MSBA rather than have our own booth.  Materials to be handed out include the mnlegaldiversity.org bookmark and the MMCP brochure.

MSBA Diversity Initiatives
David Ahlvers reported that MSBA President Leo Brisbois has appointed a new Diversity Planning Task Force, chaired by Phil Duran.  The task force’s charge is to review the MSBA’s diversity work overall and making recommendations for improvements and increased coordination.  If anyone is interested in serving on this task force, please let Phil know at phil@outfront.org. 

Subcommittee Reports
Mnlegaldiversity.org:  Danielle Shelton reported that the launch date has been delayed and we are now looking at beginning of October as the possible launch date. There will be a temporary site before the final site is up; and that this will cause us to be over budget by $2000.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:  The goal is to have 19-20 clerkships for the Summer 2010 program (same as this year).  Danielle Shelton and Brad Pederson are in the process of re-doing the survey to past participants. The new survey will be much more detailed and extensive than the previous one.  The goal is to collect data on past participants to determine success rates of the program and to discover whether they stayed in Minnesota and if they felt the program assisted them in their professional goals.

Meeting Schedule for 2009-2010
The Committee will continue to meet monthly on the first Friday of the month at Noon at the MSBA offices (except for September due to Labor Day weekend).  It was noted that due to budget cuts, the MSBA will not be able to provide lunch going forward.  Members should feel free to bring their own lunch.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on September 3rd at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.

 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
May 1, 2009

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Leslie Altman, Steve Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Lori Lannan, Yvonne Shorts.
MSBA Staff:  Nancy Mischel.

Subcommittee Updates

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  Danielle Shelton received a proposal back from Plaudit that was $3000 more than the original bid.  The Committee must save a cushion in order to pay for ongoing annual hosting fees.  The goal is to have the new website active around August 1.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:  The 1L clerkship mandatory training took place the week prior to the committee meeting. The training went well overall.  The new blue book portion of the training received positive feedback from students.  Regarding the student panel, about 10 students who participated in the 1L clerkship last year gave their advice to the current clerkship participants about participating in the program.  All said they enjoyed their experiences. Students who clerked in corporations expressed to the new incoming 1L class the differences in work structure than law firms.

The reception for the 1L class for summer 2009 will be June 3 at the Guthrie, and hosted by Faegre & Benson.

CLE:  Phil Duran reported that the CLE at the MSBA Convention will be handled entirely by the Diversity Committee because the Diversity Best Practices Outreach Task Force has not met yet.

Mentoring Program:  No update, although Phil Duran is still pursuing it with the local area law schools.

Other Business

2009/10 Committee Goals:  David Ahlvers will Chair the Committee in the 2009-10 bar year.  Goals include:  1) launching the new mnlegaldiversity.org website; 2) increasing publicity of the clerkship program through additional outreach, articles, etc.; 3) developing a brochure for the clerkship program; 4) focusing more on results for the clerkship program by increased tracking of former participants to discover whether they stayed in Minnesota and if they felt the program assisted them in their professional goals; 5) reaching out to the various diversity affiliates for additional representation on the Committee; 6) increasing the number of actively participating Committee members.

Members discussed the possibility of conducting a CLE in fall 2009 about regarding the impact the recession has had on attorneys of color. 

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, July 24 at Noon at the MSBA offices.  This meeting will focus on scheduling committee members to participate in the law school table times for incoming 1L students. The meeting will also address what information should be provided at the table times regarding the committee and the clerkship program. 

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 3, 2009

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Gail Brandt, Yvonne Shorts.  By Phone:  Joan Bibelhausen, Andriel Dees.

MSBA Staff: Pat Everheart, Nancy Mischel and Greg Luce.

Subcommittee Updates

Mnlegaldiversity.org:
The Committee discussed two possible website vendors: Plaudit Design and Blue Earth.  Based on proposals received, the cost between the two is comparable.  Blue Earth has designed and hosts many of the MSBA’s Web-based functions, including the online membership application.  Greg Luce (MSBA Director of practicelaw.org) was invited into the meeting to help answer some of the questions concerning Blue Earth’s services and assist in finding their online portfolio. 

Members expressed a desire to use the site to collect data on the minority clerkship applicants, to post information about all the minority bars and include a calendar of events, among other things.

Members voted for Plaudit because they liked their designs better and the information they provided was more comprehensive.  It is anticipated the new website will launch about the time a new bar year begins. 

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
David Ahlvers reported that everything is on track.  The training for the clerkship program will be held April 24 at the MSBA from 1-4 p.m. followed by happy hour at the Local.  The reception is set for June 3 at 5:00 p.m. at Faegre.

CLE:  No report.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, May 1 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 6, 2009

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Nadege Souvenir and Yvonne Shorts (via phone)

MSBA staff: Pat Everheart, Tram Nguyen and Greg Luce

Subcommittee Updates

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
David Alhvers reported that everything is on track.  The employer-student interviews will be held on March 13, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at Lindquist and Vennum.

CLE:
The CLE we have been organizing with Minnesota CLE is set for Thursday, March 19.  Several dozen people have already registered and they expect more.  The featured presenter will be Professor Marybeth Herald of Thomas Jefferson law school in San Diego, who will discuss the concept of implicit or cognitive bias and how it affects people’s thinking and actions generally, and of course more particularly people in the legal profession.  It is likely she will present for 90 minutes with a 30-minute Q&A to follow.  The original idea of a post-presentation panel has been set aside.

The Subcommittee met February 27th to discuss the proposal that was submitted and which has been accepted for a diversity/EOB CLE at the MSBA convention in Duluth in June, tentatively entitled “Diversity Task Force Update.”  We had hoped to be joined by Marlene Garvis, co-chair of the task force to discuss, but she was unable to participate at the last minute.  The Subcommittee discussed several possible directions the CLE could take, and came up with some alternatives:

1) If a Duluth convention tends to draw more greater-Minnesota participants, the CLE could focus on how to make the 2008 best-practices report a useful tool for fostering diversity in greater Minnesota.(figures from 2008’s Duluth convention suggest that participants from metro counties outnumbered non-metro attendees some two-to-one); the task force would take the lead.

2) If a Duluth convention tends to draw more metro-area participants, then the CLE could focus on making the 2008 report a useful tool for a cost-effective fostering of diversity in the face of (economic) adversity, but with an intent to speak specifically about greater Minnesota to some degree in this context; the task force would take the lead.

3) If it seems that the task force is really not anticipating being up to contributing substantially by June, then the conversation would focus on the second goal of the September 2008 Assembly resolution, namely, an examination of the MSBA itself and its structure for addressing diversity concerns;  the Diversity Committee would take the lead.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:
The Committee discussed possible website vendors, including: Plaudit Design, Blue Earth Interactive of St. Paul, Nonprofit Office, and Padilla Speer Beardsley.  The MSBA recommended that the Committee go with Blue Earth as the vendor because of the competitive price and the successful, on-going relationship with the MSBA. Blue Earth has designed and hosts many of the MSBA’s Web-based functions, including the online membership application, which was launched successfully in fall 2008. Greg Luce (MSBA Director of practicelaw.org) was invited into the meeting to help answer some of the questions concerning Blue Earth’s services. After some dicussions, the Committee agreed to narrow down the possibilities to Plaudit and Blue Earth as they seem to be the best fit for what we want to do with the website. Danielle Shelton will follow up with these two vendors and will send information via the litserv. Voting on the final website vendor will take place at the April meeting. The goal is to have the website up and running in June.

Update on Mentoring Project
Phil Duran has had a good meeting with Erin Keyes of the University of Minnesota Law School. She is supportive and offered several suggestions.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, April 3rd at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 6, 2009

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Steven Benolkin, Gail Brandt, Andriel Dees, Yvonne Moore, Nadege Souvenir.

MSBA staff: Pat Everheart and Tram Nguyen

Subcommittee Updates

            No update. 

            Pat Everheart of the MSBA reported that the MSBA staff is in the process of putting       together a three-year budget plan that will go to the Assembly's Operations Committee in late February.  Part of the budgetting process includes looking at programs and projects that add value and are not duplicated elsewhere. With that in mind, the MSBA staff is considering that the funds currently allocated to the website www.mnlegaldiversity.org be reallocated. 

            The rationale for this recommendation involves the success of the Twin Cities Diversity    in Practice (“TCDIP”) website, which has filled the void that existed when mnlegaldiversity was conceived.  It does not make sense to have two websites with the same basic mission. Many, if not all, of the original funders are members of Diversity in Practice, which indicates future fundraising to keep the website going might be difficult. 
                                   
            The MSBA has requested that the Committee explore the possibility of discontinuing         the website and recommending where the remaining funds (about $17,000) could be better used/allocated.

            Danielle Shelton reported that there was a conference call on February 4th to discuss this issue. Amongst those present for the conference call were: Danielle Shelton, Andriel Dees, Yvonne Shorts, Valerie Jensen (TCDIP), and Nancy Mischel and Pat Everheart of the MSBA. It was discussed during the conference call that TCDIP take over the maintenance of the website. Valerie Jensen stated she would check with TCDIP leadership and let the Committee know if they were willing to do so.

            Committee members present voiced concerns over the possibility of TCDIP taking over    the maintenance of the website due to the different focus that the two groups have. TCDIP             is more focused on racial/ethnic issues; whereas the mnlegaldiversity.org website reaches a broader audience/focus not only concerning a broader definition of diversity, but also the website is geared toward potential and current law students, the twin cities law schools, and all legal employers.

            In the end, the Committee decided that TCDIP’s focus was not compatible to       mnlegaldivereity.org’s goal and vision. The Committee decided that TCDIP should be asked to take over the website. Rather the Committee recommended to the MSBA that the Committee be allowed to utilize the $17,000 for purposes that represent the mission of the Committee, which can include redesigning a scaled-down version of mnlegaldiversity.org.

            The Committee explored possibilities of redoing the website to make it part brochure/part interactive.  It could include information about Minnesota, what other diversity organizations are doing, perhaps do an online application process for the Minnesota   Minority Clerkship Program, and calendaring of the Committee’s CLE programs/events-all in an effort to make drive traffic to the website and website supporters if applicable.

            The Committee will have at least 4 vendors in place for consideration at the March           meeting.  Danielle Shelton, Yvonne Shorts, and Andriel Dees will take the lead on this.

Update on Mentoring Project
No update.

Other Business:
Yvonne Moore encouraged committee members to be involved in the Restorative Justice Project.  Attorney volunteers are needed on a Saturday for 2 hours to help people with driving misdemeanor offenses (looking at driving tickets and help get their driving records cleared).

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, March 6th at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 9, 2009

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Yvonne Moore, Yvonne Shorts, Nadege Souvenir, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
David Ahlvers reported that the Program is moving forward.  We are still looking for volunteers to do the selection interviews on February 2-5. We ask that volunteers commit to at least 2 days of interviewing.  It’s anticipated that 15 interviewers are needed and we currently have 9.    Please contact Dave, Danielle or Tram if you are interested.

Upcoming dates:
January 23:       Student applications due
January 28:       Selection interviewers training (mandatory)
February 2-5:    Selection interviews, 4-7 p.m. at the MSBA Offices.
February 10:      Selection Committee meets to select the 19 students to be in the Program (Noon – 4 p.m. at the MSBA Offices).

CLE:
Joan Bibelhausen reported that there will be no February CLE as the speaker was not available. We are shooting for a program in March 17 and/or early June. The proposed idea is to have a national speaker on cognitive bias; and a local panel.

We will also do a CLE program for the annual MSBA convention in Duluth on “The State of Diversity” which will consist of updates on the Diversity Implementation Task Force Report, Class Action Program, Minority Clerkship Program, and other diversity initiatives.

Mentoring Project
Phil Duran reported that this project is on track.  Phil met with Dean Bateson from St. Thomas Law School and he was all for it; Phil has an upcoming meeting scheduled with Dean Keyes at the University of Minnesota.

Other Business:
The Committee voted to co-sponsor the Lavender Bar Association Law Conference on January 31st at William Mitchell.  Tram will send out information on the listserv, as well as the Legal News Digest which will go to all MSBA members.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, February 6th at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 5, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  Steven Benolkin, Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Justin Page, Courtney Reid, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
The next Subcommittee meeting will be held at the MSBA offices on December 8th at Noon.  The Program is moving ahead and progressing well.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  
Yvonne Shorts, Andriel Dees and Pablo Satario continue to work on the website.  The goal is to have it completed by May, 2009. 

CLE:
Phil Duran reported that a two-hour CLE will be held in conjunction with Minnesota CLE on February 2 or February 9, 2009, depending on speaker availability.  The CLE will have two components: 1) a speaker on cognitive bias; and 2) a panel discussion on those general principles and how they apply in the areas of diversity.

The Committee also discussed the possibility of holding a CLE program at the MSBA annual convention in Duluth, June 24-26, 2009. The focus could be on how to make organizations more diverse or how to deal with diverse clients.

Class Action:
Marta Chou reported that the Program is going well, and that recruiting will start again in March or April.  

Mentoring Project
No update.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, January 9th at Noon at the MSBA offices. Please note this is a change from our regularly scheduled meeting on January 2nd.

Meeting adjourned.


           

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 7, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Leslie Altman, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Angela Cabatbat,  Phil Duran, Lori Lannan, Yvonne Moore, Justin Page, Nadege Souvenir, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

By phone: Yvonne Shorts

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
David Alhvers reported that the following employers will not be returning for this year’s Program:  Gislason, Honeywell, Halleland, and Winthrop.  Arthur Chapman will be participating as a new employer.

It was suggested that a “thank you” ad be placed in the next issue of Bench & Bar thanking the Summer 2008 participating employers for their support.

The Selection Interviews will take place February 2-5, 2009 at the MSBA offices.  We need participation from the Diversity Committee.  An email will be sent out via the listserv soliciting volunteer, followed by monthly reminder emails.  Volunteers are asked to commit to at least two days of interviewing.

The next Subcommittee meeting will be held at the MSBA offices on December 8th at Noon.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  
Yvonne Shorts appeared by phone and reported that a new contract will need to be made with a new vendor as IcBits pulled out last week due to changes in the contract.   If anyone has recommendations for vendors, please email Yvonne at yshorts@larsonking.com.

CLE:
Phil Duran reported that a two-hour CLE will be held in conjunction with Minnesota CLE on February 2 or February 9, 2009.  The CLE will have two components: 1) a speaker on cognitive bias; and 2) a panel discussion on those general principles and how they apply in the areas of diversity.

Class Action:
The Committee discussed whether more assistance is needed to help Angela Munoz coordinate the program. Danielle Shelton will check with Angela to determine her needs for assistance.

Mentoring Project
No update.  Phil Duran is still working on this.

A Proposal to Ask the MSBA to Petition for a Revision to a Rule of Criminal Procedure
Phil Duran presented the proposal asking the Minnesota State Bar Association to petition the Minnesota Supreme Court for an amendment to Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 26.02, subd. 6a, regarding discriminatory use of peremptory challenges, to confirm it to the scope of Minnesota Rule of Criminal Procedure 1.02.  After some discussion, a motion was made for the Diversity Committee to support the proposal.  Motion was seconded and carried.  The Minnesota Lavender Bar Association is already a supporter; Phil will also seek support from the Criminal Law Section and the Human Rights, Life and the Law, Court Rules and Administration, and Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committees. The plan is to have the full Bar vote at the April Assembly meeting.

New Business
Yvonne Moore reported that there is a great volunteer opportunity with a reading program called “Everybody Wins! Minnesota”. It’s a program where volunteers go in and read to elementary school kids one day each week during the school year. Hennepin County is a participant at Cityview Elementary School. You do not need to sign up ahead of time – just let them know when you arrive that you’re a new volunteer.  There is a bus that picks up volunteers at 11:55 a.m. every Wednesday outside the Government Center on 4th Avenue & 6th Street in Minneapolis and will return to the Government Center at around 1 p.m.  Here is the web site http://www.everybodywinsmn.org/ if anyone is interested in learning more about the program. Tram will also send this information out via the email listserv.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, December 5 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 2, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Joan Bibelhausen, Angela Cabatbat, Andriel Dees, Phil Duran, Lori Lannan, Justin Page, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Evaluations are in process.  Subcommittee Chair David Ahlvers will arrange for a meeting at the end of October to discuss recruiting efforts.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  
Yvonne Shorts is working out the final details of the service agreement with ICBits.  The agreement, once finalized, will be signed by a MSBA staff member.

CLE:
The Committee decided to hold two CLE programs this year with the following topics: 1) stock CLE on definition of diversity; and 2) issues surrounding cognitive bias.  Joan Bibelhausen will discuss these program ideas with Tim Morrow at Minnesota CLE to determine possible partnerships.  Joan Bibelhausen, Phil Duran, and Justin Page will work on the CLE Subcommittee.

Mentoring Project
Phil Duran reported that students at the University of Minnesota and William Mitchell are excited to hear about the project. Phil will talk to MWL to gather more information on how they run their program; and will reach out to students for feedback at the January 31, 2009 Regional Lavender Law Conference.

Discussion of Minority Bar Summit
David Ahlvers will contact all the minority bars to discuss whether we should continue the minority bar summit; and if so, how to restructure and reorganize to make it more effective.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on November 7 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.  


    Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 12, 2008

The Meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton
Members Present:  David Ahlvers, Angela Cabatbat, Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Lori Lannan, Nora Klaphake, Justin Page, and Nadege Souvenir.

I.          Obtain Permanent name tents for meeting attendees
II.         Committee Goals:  2008-2009 Bar Year
A.        Minority Clerkship (subcommittee)
B.         CLEs (Convention, others)
C.        Class Action
D.        Minority Bar Summit
E.         Implementation task force
F.         Receptions

III.       Programs encompassing all “diversity”
A.        Religion
B.         Sexual Orientation
C.        Race/Ethnicity
D.        Gender
E.         Disability

IV.       UofMN
A.        Mentor program for LGBT students
i.          Discuss mentor needs and expectations: create mentor program with schools and MLBA; MWL; Uof M LGBT Service
B.         Draft proposal:  Model for mentor program

V.        Disability issues
A.        MSBA provide disability services
B.         Meetings with law firms and law schools re:  accessibility
i.          Deaf clients
ii.          Check regarding students with disabilities from local schools
iii.         Meet with lawyers facing disability issues
iv.         Contact Wisconsin State Bar Chair regarding his past disability objectives
v.         Basic education with law firms re:  connection between diversity and disability
C.        Jean Bibelhausen as potential contact
D.        Disability Law Center – Kathy Hagen
E.         CLE:  accessibility to Justice System

VI.       Religion
VII.      CLE with Implementation task force
A.        CLEs focusing on the “unknown” diverse “categories”
B.         Disability
C.        Religion

VIII.     Discussion re:  gender programming
A.        Partnering with women in legal profession and MWL
B.         Contact Leslie Altman,

IX.       Clerkship – moving forward
X.        Class Action – report next meeting
XI.       MNlegaldiversity.org. – working with webmaster
XII.      Table Talk
A.        Separate information re:  clerkship and Bar contacts
B.         MSBA paraphernalia
C.        Information sheet regarding Div. Committee – what do, what is Div – develop over this bar year.
D.        Ask state bar to create MSBA Div. Committee publication
E.         Request brochures from other minority bars
F.         Candy at publicity events at schools

XIII.     Table – Minority Bar Summit to next meeting.
XIV.    Next Meeting – Friday, October 3, 2008 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
August 1, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers (Vice-Chair), Leslie Altman, Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Phil Duran, Nora Klaphahke, Yvonne Moore, Justin Page, Nadege Souvenir, Steven Reeves, Vince Thomas, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by phone: Yvonne Shorts

Chair Danielle Shelton welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the bar year; followed by brief introductions.

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Updates are being made to the interviewers’ evaluation forms to make it more structured and make it clearer on the criteria we are seeking in candidates.  If you are interested in joining the Subcommittee, please let Danielle know.

Class Action:
Angela Munoz continues to coordinate the program.  Recruiting for volunteers will begin in early fall.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  
The Subcommittee is considering 2 bids from ICBITS (a new developer) for the website.  One bid (less expensive) represents rebuilding the site using a module approach and the second bid (more expensive) gives us an estimate if we want to continue using "flash" and xml data on the site.  In layman's terms, "flash" is prettier-- it gives the site it's current look with the randomly disappearing/reappearing boxes but there are many technological challenges to using flash; one being our inability to update the site ourselves.  It was the consensus of the Committee to go with the “no flash” bid. 
 

Law Schools Orientation – Diversity Resource Booth
In an attempt to reach incoming first year law students early in letting them know about our Diversity Committee and our 1L Clerkship Program. The committee decided to attend the law schools Table Time. Table Time is geared towards first year students to provide them information about different organizations. The Committee will supply a brief statement for Table Time regarding our Diversity Committee and our 1L Clerkship Program.

Meeting Schedule
The Committee will continue to meet at noon on the first Friday of the month at the MSBA offices.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, September 12 at noon at the MSBA Offices. 

Meeting adjourned.

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 4, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou and Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers, Leslie Altman, Phil Duran, Andriel Dees, Ana Gomez, Jerry Lane, Lori Lannan, Nora Klaphahke, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison)

Subcommittee Updates
Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
The student-employer matches are completed and participants have been notified via email of their match. There will be a training session on April 25, 2008 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the MSBA offices.  All students are required to attend this training. There will be a Happy Hour following the training with students and mentors at the M&S Bar & Grill.

The Subcommittee also plans to meet with the career services to address concerns about the program and to seek input for improvements. 

CLE Programs:
The Project 516 Report CLE regarding the lack of legal rights for same-sex couples held on April 1, 2008 was well attended.   It was presented as part of the Family Law Institute Program.

Class Action:
No update. Angela Munoz continues to coordinate the program.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  
Pablo Satario will be resuming his work on this and it is hopeful that all of the profiles will be updated mid-summer.

Update on Resolution for MSBA Ad-Hoc Committee on Rights of Same Sex Couples
HCBA has signed on to the resolution.  It will be presented at the Assembly meeting on April 24, 2008.

Diversity Pipeline Project
The aim of the Pipeline project is to reach under represented students early and put them on a course to/getting them thinking about law school. The Committee is in the process of doing an inventory of all the programs that currently exist. It was suggested that this information along with materials from the minority bars could be distributed at the Law Schools’ orientation as part of the “Diversity Resource Booth”.   David Ahlvers and Danielle Shelton will coordinate with the law schools; Ana Gomez will be the contact for the minority bars.   Phil Duran will request materials from the minority bars at the April 17th Bar Summit meeting.

Chair for 2008/09
Marta Chou’s term as Chair will be expiring June 30, 2008.  If you are interested in being considered as Chair/Co-Chair, please contact Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@mnbar.org or 612.278.6316.  All appointments will be made by incoming President Michael Ford.

Next Meeting
The Committee will not meet in May, June and July. The Committee will meet next on August 1, 2008 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.

         

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 7, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present:  David Ahlvers, Gail Brandt, Phil Duran, Andriel Dees, Nora Klaphahke, Lori Lannan, , Steven Reeves, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates:

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:  The employer-student interviews will be held on Friday, March 14 at the law offices of Zelle Hofmann.  A training session for students is scheduled for Friday, April 25, 2008 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the MSBA offices. Nora Klaphake will be heading up the training program.    Gail Brandt will work on recruiting mentors.

CLE Programs:
February 11, 2008 CLE with Minnesota CLE from 1-3p.m.:  This was a success with over 100 attendees.

Phil Duran and Genhi Bailey continue to work with Tim Morrow at Minnesota CLE on  the Project 516 Report CLE regarding the lack of legal rights for same-sex couples.  It will be presented at the Family Law Institute on March 31 – April 1, 2008.

Class Action: No update.

Mnlegaldiversity.org:  The profiles are being updated. 

Update on Resolution for MSBA Ad-Hoc Committee on Rights of Same Sex Couples:
The following organizations have signed on - MSBA Diversity Committee,  MSBA Human Rights Committee, MSBA Family Law Section, MSBA Elder Law Section, Minnesota Women Lawyers, Minnesota Lavender Bar Association, and Ramsey Count Bar Association.

Diversity Pipeline Project:
There was a meeting on January 15, 2008 with Andriel Dees Salo Ale and Kim Horst. The project is in the beginning stages.  The aim of the Pipeline project is to reach under represented students early and put them on a course to/getting them thinking about law school. The Committee is in the process of doing an inventory of all the programs that currently exist. The next steps are (1) create an MSBA webpage/service that lists all such resources; (2) identify gaps in existing programs; and (3) determine how the MSBA and the law schools might help to fill the gaps and/or assist the existing programs. 

Update on Civic Education Committee’s Request for Co-Sponsorship of Diversity Pipeline CLE at the Convention: 
This program will not be happening due to lack of space on the Convention schedule. 

Next Meeting:  April 4, 2008 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.

 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 1, 2008

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton.

Members Present: David Ahlvers, Salo Ale, Steven Benolke, Joan Bibelhausen, Andriel Dees, Nora Klaphahke, Jerry Snider, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Subcommittee Updates:

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program: There are 65 applicants. The initial round of interviews with members of the Selection Committee will take place February 11 and 13 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the SMBA offices.

CLE Programs:
February 11, 2008 CLE with Minnesota CLE from 1-3p.m.: There are more than 100 people signed up. Danielle is on the panel to discuss the Clerkship Program.

Phil Duran and Genhi Bailey continue to work with Tim Morrow at Minnesota CLE on the Project 516 Report CLE regarding the lack of legal rights for same-sex couples. It will be presented at the Family Law Institute on March 31 - April 1, 2008.

Class Action: No update.

Mnlegaldiversity.org: The profiles are being updated. The goal is to have everything finalized by end of March.

Update on Resolution for MSBA Ad-Hoc Committee on Rights of Same Sex Couples:
The following organizations have signed on - MSBA Diversity Committee, MSBA Human Rights Committee, MSBA Family Law Section, MSBA Elder Law Section, Minnesota Women Lawyers, Minnesota Lavender Bar Association, and Ramsey Count Bar Association.

Diversity Pipeline Project:
There was a meeting on January 15, 2008 with Andriel Dees Salo Ale and Kim Horst. The project is in the beginning stages. The aim of the Pipeline project is to reach under represented students early and put them on a course to/getting them thinking about law school. The Committee is in the process of doing an inventory of all the programs that currently exist. The next steps are (1) create an MSBA webpage/service that lists all such resources; (2) identify gaps in existing programs; and (3) determine how the MSBA and the law schools might help to fill the gaps and/or assist the existing programs.

Civic Education Committee's Request for Co-Sponsorship of Diversity Pipeline CLE at the Convention:
The Civic Education Committee would like to do a program on diversity pipeline and conflicts in the schools and has requested that the Diversity Committee co-sponsor the program. The Committee determined it needed more information before making a decision. Steven Benolkin will contact Nena Street (Co-Chair of the Civic Education Committee) to further discuss and will report back at the next meeting.

Next Meeting: March 7, 2008 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
January 11, 2008
MSBA Honors Room
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton who is filling in while Chair Marta Chou is on maternity leave until March 2008.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Andriel Dees, Steven Reeves, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison to the Committee).

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program Subcommittee:
Student applications are due January 25, 2008. The Selection Committee will meet from 10 a.m - 12 noon on January 26th to review the application materials for completeness. The initial interviews will take place February 11, 13, 14 and 15, 2008 at the MSBA offices. Anyone interested in serving on the Selection Committee should contact Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@mnbar.org. All Selection Committee members are asked to commit to at least 2 days of interviewing. Tram will also send out an email to the committee listserv asking for volunteers.

CLE Subcommittee:
No update.

MNlegaldiversity.org website Subcommittee:
The William Mitchell student hired to help with the project is doing a terrific job! The goal is to have the website updated by the end of March or early April.

Class-Action Program Subcommittee:
No update.

Update on resolution for ad-hoc MSBA committee on rights of same-sex couples:
The following committees/sections have signed on to the resolution: Human Rights Committee, Family Law Section, Elder Law Section, Children and the Law Section, Probate and Trust Section (pending). David Ahlvers will be at the January 27 Life and the Law Committee to ask for their support as well. The Committee hopes to have the resolution presented at the April Assembly meeting.

Other business:
" An ad hoc committee (initiated by the MSBA Civic Education Committee) has been formed to start looking at the Pipeline Diversity Programs that exist here in Minnesota. This group met last month at William Mitchell which included Andriel Dees, Sharon Sandeen (Professor at Hamline), Maximilia Utley (Student at U of M) and Melissa Buekema, coordinator for the MSBA Civic Education Committee. The group agreed that given all that is already going on in the Twins Cities, the best thing to do is: (1) develop an inventory of all of the programs that currently exist; (2) create an MSBA webpage/service that lists all such resources; (3) identify gaps in existing programs; and (4) determine how the MSBA and the law schools might help to fill the gaps and/or assist the existing programs.

The next step is to figure out how best to develop the inventory. In that regard, another community meeting will be held sometime early this year (late April/early May) where the group can learn more about what is going on in the community. Thus, the group agreed to start the process of identifying the individuals and groups that should be invited to the meeting. The next planning meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 15 at 2:00 p.m. at William Mitchell in Room 229.

Anyone interested in participating in this project should contact Andriel at andriel.dees@wmitchell.edu.

" The Civic Education Committee requested that the Diversity Committee consider being a co-sponsor for a CLE program to be held in conjunction at the MSBA Convention in Duluth on June 16, 2008. The CLE will focus on possible solutions to some of the significant aspects of schools being in crisis, including increased student-to-student conflict and concerns about how to appropriately serve traditionally underrepresented students. The program will address how the concept of the Rule of Law can ameliorate some of these concerns. The session will also highlight the Committee's work in Operation Arbitration and the creation of a diversity pipeline project with area law schools. The Committee would like more information before it makes its decision. Tram will follow up with the Civic Education Committee to learn more and get more detailed information.

" Steven Reeves indicated that the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association is hosting a regional convention on June 14 and invited the Diversity Committee to participate in one of its break out sessions. This will be put on the February meeting agenda for further discussion.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on February 1, 2008 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


Diversity Committee
December 7, 2007
MSBA Honors Room
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by Danielle Shelton who is filling in while Chair Marta Chou is on maternity leave.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Leslie Altman, Genhi Bailey, Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Phil Duran, Ana Gomez, Yvonne Moore, Steven Reeves, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison to the Committee).

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program Subcommittee:
Student applications and brochures have been made available online as well as at the career offices. Applications are due January 25, 2008. The initial interviews will take place February 11-15, 2008. The Committee will be soliciting members to serve on the Selection Committee in January (members are asked to commit to at least 2 days of interviews).

CLE Subcommittee:
The Committee will co-sponsor the following programs with Minnesota CLE:
1) February 11, 2008 Topics for the first half of the program will include retention in law firms, critical mass in small law firms, and firm incentives for women. The second half will be highlights on diversity efforts in the Twin Cities, with reports from Diversity in Practice, Minority Clerkship Program, and others.

2) A program on legal protections denied to same sex couples in Minnesota, to be held in conjunction with the Family Law Institute in March 2008. Tim Morrow from Minnesota CLE will be meeting with the Family Law Institute planners to get approval, and if it does not get approval, the thought is we would do it via webcast.

MNlegaldiversity.org website Subcommittee:
The person hired originally to update the website is no longer available to help; therefore it is no longer possible to get everything finalized by the end of the year. A student at William Mitchell has agreed to step in and help update the profiles. Andriel Dees and Yvonne Short will be meeting on Monday, December 10 to map out a timeline. Minutes from that meeting will be distributed to the whole Committee.

Class-Action Program Subcommittee:
Angela Munoz, a student at the University of Minnesota Law School and a former Clerkship participant, has been recruited to help administer the program through February during Marta's leave. Everything is set for the rest of this year; however, Angela will need the Committee's help in recruiting volunteers for 2008.

Update on resolution for ad-hoc MSBA committee on rights of same-sex couples:
The following resolution was approved by the Committee at the November 2 meeting:
RESOLVED: That, in light of the disparity between legal rights and protections available to same-sex couples as compared to different-sex couples, the President of the Minnesota State Bar Association create a task force to review the current state of Minnesota law and to make recommendations as to desirable changes, if any, in the law to address this disparity. The President is encouraged to invite broad participation by MSBA members from relevant sections and committees with a goal of producing a report to be considered by the MSBA Assembly no later than its June, 2009 meeting.

The MSBA Human Rights Committee has signed onto the resolution. David Ahlvers will present the resolution at the December 8 Family Law Section meeting, and Phil Duran will present it at the December 14 Elder Law Section meeting.

Continued discussion of Quie Commission Report:
The committee has concluded its discussion of this item. No position was taken.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on January 11, 2008 at Noon at the MSBA offices. A meeting notice will be distributed via email approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting.


Diversity Committee
November 2, 2007
MSBA Honors Room
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Genhi Bailey, Steven Benolkin, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Phil Duran, Angela Hall, Jeremy Lane, Yvonne Moore, Steven Reeves, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison to the Committee).

Discussion of Quie Commission Report:
The Citizens Commission for Preservation of an Impartial Judiciary, chaired by Governor Al Quie, was formed in February 2006 to review and make recommendations concerning the method of selection of Minnesota's state court judges. More specifically, the Commission's mission was "to consider the nature and scope of the threats to an impartial court system in the aftermath of Republican Part v. White and assess the option for preserving and promoting an impartial court system". The full report with its recommendations was sent via email prior to the meeting and is available at http://www.keepmnjusticeimpartial.org/FinalReportAndRecommendation.pdf

The Committee will continue to discuss the Commission's recommendations at the December meeting and will decide what, if any, position to take on the matter.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program Subcommittee:
The schedule has been set. There will be 5 spots for out of state students. Applications and brochures will be available November 14; applications will be due January 25. David Ahlvers and Danielle Shelton are the co-chairs.

CLE Subcommittee:
Phil Duran and Genhi Bailey reported on 2 possible CLE topics to be held early 2008: 1) Strategies for Retaining a Diverse Workforce; and 2) Great and Small: 515 Legal Protections Denied to Same-Sex Couples in Minnesota. Tim Morrow at Minnesota CLE is interested in working with us once again. The Subcommittee will continue to develop these ideas and will report back at the next meeting.

MNlegaldiversity.org website:
No update. The goal is to have the website updated by the end of the year.

Class-Action Program:
Angela Munoz, a student at the University of Minnesota Law School and a former Clerkship participant, has been recruited to help administer the program through February during Marta's leave.

Resolution for Ad-Hoc MSBA Committee on Rights of Same-Sex Couples:
The following resolution was approved by the Committee.


RESOLVED: That, in light of the disparity between legal rights and protections available to same-sex couples as compared to different-sex couples, the President of the Minnesota State Bar Association create a task force to review the current state of Minnesota law and to make recommendations as to desirable changes, if any, in the law to address this disparity. The President is encouraged to invite broad participation by MSBA members from relevant sections and committees with a goal of producing a report to be considered by the MSBA Assembly no later than its June, 2009 meeting.

The resolution will be presented to other MSBA committees and sections in the coming months. The hope is that the final resolution will be presented to the MSBA Assembly for approval at its April or June meeting..

Marta's Upcoming Leave and Interim Chair:
Marta Chou will be on maternity leave from December through February and has appointed Danielle Shelton as the interim chair.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on December 7, 2007 at Noon at the MSBA offices. A meeting notice will be distributed via email approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting.


Diversity Committee
October 5, 2007
MSBA Honors Room
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: Jeff Brockmann, Phil Duran, Yvonne Moore, Steven Reeves, Danielle Shelton, Pat Everheart (MSBA staff liaison to mnlegaldiversity.org, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison to the Committee).

Present by invitation: Caroline Palmer, MSBA Pro Bono Development Director

2008 Equal Justice Conference
Caroline Palmer, MSBA Pro Bono Development Director, indicated that the ABA/NLADA Conference is being held May 7-9 at the Hilton Minneapolis. One of the goals of the conference is to increase diversity, particularly among the presenters. The Diversity Committee is encouraged to get involved and submit a program proposal by October 17, 2007. The Conference planners will review the Committee's suggestions in the context of other proposals and work to incorporate them as appropriate.

MNlegaldiversity.org website:
No update.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Evaluations have been distributed to program participants. Due date for completed evaluations is October 31. There will be one new employer participant for the 2008 Program (taking Rider Bennet's spot as they closed their business earlier this year).

The following people have volunteered to be on the MMCP Subcommittee:
Steve Reeves, Gail Brandt, Danielle Shelton, David Ahlvers, and Joan Bibelhausen.

CLE Programming:
Tabled to the next meeting.

Class-Action Program:
There is a training program in November.

Quie Commission:
This was tabled to the next meeting.

Minority Bar Summit:
This was tabled to the next meeting.

Meeting Schedule:
The Committee will continue to meet on the first Friday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on November 2, 2007 at Noon at the MSBA offices. A meeting notice will be distributed via email approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting.


Diversity Committee
September 7, 2007
MSBA Honors Room
Meeting Summary

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Leslie Altman, Genhi Givings Bailey, Steven Benolkin, Gail Brandt, Joan Bibelhausen, Andriel Dees, Rick Figueroa, Ana Gomez, Angela Hall, Jerry Lane, Steven Reeves, Danielle Shelton, Pat Everheart (MSBA staff liaison to mnlegaldiversity.org), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff liaison to the Committee).

Committee Chair Marta Chou welcomed all those present and thanked everyone for being on the Committee this year. Introductions were made.

MNlegaldiversity.org website:
The Diversity Committee has taken over the responsibilities for maintaining this website. Andriel Dees who was on the original website committee provided us with a brief history of the website and where things are now as we work to update the website.

Murad Mohammad, a WMCL alum, was hired to assist with the website updates. Murad is making great progress on updating the profiles, finishing the interviews with the remaining candidates and ensuring the profiles have consistent formats. Murad will also assist with updating the website content and, if appropriate, adding additional links. Murad was featured on the website and he has brought some great ideas with him in terms of the website content.

Looking ahead:
Mid December - updates should be completed
January, February, March - get word out that website has been updated.

Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
The 2007 Program was once again a success! There were 25 clerkships. Employers reported more satisfaction with the credentials of the students this year. More training, however, is needed for the students in terms of the basics in "hitting the ground running" and showing up for work, etc; as well as issues of depression and letting them know what resources are available. Steven Reeves and Joan Bibelhausen will work on those areas of the training.

It was also noted that the career service offices should be aware of any negative experience of their students.

The Committee is looking for people to work on the following components of the program. If you are interested, please let Marta know.

1) Training (Steven Reeves, Joan Bibelhausen)
2) Mentor (Gail Brandt, Angela Hall)
3) Communication
4) Website
5) Recruitment
6) Selection

Looking ahead:
Student and employer evaluations will go out next week.
November - law school presentations
December - Applications available (if you have any suggestions for the application process, let Marta know at mmchou@rkmc.com).

Class-Action Program:
There is a training program in November.

Quie Commission:
This was tabled to the next meeting.

Minority Bar Summit:
This was tabled to the next meeting.

Meeting Schedule:
The Committee will continue to meet on the first Friday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on October 4, 2007 at Noon at the MSBA offices. A meeting notice will be distributed via email approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the meeting.

 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 1, 2006
MSBA Offices - Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by Marta M. Chou.

Members present: Dave Ahlvers, Leslie Altman, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Andriel Dees, Roy Ginsburg, Angela Hall, Saqueba Iqbal, Nora Klapke, Courtney Reid, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Nguyen of the MSBA staff.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
1) Presentations at the law schools on November 1, 2, 8 and 9 all went well.
2) Gail Brandt and Angela Hall continue to work on recruiting mentors.
3) Student application is available online and at the law schools' career offices. Applications are due January 19.
4) The 2007 brochure is also available online and at the law schools career offices.
5) The Selection Committee will start the initial interviews in February. If you are interested in serving on the Selection Committee (which will be comprised of Diversity Committee members and representatives from the employer participants), please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.
6) Nora Klapke will once again help plan the training program for students in May with a possibility of including a panel on the experiences of former clerkship students.


Update on the "Class Action" Program with the Minneapolis Public Schools
1) Volunteers are needed for November through January at any of the eight public schools. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

Discussion of 2007 CLE Programs
1) The Committee will be co-sponsoring a CLE with Minnesota CLE on February 5, 2007 on the MSBA Diversity Task Force's findings and discussion relating to "what is diversity".
2) David Ahlvers continue to work on exploring speakers and potential topics for the Spring CLE.

Other Programming and Partnership Ideas
Volunteers are needed for theSummit Academy After-School Program which looks to help expose students to the legal field. Dates needed are December 8 (public defender) and December 15th (judge). If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet on Friday, January 5 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.



Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 3, 2006
MSBA Offices - Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by Marta M. Chou.

Members present: Dave Ahlvers, Gail Brandt, Jean Carlson, Saqueba Iqbal, Courtney Reid and Tram Nguyen of the MSBA staff.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
1) Feedback obtained from the student and employer evaluations was generally positive. Most employers suggested cutting down on the one-and-a-half day of interviewing. The Committee will take this suggestion into consideration as we plan for the interviewing process for 2007.
2) The list of confirmed participants is posted on the website.
3) The November 1 panel presentation at William Mitchell and the November 2 panel presentation at U of M both went well. It was reported that students seemed enthusiastic and asked good questions about the program. Upcoming panel presentations include November 8 at St. Thomas; and November 9 at Hamline.
4) The Committee is seeking help in recruiting mentors (need 25 attorneys) from May - August 2007. Angela Hall and Gail Brandt volunteered to lead this project.
5) There was discussion of holding a one-hour training for mentors with a packet of information on tips and strategies

Update on the "Class Action" Program with the Minneapolis Public Schools
1) There is a training session on November 8 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi.
2) Volunteers are needed for November through January at any of the eight public schools. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

Discussion of 2007 CLE Programs
1) The Committee will be co-sponsoring a CLE with Minnesota CLE on February 5, 2007 on the MSBA Diversity Task Force's findings and discussion relating to "what is diversity". Panel is all set up; and brochures will be mailed out next month.
2) The Committee also is considering doing a second Spring CLE on diversity. David Ahlvers will lead this project. Angela Hall, Gail Brandt, Saqueba Iqbal, and Jean Carlson also volunteered to help.

Other Programming and Partnership Ideas
Volunteers are needed for the Summit Academy After-School Program which looks to help expose students to the legal field. Dates needed are November 10, December 8, December 22, and January 12 from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet on Friday, December 1 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 6, 2006
MSBA Offices - Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by Marta M. Chou.

Members present: Dave Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen, Andriel Dees, Phil Duran, Roy Ginsburg, Angela Hall, Saqueba Iqbal, Amelia Jadoo, Jill Novak, and Tram Nguyen of the MSBA staff.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
Plans for next year's Program are underway with panels at the law schools scheduled in early November. Evaluations by employer and student participants are due October 20. Marta Chou will send out a reminder about 10 days in advance.

There was discussion regarding whether or not it was made clear in the initial letters to the employers that students in the Program should be automatically considered for a return offer by the employer (unless the employer have a stated policy that they do not make offers to 1L students) without having to go through the formal interviewing process. An incident occurred where a student was not considered for a return offer by a participating employer and this raised concerns amongst the committee members. Marta Chou will contact the employer to make some clarifications on this policy. It was suggested that perhaps part of the training for students next year could include the need to have "Plan B" in place should the student not receive a return offer.

Update on the "Class Action" Program with the Minneapolis Public Schools
Volunteers are needed to speak at schools for November through January. If you are interested in volunteering for the Program, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

Discussion of potential CLE programs relating to the current and historical question of "What is Diversity"
This was tabled to the next meeting.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet on Friday, November 3 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 8, 2006 - MSBA Offices

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Ricardo Figueroa, Judge George Perez, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Marta Chou welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked everyone for serving on the Committee.

Report from Chair's meeting with MSBA President
Marta Chou reported that she met with Pat Kelly, MSBA President, along with other bar leaders in July to discuss the Committee's work and goals for this year.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program
Marta Chou reported that this year's program was a great success. Evaluations will go out in the next couple of weeks. The Committee discussed plans for the 2006-2007 program, including the possibility of including additional employers and non-Minnesota students. Ms. Chou reported that Fredrikson and Byron has committed to hosting the welcome reception for students and employers in June 2007. Fredrikson will not only host this reception, but will sponsor the food, drinks, etc. as well. Dave Ahlvers will check with Lindquist regarding the possibility of hosting the interviews there.

Update on the 'Class Action" Program with the Minneapolis Public Schools
Marta Chou reported that due to the great success of the program, it will be going national. If you are interested in participating in the program, please contact Marta at mmchou@rkmc.com. The Committee briefly discussed the possibility of partnering with Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers. This discussion will be further explored at the October meeting.

Other business
The Committee discussed the recent articles in StarTribune and Minnesota Lawyer regarding the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice (TCDIP)'s decision to indefinitely table the Maslon law firm's membership application. The Committee discussed what position, if any, to take should the Bar Association request one. The consensus was that the Committee supports diversity as a goal and does not take an opinion of the issue between TCDIP and Maslon.

Next meeting
The Committee will meet next on Friday, October 6 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


 

Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 7, 2006
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: Joan Bibelhausen, Ricardo Figueroa, Wood Foster, Angela Hall, Nora Klaphake, Jerry Lane, Adam Nathe, Hon. George Perez, Courtney Reid, John Swimmer, and Tram Thai of the MSBA staff.

Update on Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou reported that the matching process has been completed. Special thanks were given to Judge George Perez and Gina Sauer for doing the matching. We are currently lining up mentors for the clerks. If you are interested, please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com.

A training session for students will be held on April 7 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the MSBA offices. Gina Sauer will do a presentation on "Smooth Transitions" followed by two panel discussions. Special thanks were given to Nora Klaphake for putting together the training.

Update on Achieve Program:
Volunteers are needed. Please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com if you are interested in volunteering.

Update on CLE Programs:
a) April 10 Pipeline CLE - moving along nicely.
b) Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CLE - Joan Bibelhausen reported that things are moving along. The feedback that she has received indicates that it should be a half-day CLE, and should be held before the reporting period. Joan will keep us updated.
c) Convention CLE - the CLE will revolve around the Task Force on Diversity's findings. Will be held in Brainerd on June 24.

Discussion of ABA Advisory Council on Diversity Resolution:
The ABA Council on Diversity is seeking co-sponsors for a resolution on diversity. The resolution encourages the ABA to work with other legal groups to improve diversity in the educational "pipeline" to our profession. The resolution and its accompanying report is available at http://www.abanet.org/op/councilondiversity/home.html. The resolution will be distributed via email for a vote.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet on May 12 instead of May 5 due to the Minnesota Black Women Lawyers' meeting being held on May 5.

Adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 3, 2006

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Phil Duran, Gail Brandt, Rick Figueroa, Eileen Strejic, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff)

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Initial interviews were held February 6, 8, and 9. The Selection Committee met on February 14 to select the twenty students. Students were notified of their acceptance into the program on February 15; all have confirmed their participation. Employer and students interviews will be held March 10 and 11 at the law offices of Gray Plant and Mooty. Mentors are needed for the program so please contact Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com if you are interested.

Update on Achieve Program:
Things are going well. If you're interested in participating, please email Marta Chou at mmchou@rkmc.com

Update on CLE Programs:
April 10: Pipeline CLE with Minnesota CLE
June 21: Convention CLE in conjunction with the Task Force on Diversity

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on April 7 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 3, 2006

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members present: David Ahlvers, Andriel Dees, Nora Klaphake, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff)

Update on the Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou reported that twenty four employers have confirmed their participation in the program. We received 84 applications from students (27 Uof M, 25 William Mitchell, 15 Hamline, 15 St. Thomas) There has been a few requests to participate from students from schools outside of Minnesota and this issue will be further discussed for consideration in next year's program. A reminder email about the January 20 application deadline will be sent to students.

Upcoming dates:
February 6-10: Initial Screening Interviews
March 10-12: Employer/Student Interviews
June 13: Welcome reception at Robins Kaplan
Judge Tour: Date to be determined

Update on the MSBA Task Force on Diversity in the Profession:
The Task Force is divided into four Subcommittees: Focus Group, Statitiscal Survey, Employer Survey, and Individual Suvey. The Task Force will complete its work and submit its findings to the Assembly in June.

Update on MSBA support re "Class Action" program by Minneapolis Public Schools and Achieve!
Marta Chou reported on a new program within the Minneapolis public schools designed to educate high school students about the dangers of underage drinking through interactive, role playing legal "trials". This new program is based on six civil trials involving issues of impairment due to alcohol and drugs. The Committee voted to support the program and will encourage the MSBA to do so. Marta will send out the draft letter with the description of the program to members via the email listserv.

Update on CLE programs:
a) Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CLE
The Committee voted in support of this program at the November meeting. We're still waiting for date time, and title from Joan Bibelhausen.
b) Joint CLE program on "pipeline" issue with Minnesota CLE
Marta is working with Minnesota CLE on the program. More details will be given at the March meeting.
c) Convention CLE approved
The Committtee's program was picked as one of the programs to be presented at the Convention

Next Meeting:
The next meeting will be held on March 3 at noon at the MSBA offices

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 6, 2006

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou.

Members Present: David Ahlvers, Joan Bibelhausen, Phil Duran, Rick Figueroa, Adam Nathe, Kenneth Neal, Ana Parins, June Pineda, David Schultz, John Swimmer, and Tram Thai of the MSBA staff.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou reported that the response from employers has been great! There are 24 employers signed up for the program. The complete list of participating employers is available on the website.

There was brief discussion regarding whether or not to consider students from other states for future years. Marta received a few requests this year from students who used to live in Minnesota and thought that it was worth considering for next year.

Marta is working on soliciting volunteers for the Selection Committee. A one hour training session will be held at the end of January at the State Bar offices. Initial interviews to select the 24 students to be in the program will be held the week of February 6 at the MSBA. Final dates and times are yet to be determined.

Update on the MSBA Task Force on Diversity in the Profession:
The Task Force is working hard on its findings and report. The Task Force is divided into 3 Subcommittees: Statistical Survey, Individual Survey, and Focus Group. Marta Chou and Phil Duran are both members of the full Task Force as well as the Focus Group Subcommittee (which Phil co-chairs).

Discussion of new program by Minneapolis Public Schools and Achieve!
The Minneapolis Public Schools, through a federal Safe Schools/Healthy Students federal grant, is instituting a new alcohol education curriculum entitled "Class Action." This new program is based on six civil trials involving issues of impairment due to alcohol and drugs. This program seeks to educate high school students about the dangers of underage drinking through highly interactive, role-playing legal "trials." The MSBA is made aware of this program and is considering lending support. The Committee voted to encourage the MSBA to lend its support to this program.

Discussion of CLE programs:
a) Action on Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CLE co-sponsorship:
The Committee voted in favor of co-sponsoring the CLE at the November meeting. Joan Bibelhausen reported that LCL is still working on the date, time and title for the program.
b) CLE on "pipeline" issue
The Committee is still leaning toward doing a joint CLE program with Minnesota CLE on the pipeline issue. However, this will be further developed and discussed with Tim Morrow from Minnesota CLE before deciding on the topic. Tentative date is April 3.
c) Proposal for Convention CLE
The Committee will be submitting a joint proposal with the Diversity Task Force. The content will include reporting and discussing the process and findings of the Task Force regarding gender, race and sexual orientation. Specifically, the program will highlight the qualitative data supplied by individual attorneys, firms, government agencies, and corporate legal departments.

Update on MSBA's endorsed benefits:
Phil Duran reported that the MSBA Assembly unanimously passed the resolution regarding the MSBAs endorsed benefits to allow members to purchase benefits for domestic partners.

Save the date:
February 22 from 6 - 10 p.m. at the Grand Hotel
Annual Fundraising Gala for the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association
Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, February 3 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 11, 2005

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou (Mike Tracy stepped down as co-chair.)

Members Present: Rick Figueroa, Roy Ginsburg, Adam Nathe, June Pineda, David Schultz, and Danielle Shelton

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou reported that 15 legal employers have signed up to date and the maximum number of employers has expanded from 15 to 20. Marta presented this program at the Twin Cities Lawyers Group managing partners meeting on November 9 and at the Nov. 10th meeting of the Minority Bar Summit to great support. The deadline for employer participants is Nov. 23. There is a new website for this program. Marta and other members of the Diversity Committee (Mike Tracy, Adam Nathe, Danielle Shelton and Phil Duran) and former Wisconsin Minority Clerkship Program participants continue to present this program to law school students to encourage their participation.

The committee reviewed a draft of a student application for this program and debated what the topic should be for an essay portion of the application. Committee agreed to have the Twin Cities Lawyers Group, led by Seema Shah, organize an interviewing workshop for clerkship applicants (and others).

Update on the MSBA Task Force on Diversity in the Profession:
The Steering Committee of the Task Force met today and the general committee will meet on Nov. 16th.

Discussion of Diversity Committee's Mission Statement:
Discussion tabled to the next meeting.

Discussion of CLE programs: Action on Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CLE co-sponsorship:
The Committee voted in favor of co-sponsoring the CLE, but included discussion on possible change in program title's name for clarity purposes.

Discussion of CLE programs: CLE on "pipeline" issue:
Discussed potential CLE topics for April and summer CLE, including: law & literature CLE; "What's Hot in Diversity," new corporate diversity policies mandating diversity in outside counsel; pipeline issue; and diversity in specific areas of law. Tabled final decision on CLE until December meeting, but leaning heavily towards "What's Hot in Diversity" and pipeline issue.

Discussion of MSBA's endorsed benefits:
Phil Duran was absent but asked that the committee be aware that the General Policy and Insurance for Members Committees are working to have a proposal before the Assembly on December 9th that would in effect implement the resolution the Diversity Committee approved last fall encouraging the MSBA's endorsed benefits providers to allow members to purchase benefits for domestic partners where they are purchasable for spouses.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, December 2nd at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 7, 2005

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou and Michael Tracy.

Members Present: Joan Bibelhausen, Andriel Dees, Phil Duran, Adam Nathe, Jessica Mason Pieklo, Danielle Shelton, Eileen Strejc, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Present by Invitation: Larniece Moore, Julian Falla

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program Proposal:
Marta Chou reported that the proposal was unanimously approved by the MSBA Assembly on September 23. Funding was approved in the amount of $4000 for the next three years.

Marta and Mike Tracy met with the deans and career services of the law schools last week; and also attended a meeting with the Minnesota Legal Career Professionals on October 6. A strong show of support was given at all meetings. There were some concerns raised by the legal recruiters with regards to the timeline, however, the Committee will proceed with the timeline as is this year and may consider changes for the future.

Employer packets have been mailed out with a deadline to respond by November 23.

The Committee discussed the possibility of including paralegals in the program in the future or having a similar program for paralegals.

There was discussion regarding what to do with those students who do not get selected to be in the program. Should the names of those students be forwarded to other firms outside of the program? A suggestion was made to have a "meet and greet" reception to give these students an opportunity to meet with potential employers. This reception would also give the small and mid-sized firms, who normally would not participate in the program, an opportunity to meet the students.

The Committee will run an article on the program in the next issue of Bench & Bar, as well as Legal News Digest.

Update on the MSBA Task Force on Diversity in the Profession:
This was tabled to the November meeting.

Continued discussion of CLE programs:
Joan Bibelhausen requested that the Committee vote on whether or not to co-sponsor the Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers CLE - tentatively scheduled for the spring of 2006. The Committee will need more information on the CLE before it can make its decision. Joan will bring a formal proposal with more information for the Committee's consideration at the November meeting.

There was also discussion about doing a CLE on the pipeline issue. This will be further discussed and explored at the November meeting.

Meeting Schedule:
The Committee will continue with its current meeting schedule of the first Friday of each month at noon. All meetings will be held at the MSBA offices.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on Friday, November 4 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 2, 2005

The meeting was chaired by Marta Chou and Michael Tracy.

Members Present: Joan Bibelhausen, Gail Brandt, Phil Duran, Guen Easley, Ricardo Figueroa, Steven Marchese, Adam Nathe, Ana Parins, June Pineda, David Schultz, Danielle Shelton, Eileen Strejc, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Co-Chairs Chou and Tracy welcomed everyone to the first meeting of the 2005-06 bar year. Brief introductions were made.

MSBA President Sue Holden's diversity initiatives:
It was reported that one of Sue Holden's focus areas this year is putting together a diversity task force to examine the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force and SAGE audit reports. More information will be available as the Task Force is being finalized.

Update on Minnesota Minority Clerkship Program proposal:
The proposal is on the September 23 MSBA Assembly agenda for approval. Mike Tracy will present the proposal in Marta Chou's absence. If approved, there was discussion of possibly reshuffling the timetable to have the first clerkship implemented in the summer of 2007 instead of 2006 as previously discussed.

It was suggested that an effort be made to coordinate with other law firms who already have a clerkship program in place.

There was also discussion of the importance of coordinating efforts with the Twin Cities Lawyers Group, TCC and other diversity groups so that there is a collaborative effort on diversity.

CLE programs:
The Committee would like to team up with Minnesota CLE again this year on a CLE program as past collaborations have been very successful. Tim Morrow from Minnesota CLE indicated that it would be great if we could get Sondra Thiederman, a national speaker on bias reduction, to be involved in our program. Minnesota CLE currently has the following slots open for a CLE sponsorship: February, April, May and June.

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers is working with Minnesota CLE on diversity and quality of life. Joan Bibelhausen, Executive Director of LCL, would like the Committee to consider being a co-sponsor of this program.

The Committee explored the following ideas for CLE topics: building skills and culture competency, diversity in the judiciary, chemical dependency and minority attorneys, and court interpreters. Members were encouraged to bring more ideas to the next meeting.
Tram Thai of the MSBA staff will provide a list of CLE topics from the last couple of years to help in the brainstorming.


Meeting schedule:
The Committee has traditionally met on the first Friday of each month at noon. However, this will be placed on the agenda for the October meeting to determine if this is the best time for everyone.

Next meeting:
The Committee will meet next on October 7, 2005 at noon at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be emailed to members approximately 2 weeks in advance.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
May 6, 2005
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Jerry Lane, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Update on the May 2 CLE:
The program was well-attended (approximately 200). The evaluations indicated a mixed review on the content of the program. There were concerns on how diversity is defined. The committee agreed that diversity should be inclusive. There was a suggestion to have clients serve on the panel next time.

Update on Convention CLE:
Everything is all set to go. The program will be held on Thursday, June 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Maddens in Brainerd. Judge Perez will moderate the panel consisting of Judge Natalie Hudson, Judge Edward Toussaint , and Judge Elena Ostby.

Update on the Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou met with Tim Groshens, and at his recommendation, we will wait to submit the proposal at the September Assembly meeting (rather than the May 20 Council meeting). This will give us more time to line up support before taking it to the bar leaders for a vote. Marta will continue to work on the proposal over the coming months; and will meet with different groups to line up support and give the heads up on the proposal.

Next year's Co-Chair:
Mike Tracy will return as Co-Chair next year. Judge Perez' term will expire in June and therefore will not serve as Co-Chair next year. The Committee expressed their thanks to Judge Perez for doing a great job in leading the committee the past 3 years. Judge Perez thanked everyone for their contributions. If anyone is interested in co-chairing the committee with Mike next year, please notify Tram Thai at tthai@mnbar.org. All appointments will be made by incoming President Sue Holden.

Next Meeting:
The committee will adjourn for the summer and will meet up again in September at the call of the Co-Chairs..

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 1, 2005
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Wood Foster, Chris Okoroegbe, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Update on the May 2 CLE:
Mike Tracy reported that the brochures have gone to print. Carolyn Golden Hebsgaard of the Boston Consortium will do the opening remarks and will also moderate the panel discussion. The panel will consist of representatives from the following law firms: Blackwell and Igbanugo, Halleland and Lewis, and Faegre and Benson. These firms were chosen because they have all received a diversity award.

Update on Convention CLE:
Judge Perez has lined up the following judges for the panel: Judge Natalie Hudson, Judge Edward Toussaint from the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Judge Elena Ostby from the Ramsey District Court. Justice Page has also been invited.

Update on the Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou continues to work on the funding proposal to be submitted to the May 20 MSBA Council meeting. It is estimated that we will need about $14,000 to fund a part-time administrator. Submission deadline is April 29. If full MSBA funding is not acquired, we will approach the law firms for sponsorship.

Next steps: 1) Marta and Mike Tracy will meet with incoming MSBA President Susan Holden and/or MSBA Executive Director Tim Groshens prior to the May Council meeting to give them an overview of the program; 2) Create informational brochure for distribution at the May 2 CLE program; 3) Get on the Agenda for the next Minority Bar Summit meeting.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on May 6, 2005 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 4, 2005
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Hon. George Perez (Co-Chair), Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Cassandra Ward Brown, Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Kari Jensen Thomas, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Update on the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force follow up study initiative:
It was reported that MSBA President-elect Susan Holden will be appointing a task force to look at this issue. The committee will be kept updated on any progress.

Update on the May 2 CLE with MCLE:
The CLE has been scheduled for May 2 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the MCLE Conference Center.
1:00 - 1:30 Showing of MNLegalDiversity.org website by Kari Jensen Thomas
1:30 - 2:00 Showing of the Wisconsin Minority Clerkship Program by Marta Chou and/or Pat Morgan (the Wisconsin program administrator)
2:00 - 3:00 Panel discussion of firms/corporations success stories

Panel members will be confirmed at the next meeting.

Update on Convention CLE:
The program has been scheduled for June 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Madden's Resort in Brainerd. Judge Perez has invited the following judges to be on the panel:
Judge Hudson from the Court of Appeals, Judge Toussaint from the Court of Appeals, and Judge Ostby from Ramsey. Justice Page has also been invited. We hope to have confirmations at the next meeting.

Update on the Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou will work on a proposal to be submitted to the May 20 MSBA Council meeting. Submission deadline is April 29.

Report from Judge Perez on the ABA Diversity:
Judge Perez attended the ABA Mid-Year meeting in February, and thought that the diversity programs there were worth mentioning. One was the Spirit of Excellence Award; the other was the Minority Caucus Business Meeting. Judge Perez will continue to keep the committee updated on the ABA diversity.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on April 1, 2005 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 4, 2005
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), David Ahlvers, Marta Chou, Wood Foster, Yvonne Moore, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Present by Invitation: Joan Bibelhausen (Co-Chair of the HCBA Diversity Committee), Sonja Peterson (Member of the HCBA Diversity Committee)

Continue discussion of the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force Report follow-up study:
The committee continued to explore ideas and options for updating the report. Joan Bibelhausen indicated that past diversity studies have been done on color, GLBT and disability, but none has looked at religion issues. Also, it was noted that the SAGE report does not include a breakdown of data between white and color women and that it would be a good idea to do so. In addition, Sonja Peterson pointed out that the initial HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force report focused more on hiring, and not as much on recruitment and retention. A question was raised as to why there are more women leaving private practice to go into corporate. It was suggested that the committee check one of MWL's reports to see if there's anything there or if it's just anecdotal.

Joan Bibelhausen reported that the HCBA is in the process of putting together the diversity statistics for publication in the upcoming Hennepin Lawyer. Joan also stressed HCBA's desire to be engaged and actively involved in this project. Mike Tracy will ask Judge Perez to contact Sue Holden for an update on where we are with this.

Continue planning for the joint CLE with Minnesota CLE: Tentatively scheduled for May 16:
Mike Tracy reported that due to conflicts with the Minnesota Conference CLE center as well as speakers' schedules, we will have to change the date to either May 9 or May 2. Also, the program will be 2 hours (instead of a half day) and will consist of the following: 1) Showing of MNLegalDiversity.org website by Kari Jensen Thomas; 2) Showing of the Wisconsin Minority Clerkship Program by Marta Chou (and/or the Wisconsin program administrator); 3) Panel discussion of firms/corporations success stories. Mike will talk with Judge Perez and Tim Morrow from Minnesota CLE to finalize the date.

Convention CLE:
Judge Perez was not able to make it to the meeting, but did send updates via Mike Tracy and Tram Thai. Judge Perez is still working on putting together a panel of judges for the Convention CLE. These judges will share their experiences regarding being a judge, how they became a judge and especially their experiences with diversity issues. The panel discussion will be moderated by Judge Perez. Judge Perez will have updates at the next meeting and would welcome any one who wants to help with the development of this program.

Update on the Minority Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou provided the committee with a memo that detailed where were are now and what remains to be done. For copies of Marta's memo, please contact Tram at tthai@mnbar.org. The program will be showcased at the May CLE as well as the MSBA Convention in June. Pending MSBA approval and other logistic issues, we will recruit first law students in the Fall of 2005, with the first class to begin clerking in the summer of 2006.

Other Business:
Joan Bilbelhausen announced that the HCBA is sponsoring a seminar on Thursday, February 10 called "Mental Health and Addiction". Brochures and information are available at the HCBA office.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on March 4, 2005 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 7, 2005
MSBA Offices, Board Room

Present: Hon. George Perez (Co-Chair), Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Wood Foster, Roy Ginsburg, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Present by invitation: Susan Holden (MSBA President-elect), Anne Johnson (Women in the Legal Profession Committee), Tom Shroyer and Andrew Mohring (LCL), Tim Morrow (Minnesota CLE), and Steven Gwost (a student from William Mitchell that Judge Perez is mentoring).

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers:
Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) is a lawyers assistance program that offers free, confidential help for lawyers, judges and law students who suffer from alcohol, drug, and/or mental health problems. Tom Shroyer and Andrew Mohring gave a brief historical background on LCL and the prevalence of the epidemic. They are interested in reaching those in the minority community who might need LCL's services and requested our help in doing so. Judge Perez volunteered to contact the other minority bars and let them know about this program. Brochures were distributed. If you are interested in more information, please visit the LCL website at: www.mnlcl.org. Wood Foster also acknowledged the late Gerald Freeman as someone who was a big supporter and advocate for LCL.

Update on the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force Report follow-up study:
The committee thanked MSBA President-elect Susan Holden and Anne Johnson, former Chair and current member of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee, for taking the time to attend the meeting for this discussion.

At the request of Sue Holden, Anne Johnson attended the meeting to provide some background information on the SAGE (Self-Audit for Gender Equity) Report. The WLP Committee is currently looking at the possibility of updating the SAGE report therefore Holden thought there might be some synergy between the two groups. As incoming MSBA President, Holden is open to laying the groundwork for gathering the data and encouraged the 2 committees and the HCBA to work together to identify what needs to be done at this stage. Holden then would consider appointing a task force to look at the issues based on the recommendations of all groups involved.

In addition, a January 4, 2005 article from Minnesota Public Radio was distributed indicating that there are few minority partners in law firms which further affirm the need to revisit the report and surrounding issues. A note was made to look for the results of the HCBA diversity statistics once they are available to determine if similar results were found.

It was pointed out that since this is a HCBA report, we should invite the HCBA Diversity Committee Co-Chairs, Joan Bibelhausen and Jeff Brown, and Sonja Peterson to attend the February meeting to ensure their active involvement and feedback in this process. Bibelhausen and Peterson attended the November meeting for the initial discussions and their feedback was very valuable.

Anne Johnson extended an invitation to the Co-Chairs, as well as other members who are interested, to attend the next meeting of the WLP Committee scheduled for January 18 at noon at the MSBA Offices to continue this discussion. Mike Tracy, and possibly Judge Perez, will attend this meeting and will report back to the committee at the next meeting.

Update on the resolution re access to the MSBA insurance policies for domestic partners:
No update. Phil Duran indicated that there will not likely be updates for awhile as we are awaiting the survey results from the MSBA Insurance for Members Committee. This item will be pulled from future agendas until further notice.

Report on the Wisconsin State Bar Minority Recruitment Clerkship Program:
Marta Chou presented the committee with great information on the Wisconsin program, and a packet of information advocating for the implementation of the same program in Minnesota. Co-Chairs Mike Tracy and George Perez will meet with MSBA Executive Director Tim Groshens to discuss this possibility and will report back at the next meeting.

Continue planning for the joint CLE with Minnesota CLE:
Mike Tracy and Tim Morrow will head up this program. Tim Morrow distributed a proposed working draft of the CLE. The CLE has been tentatively scheduled for May 16 at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center.
Working title: Diversity Success Stories from Minnesota's Legal Community
Topic proposals:
1. Segment on MN Legal Diversity website: www.mnlegaldiversity.org by Kari Jensen Thomas
2. Segment on Wisconsin's minority initiative, a program that matches law students from diverse backgrounds with legal employers
3. Segment for legal recruiters that offers reasons why people choose to move to and stay in Minnesota
4. Panel discussion on diversity hiring and retention initiatives with representatives from firms that have demonstrated a commitment to diversity:
Halleland Lewis - winner of HCBA's 2004 Diversity Award
Blackwell Igbanugo - winner of HCBA's 2003 Diversity Award
Faegre - The Human Rights Campaign recognized Faegre for receiving a perfect score of 100% in its Corporate Equality Index, which measures how U.S. companies treat their gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and clients
Kelly & Fawcett - a nine-attorney firm in Saint Paul with a diverse team of players
There was a suggestion to include a judge and an in-house attorney to the panel. There was also a suggestion to have the panel be judges only instead of the proposed panel.

Convention CLE:
Judge Perez will head up this program. The May 16 CLE will be repeated, with a few possible changes, at the Convention in June. Specific details are due to the MSBA by February 15. We will request to have it on a Thursday time slot.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on February 4, 2005 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 9, 2004
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Hon. George Perez (Co-Chair), Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Marta Chou, Phil Duran, Roy Ginsburg, Kirk Lund, Courtney Rogers, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Present by invitation: Tim Morrow (Minnesota CLE)

Update on the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force Report:
Judge Perez will invite MSBA President-elect Sue Holden to the January meeting to further discuss the possibility of putting together a task force to look at this issue. It was noted that based on the recently-published diversity statistics in Law and Politics, not much progress in the area of diversity has been made.

Update on the resolution re access to the MSBA insurance policies for domestic partners:
Phil Duran reported that the MSBA Insurance for Members Committee met on December 2 and agreed to include questions on domestic partners benefits in their 2005 member survey. Phil will continue to work with the IFC Committee on the survey questions and will report updates to our committee.

Discussion of Joint CLE with Minnesota CLE:
The committee discussed ideas for another co-sponsorship with Minnesota CLE. The April 2004 was met with great success and attendance. Topic ideas were explored. One idea was to promote successful firms by having a panel discussion on what those firms did in the areas of diversity recruitment, retention and promotion. A diversity award could be presented; as well as a showing of the website MNLegalDiversity.org. This 3-hour program could be repeated or "tweaked" and presented again at the MSBA Convention in Brainerd.

Marta Chou reported that The State Bar of Wisconsin sponsors a summer clerkship program to promote minority placements in settings where minorities traditionally have been under-represented, and it assists employers interested in diversifying their legal staff. The first-year law student Minority Clerkship is an employer-student matching program to support diversity initiatives. Students are matched with private law firms, corporate legal departments and governmental agencies. This would be a good program to showcase at our CLE program; and eventually implement in Minnesota. Marta will gather more information for the January meeting.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on January 7, 2005 at noon at the MSBA Offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 5, 2004 - 12 noon
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Phil Duran, Wood Foster, Roy Ginsburg, Tanya Johnson (via phone), Ben Omorogbe, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Present by invitation: Kari Jensen Thomas (MNLegalDiversity.org), Joan Bibelhausen and Sonja Peterson (HCBA Diversity Committee).

www.MNLegalDiversity.org:
Kari Jensen Thomas from the Minority Bar Summit gave an informative demonstration of the website aimed at attracting legal professions and law school students to Minnesota. Committee members who have not seen this website should give it a look. This is an ongoing project; and the group meets every other month. The next meeting is on November 19 at noon at the MSBA Offices; committee members are welcome to attend. If you are interested in being on this group's email listserv to receive meeting notices and correspondence, please notify Tram Thai at tthai@mnbar.org. Kari also indicated that she is looking for nominations of law students and practitioners to profile on the website and would welcome any suggestions from the committee. Nominations could be emailed to Kari at kari.thomas@leonard.com. Interviews will take place in January and February 2005.

Discussion of the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force Report:
Joan Bibelhausen and Sonja Peterson from the HCBA Diversity Committee gave a historical overview of the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force, Sexual Orientation, and Disability Reports. It was reported that the HCBA Diversity Committee gathers diversity statistics annually for progress; and has already gathered statistics for this year and will publish the data as it becomes available. Roy Ginsburg also noted that Law and Politics should also be publicizing their diversity statistics in the upcoming issue. The HCBA Diversity Committee at one time considered the idea of re-doing the report, however, it was decided that it was more appropriate to continue with the current efforts of gathering statistics and related initiatives instead. Moreover, Bibelhausen is interested in examining the elimination of bias CLE requirement to see if it is working. Is it accomplishing what we want it to? Should any improvements be made? After much discussion, the committee decided to schedule a meeting with Sue Holden and the Chairs from the MSBA, HCBA, and RCBA Diversity Committees to further discuss this issue and decide where to go from here. Mike Tracy will ask Judge Perez to contact Sue Holden for meeting dates.

It was also the consensus that there should be more collaborations between the MSBA, HCBA and RCBA Diversity Committees on future initiatives and programs. Joan Bibelhausen reported that the HCBA Diversity Committee is in the process of planning for a seminar that focuses on communities of color and how to become a judge; and would like the MSBA Diversity Committee to cosponsor the seminar. The committee voted to do so.

Update on the resolution re access to the MSBA insurance policies for domestic partners:
Phil Duran reported that he received a letter from the MSBA Insurance for Members (IFC) Committee informing us that their committee is in the process of doing a survey to assess satisfaction with current programs as well as identify additional insurance programs needed by MSBA members. The IFM Committee will add survey questions regarding the need for same sex benefits. The IFM Committee expects the survey to be completed in 2005 and will use those results to recommend changes to the Assembly. The Assembly ultimately approves all changes or additions to the Minnesota State Bar endorsed insurance programs. Phil will work with the IFM Committee on the survey questions and will give updates to our committee as needed.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Thursday, December 9 at noon at the MSBA Offices. Please note that we had to reschedule the original December 3 meeting date due to the Assembly meeting at the same time. A meeting notice with an agenda will be sent out a couple weeks in advance.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 1, 2004 - 12 noon
MSBA Offices, Honors Room

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair), Phil Duran, Wood Foster, Roy Ginsburg, Tanya Johnson (via phone), Jerry Lane, Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

It was reported that Judge Perez regrettably could not attend the meeting due to his heavy trial calendar this month and next month but hopes to attend the following meeting. Judge Perez is on the General Policy Committee and will serve as the liaison and can bring any issues from the Diversity Committee directly to the General Policy Committee.

Continued discussion and action of the resolution re access to the MSBA insurance policies for domestic partners:
The committee revisited the resolution drafted by Phil Duran and motion was made to approve the resolution, with a light amendment. The words "through its Council" were taken out. The motion was carried as amended: "Resolved: That the MSBA Diversity Committee calls on the MSBA Insurance for Members Committee to join it in recommending that the MSBA, through its Council, begin the process of amending its endorsed benefit plans so that opportunities secured for MSBA members to purchase, at their own expense, benefits for spouses are secured on a comparable basis for MSBA members to purchase, at their own expense, benefits for domestic partners." Phil Duran will talk to MSBA Executive Director Tim Groshens to determine what the next steps are and will report back at the next meeting.

Discussion of the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force and Supreme Court Racial Bias Task Force Reports:
Copies of the reports were distributed. Committee members were asked to review the reports prior to the next meeting. The committee is interested in what progress, if any, has been made; and whether or not to recommend that the MSBA put together a task force to look at the findings. It was also suggested that the committee review the 1995 HCBA report on sexual orientation as well. MSBA President-Elect Sue Holden and the HCBA Diversity Committee Co-Chairs will be invited to the next meeting for further discussions.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on November 5 at noon at the MSBA offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent about 2 weeks prior to the meeting date.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 10, 2004 - 12 noon
MSBA Offices

Present: Mike Tracy (Co-Chair); Phil Duran, Wood Foster, Tanya Johnson (via phone), Danielle Shelton, and Tram Thai (MSBA staff).

Co-Chair Mike Tracy welcomed members to the meeting; and thanked everyone for serving on the committee this year. Brief introductions were made; and a committee roster was distributed.

Discussion of access to the MSBA insurance policies for domestic partners:
Phil Duran requested that the committee consider adopting a resolution calling on the MSBA Insurance for Members Committee in recommending that the MSBA begin the process of amending its endorsed benefit plans to include benefits for domestic partners. The proposed resolution drafted by Phil is attached for your information. It will also be circulated via email to committee members to review prior to the October meeting wherein a vote will take place on the issue. Members who cannot attend the October meeting but would like to vote will be encouraged to cast their vote via email to Tram Thai of the MSBA staff at tthai@mnbar.org.

Discussion of goals for 2004/05:
The following ideas were generated at the meeting. Committee members were encouraged to further explore other ideas and bring them to the next meeting. Co-Chair Mike Tracy would like the committee to identify 3-4 focus points for this year.

1) CLE program
a) Continue doing the diversity CLE program at the annual MSBA Convention;
b) Partner with Minnesota CLE again on another program (the April 2004 program was a smashing success; and Minnesota CLE has indicated interest in doing another joint program); and
c) Take a program to outstate Minnesota

2) Review the HCBA Glass Ceiling Task Force Report and Supreme Court Racial Bias Task Force Report to determine how much progress has been made and if appropriate, encourage the MSBA to appoint a task force to look into these issues and do a follow-up study to these reports. Copies of the reports will be made available to committee members at the next meeting.

3) Work with the law schools to educate students about diversity issues and give them a realistic view of what to expect after law school.

Meeting schedule for 2004/05:
The committee will continue to meet on the first Friday of each month, unless it falls on or around a holiday, in which case the meeting will be rescheduled and members will be given advance notice of the new meeting date. All meetings will be held at noon at the MSBA offices. Meeting notices will be emailed to all committee members and posted on the committee web page about 2 weeks prior to the meeting date.

Other business:
The committee briefly discussed www.MnLegalDiversity.org, a diversity website that was developed by the Minnesota Minority Bar Summit which was launched last April. It was designed to showcase a vibrant Minnesota community of diverse practitioners and law students across the spectrum of practice areas. The website profiles diverse practitioners and law students and the reasons they decided to practice or study law in Minnesota. It presents a unique view of what Minnesota has to offer to legal professionals and law students, including information about communities, organizations, activities, entertainment, weather, housing and transportation. The Minnesota Minority Bar Summit is comprised of area law schools, minority bar associations, and state and county bar associations. Committee members were encouraged to visit this website.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on October 1 at noon at the MSBA Offices. A separate meeting notice will be sent about 2 weeks before the meeting.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
May 7, 2004

Present: Hon. George Perez, co-chair; Mike Tracy, co-chair; Phil Duran; Wood Foster; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Report on the April 19 CLE:
The program was a smashing success! There were approximately 175 attendees; and an additional 80 at the video replay. Following up on the success of the program, an idea of taking a "Retention Seminar" on the road was suggested and briefly discussed. The committee could develop a program to present to interested law firms over the noon hour. This idea will be further explored and developed at the September meeting. The committee also discussed sending the keynote speaker Victor Henderson a "thank you" basket of Minnesota items for his contribution to the program accompanied by a thank-you letter from the co-chairs on behalf of the committee. Tram will take care of the basket; Judge Perez and Mike will draft the letter.

Report on the MSBA Board of Governors action re the anti-marriage amendment resolution:
It was reported that the MSBA Board of Governors voted 21-12 in support of putting the resolution on the General Assembly meeting agenda for vote by the broader membership at the annual convention in Duluth. The General Assembly will be held on Friday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Update on the convention CLE:
Invite letters to the deans have been mailed out; Judge Perez will follow up with phone calls. Phil Duran reported that Camilla Taylor from the Lambda Legal Defense in Chicao will not be available and that he is working on getting another speaker. Bob Sykora was suggested as a possibility.

Next meeting:
The committee will take a summer hiatus and will meet again in on September 10 to kick off the 2004/05 bar year.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 2, 2004

Present: Judge George Perez, co-chair; Phil Duran; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

It was noted that Co-chair Mike Tracy had a schedule conflict and could not attend the today's meeting.

Update on the April 19 CLE:
Everything is all set to go. The program brochure was mailed out to approximately 15,000 MSBA members. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center in downtown Minneapolis. 2.75 elimination of bias credits have been applied for.

Update on the marriage act constitutional amendment resolution:
Phil Duran reported that the MSBA Family Law Section voted to endorse the committee's resolution. The resolution will be on the April 16 MSBA Board of Governors meeting agenda; Phil and Caroline Palmer from the Human Rights Committee will be presenting the resolution. It was also noted that the HCBA Diversity Committee has adopted 2 resolutions (one for the state; one for the federal), both in opposition of the constitutional amendment, and that they will seek action at the April 13 HCBA Governing Council meeting. Phil will also seek endorsement from the RCBA Diversity Committee as well.

Convention CLE planning:
The committee will once again have an exhibit booth at this year's MSBA convention in Duluth. Phil Duran has graciously agreed to staff the booth again this year. Phil was commended for his past and future commitments to staffing the diversity booth.

The committee also discussed the CLE program to be held in conjunction with the MSBA convention on Thursday, June 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Duluth. The program will consist of a one hour discussion about marriage/civil unions: an overview of what's happening nationally as well as what's happening specifically in Minnesota. Camilla Taylor from the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund in Chicago will be invited to speak on the national perspective; Phil will speak on the Minnesota perspective. If Ms. Taylor is unavailable, Phil Duran will secure another speaker. The other hour will be devoted to annual updates/discussion from the law school deans.

Next meeting:
The next meeting will be held on Friday, May 7 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices. This will be the last meeting of the 2003-04 bar year.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 5, 2004

Present: Mike Tracy, co-chair; Lenny Castro; Phil Duran; Wood Foster; Roy Ginsburg; Jerry Lane; Adonis Neblett; Sarah Oquist; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Co-chair Judge Perez was out of town and could not attend.

Update on the April 19 "Retention and Beyond: Diversity Challenges and Solutions in Minnesota's Legal Workplaces" CLE:
The program has been finalized, pending a few minor changes. A brochure will be mailed to all MSBA members (about 15,000). Information will also be posted on the committee's webpage and featured in the next issue of MSBA Legal News Digest. In addition, the chairs will send an invitation letter to the managing partners.

Update on the marriage act constitutional amendment resolution:
Phil Duran reported that he and representatives from the Human Rights Committee presented the committees' resolutions at the February 20 Executive Committee meeting. The Executive Committee was very receptive and determined that the Human Rights and Diversity Committees could go forward with the resolutions so long as it is made clear that they are representative of the committees only. The matter will be put on the April 15 Board of Governors agenda and the Executive Committee has asked that the Diversity and Human Rights Committee come to a joint resolution and present that for a vote on a Bar position against the proposed constitutional amendment. The Human Rights Committee has agreed to use the Diversity Committee's resolution language for the joint resolution. Phil will also seek endorsement from the Family Law Section at their March 13 meeting.

Convention CLE planning:
It was reported that the committee has been approved for a slot at the MSBA Convention for Thursday, June 10 from 2:00 - 4:30 p.m. The committee will be presenting a program on current issues on diversity and tolerance affecting the legal community. It will also include the annual discussion with the Minnesota's law school deans.

Other business:
Mike Tracy reported that William Mitchell College of Law has invited members of the committee and representatives from the minority bars to their March 17 event focusing on career issues especially for diversity students called "Getting Connected: Career Resources for Multicultural Students". Sarah Oquist and Phil Duran will be attending the event on behalf of the committee.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, April 2 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 6, 2004

Present: Hon. George Perez, co-chair; Mike Tracy, co-chair; Lenny Castro; Phil Duran; Robert Gilbertson; Roy Ginsburg; Jason Greenlee; Jeremy Lane; Sarah Oquist; Courtney Rogers; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Present by invitation: Tim Morrow of Minnesota CLE.

Co-Chairs Judge Perez and Mike Tracy thanked Tim Morrow from Minnesota CLE for his presence at today's meeting in connection with the CLE planning.

Discussion of Marriage Act Constitutional Amendment
Motion was made for the committee to adopt the following resolution: Resolved: that the MSBA Diversity Committee opposes any effort to amend the Minnesota Constitution to forbid the creation of legally-recognized relationships between persons of the same sex, and encourages the MSBA Board of Governors to take the same position. Motion was seconded and carried. A Certificate of Legislative Position will be filed with the MSBA office.

Update on the Rothenberg petition:
No updates.

Update on "Bias: What Bias" CLE credit approval in 2003:
No updates.

Update on April 29 CLE:
Plans for the CLE are going well. The program will be held on Monday, April 19 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at the Minnesota Conference Center. The keynote speaker will be Victor Henderson, partner at Holland & Knight law firm in Chicago. Tim Morrow requested that a program schedule be finalized by February 13. Tim will be working with those involved in the program to finalize the schedule by the deadline.

Discussion of Committee's participation at the 2004 MSBA Convention in Duluth:
It was agreed that the committee will sponsor a 3-hour CLE program at this year's MSBA Convention on June 10 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. A CLE proposal will be submitted to the MSBA Convention Committee for consideration at their meeting on February 9. Committees and sections will be notified by February 16 if their program is chosen.

Other Business:
Mike Tracy distributed copies of the recruitment letter that will go out to law firms soliciting their participation on the Diversity Committee.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, March 5 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 9, 2004

Present: Judge George Perez, co-chair; Mike Tracy, co-chair; Phil Duran; Wood Foster; Roy Ginsburg; Sarah Oquist; Henry Osazuwa; Courtney Rogers Reid; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Special guest: Frank Harris, Executive Director of Minnesota CLE.

Judge Perez welcomed everyone and introduced Frank Harris who was present for the discussion on the mid-term CLE.

Update on mid-term CLE:
It was reported that Minnesota CLE has agreed to co-sponsor the program, which will be held on April 19, 2004 at the Minnesota CLE Conference Center. It will be in the afternoon; exact time to be determined. The fee will be $95 per person; however, scholarships are available from the MNCLE office for those who cannot pay the fee. A note will be put on the brochure about the availability of scholarships. Tim Morrow is the main MNCLE contact person and therefore will be invited to attend all future meetings. The committee broke into groups to work on the format, speakers, marketing, sponsorships, etc. Updates will be given at the next meeting.

Discussion of TCC's Minority Recruitment Conference:
It was reported that the Twin Cities for Minority Lawyers in Large Law Firms (TCC) is hosting their annual Minnesota Minority Recruitment Conference (MMRC) in September. Bob Gilbertson provided a brief overview of the conference and reported that the past several years, TCC has partnered with the Hennepin County Bar Association to put on the conference. However, due to budget issues, the HCBA has ended this partnership. Therefore, TCC is seeking partnership with the MSBA and possibly other organizations to put on the conference. The proposal is being considered by the MSBA Executive Committee. The Diversity Committee supports the conference and urges the MSBA leadership to collaborate with TCC on this important event.

Update on the Rothenberg petition:
The Supreme Court held a hearing on January 5, 2004. No further information was reported.

Update on "Bias: What Bias: CLE credit approval in 2003:
No updates.

Discussion of Phil Duran's request for a resolution calling on the Board of Governors to oppose changing the Minnesota constitution to mandate discrimination in marriage:
Phil Duran will put together a formal resolution for the committee's action at the February meeting. The resolution will be emailed to committee members before the meeting.

Other business
Recruitment letter: a letter from Co-Chairs Judge Perez and Mike Tracy will be sent to various law firms and corporations soliciting representatives from these organizations to be members of the committee.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, February 6, 2004 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
December 5, 2003

Present: Mike Tracy, cochair; Wood Foster, Jerry Lane, Sarah Oquist, Jerry Snider, Melissa Starkey, and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Cochair Judge George Perez was out of town and could not attend the meeting.

The committee spent most of the meeting time on the mid-term/spring CLE. Agenda items 2, 3, and 4 were tabled to the January meeting.

The following details were discussed in regards to the CLE program:
Tentative dates: April 29 or April 30, 2004, 9am-12 noon
Tram will check with other bar associations for possible conflicts of events.
Tentative location: Minnesota CLE Conference Center and MSBA offices
Tram will check with MN CLE for space availability and reserve the MSBA conference rooms for the break out sessions.
Target group: attorneys, managing partners, hiring partners/recruiting managers, diversity coordinators, minority bar summit, HCBA & RCBA Diversity Committees, bar leaders, public sector (attorney general, public defender, city and county attorneys), law schools.
Program format draft:
Goals: We care and we want to improve
To evaluate/recognize the importance of diversity
Consciousness raising
Beyond recruitment
Keynote speaker: TBD
Tram reported that Victor Henderson from the law firm of Holland & Knight in Chicago and Muzzette Hill, General Counsel of Governmental Affairs of Ford Motor in Michigan, have both indicated interest in speaking at the program.
State of the union & statistics
Local and national corporations address what they want to see from their law firms
Panel discussion
Expectations based on interviews
Reality - positive and negative
Issues confronted
What could have been done differently
Break out sessions
By topic
By employer (large/medium/small law firm, government, corporate)
Hiring vs. retention
Solutions
Closing by keynote speaker

Next Meeting:
The committee's next meeting is scheduled on Friday, January 9, 2004 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices. At the January meeting, we hope to finalize the date, time, location; and continue to develop the program format.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 7, 2003

Present: Judge George Perez; co-chair (by phone); Mike Tracy, co-chair; Mary Akkerman; Phil Duran; Bob Gilbertson; Gina Sauer; Melissa Starkey; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff. Also present was guest Adonis Nebblet from Fredrikson & Byron.

Update on the challenge to the elimination of bias CLE requirement:
Co-chair Mike Tracy reported there are no updates on the Rothenberg petition and that we're still waiting for new developments in this case. Phil Duran reported that briefs were submitted on October 27, 2003; and as of today, there are no scheduled hearings. It is anticipated that hearings will take place early next year.

Committee members were notified that the ABA has recently proposed that all states should require that lawyers, either through a separate credit or through existing ethics and professionalism credits, complete as part of their mandatory continuing legal education those programs related to racial and ethnic diversity and the elimination of bias in the profession. Lawyers who practice in states and territories that do not require mandatory continuing legal education are encouraged to complete these programs as part of their continuing legal education. MSBA President Jim Baillie was encouraged by this news and is confident that the ABA's proposal will help keep the bias requirement in Minnesota.

There was a lengthy discussion on the recent elimination of bias credit approval from the CLE office for a program from Northstar Center entitled "Bias: What Bias?" which attacks the anti-bias rule requirement. The committee discussed what, if any, action the committee should take in this issue. It was suggested that the committee, through its Co-chairs, send a letter to the CLE Board restating our opposition to the approval of bias credits to the Northstar's CLE program. Another suggestion was to get a list of CLE Board members and contacting them for a fact-finding mission before deciding on a course of action. Phil Duran reported that Judge Tanya Bransford, who was adamantly opposed to this exact same issue when it came up 2 years ago, is being contacted by a member of the Minority Bar Summit for information. The committee will continue this important discussion at the December meeting.

Update on a mid-term CLE:
Judge Perez and Mike Tracy met with Adonis Nebblet from Fredrikson & Byron to discuss some ideas Adonis has for the 3-hour CLE program on retention issues, which is tentatively scheduled for March 2004. Adonis recently attended an ABA Minority Partners meeting and heard from speakers about the growing client requirements that their outside law firms be diverse; and thought it would be a good idea to bring one or more of the national speakers here for the CLE program. The committee thinks this is a good idea; however, it might also be helpful to have some local participation from corporations such as General Mills and 3M. The committee also discussed having break-out groups for the different focuses of diversity (color, women, GLBT, ect). The thought is if this program is successful, the committee will follow up with another one at the MSBA annual convention in June in Duluth.

A special meeting was called to discuss the format of the CLE on November 20 at 12 noon; location to be determined. Mike Tracy, Phil Duran, Adonis Nebblet, Gina Sauer, and Melissa Starkey agreed to attend.

Next Meeting:
The full committee will meet next on Friday, December 5 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 3, 2003

Present: Mike Tracy, co-chair; Mary Akkerman; Courtney Rogers; and Tram Thai of the MSBA staff.

Also present were Jim Baillie, MSBA President; and Tim Groshens, MSBA Executive Director.

Update on the challenge of the elimination of bias CLE requirement:
The committee continued discussions regarding what action to take in the pending Minnesota Supreme Court petition challenging the constitutional rights of the elimination of bias CLE rule requirement. MSBA President Jim Baillie gave a brief history of the origination of the rule requirement and reported that the Minnesota State Bar Association, in conjunction with the Hennepin County Bar Association Glass Ceiling Task Force, filed the original petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court for the rule requirement. Jim also noted that because the original petition was filed by the MSBA, it is likely that some discussions will take place within the MSBA's leadership regarding what, if any, action the MSBA will take on this issue as well as the best strategic plan for the Association

The following options were considered:
1) The Diversity Committee acts as a clearing house and monitor what's going on and take action with coordination from the other minority bars on a need-to basis; or
2) The Diversity Committee proceeds with an amicus brief opposing the petition; or
3) The Diversity Committee recommends to the MSBA Executive Committee and/or Board of Governors a certain action be taken by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a whole; or
4) The Diversity committee waits for the action of the MSBA Executive Committee (Jim Baillie plans to discuss this issue further with the rest of the officers and the Executive Committee will decide what action the MSBA will take).

After weighing the pros and cons of each of the options above, the committee decided it was best left to the MSBA Executive Committee at this time. The committee felt that action from the MSBA as a whole, rather than the Diversity Committee alone, may be more effective.

Continued discussion of a mid-term CLE:
Mike Tracy reported that the committee had discussed at the September meeting the possibility of putting on a mid-term CLE on retention issues. The committee has routinely done a diversity CLE at the annual MSBA convention which has been very well received; however, the committee thought that by putting on a mid-term CLE, it would give our committee more visibility and be more recognized in the legal community. The format of the CLE was briefly discussed. It was suggested that an outside consultant-type person be brought in to talk about diversity and retention issues; rather than have a panel of minority attorneys because they might not feel comfortable to freely discuss these issues. Mary Akkerman indicated that David Hunt has done many diversity training sessions and might be interested in helping the committee. Mary will check with Mr. Hunt and will report back at the next meeting. The committee also discussed having Gina Sauer head up the CLE program as she has done a great job with past programs.

Continued discussion of the development of a diversity award:
The committee continued discussions on the possibility of developing a diversity award and whether the award should come from 1) the committee alone, or 2) in conjunction with the Hennepin and/or Ramsey County Bars, or 3) the MSBA as a whole. After some discussions, the committee decided that the award should come from the MSBA as a whole. The committee will need to recommend to the Executive Committee that a diversity award be developed and given out on an annual basis, either at the annual MSBA convention or at the Board of Governors meeting. The recommendation should include the purpose and process for selecting the nominations as well as other criteria the committee would consider it selecting the winner. Once the development of an MSBA Diversity Award is established, the Diversity Committee will annually come up with nominations for the award recipients and submit its final recommendation of the winner for the Executive Committee's consideration. This will be further discussed and developed at future meetings.

Other business:
Mike Tracy reported that he received a request from the Human Rights Committee regarding a legislative proposal opposing the re-introduction of the death penalty in Minnesota (a bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives). The Human Rights Committee is preparing the necessary forms for the MSBA Legislative Committee and would like to know if the Diversity Committee would have an interest in this issue so that the committee can be identified on the form. The Human Rights Committee is not seeking an endorsement at this point----it's more so that they know who might also share an interest in this issue.

After some discussions, the committee decided to table this issue to the next meeting for further discussions with Judge Perez and other committee members.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, November 7, 2003 at 12 noon in the Honors Room of the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
September 5, 2003

Present: Judge George Perez, co-chair; Mike Tracy, co-chair; Phil Duran; Jerry Lane; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Welcome and introductions:
Judge Perez opened the meeting by welcoming all present members to the committee for the 2003/04 bar year and thanking committee members for their contributions to the committee last year. Special thanks were given to Gina Sauer, immediate past co-chair, for her exceptional work on the committee, particularly on the convention CLE and CLEO students.

Judge Perez recapped last year's activities and noted that it was a successful year for the committee. The committee, as well as the MSBA as a whole, did a nice job of welcoming the CLEO students during their 6-week summer institute. Comments from the CLEO students who attended the MSBA convention were positive. The June 19 convention CLE was an astounding success---with approximately 90 attendees.

Discussion of committee goals for 2003/04:
1. Annual convention diversity CLE
Due to the success of past programs, the committee would like to continue with planning for another CLE at next year's MSBA convention, which will be held in June 2004 in Duluth. Committee members were encouraged to start thinking of ideas for topics, panelists, etc.
2. Mid-term CLE
It was suggested that the committee sponsor a CLE in February on retention training for corporations and law firms and/or a panel discussion on diversity during tough economic times. This idea could also be planned as one part of the annual convention CLE. The law school placement offices were suggested as possible resources for planning purposes.
3. Diversity Award
The committee discussed the possibility of having a Diversity Award for non-metro areas or co-sponsoring the Hennepin and/or Ramsey County Bar Associations' existing Diversity Awards. Discussions need to take place with the Hennepin and Ramsey County Bars first.

Meeting schedule for 2003-004:
The committee will meet on the first Fridays of the month at 12 noon at the MSBA offices, except if it falls on or around a holiday*.
" September 5, 2003
" October 3, 2003
" November 7, 2003
" December 5, 2003
" January 9, 2004*
" February 6, 2004
" March 5, 2004
" April 2, 2004
" May 7, 2004

Other business:
1) Jerry Lane reported that there is a petition filed at the Minnesota Supreme Court challenging the legality of the Minnesota Elimination of Bias CLE rule requirement. The understanding is that the petitioner filed his compliance affidavit reporting no anti-bias hours, and objected when the CLE Board found him out of compliance. The matter is pending before the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The committee discussed what action to take regarding this issue and agreed that organizations which support the CLE requirement, and which believe there is still a need for it, should be informed of the pending matter and asked if they would like to seek to file amicus briefs with the Court. The normal timeline for filing has passed, but the Court might be willing to consider petitions for permission to file late. The committee believes it is important for the Court to know that there continues to be strong support within the profession for the requirement.

After these discussions, the committee decided on the following actions:

A) Co-chairs Judge Perez and Mike Tracy will send a letter to the Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of the committee voicing the committee's support of the Elimination of Bias rule requirement; and opposing any petition challenging the rule.

B) An email will be sent to the Minority Bar Summit listserv informing them of the pending matter and urging them to file petitions seeking the Court's permission to file late and to submit amicus briefs supporting the Elimination of Bias CLE rule requirement.

(Jerry Lane will draft the email message; Phil Duran will draft the petition to be used a model; Tram Thai will find out if there is an MSBA petition or amicus brief that was done when the Elimination of Bias CLE rule requirement was first created.)

2) Phil Duran reported the MSBA Minority Bar Summit Website Committee has been working over the summer on the development of a diversity website showcasing the diversity of the legal profession, and of the law student population in Minnesota. The project is intended to be a tool for recruiting diverse students to attend Minnesota schools, as well as for recruiting diverse applicants for jobs with Minnesota employers. Phil is a member of that committee and will keep us posted with progress on the project.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, October 3, 2003 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.

 


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
May 2, 2003

Present: Gina Sauer, co-chair; Phil Duran; Wood Foster; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Update on convention CLE:
Gina Sauer reported that everything is set for the June 20th CLE program.

The program will be held from 9 am - 12 noon at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis. The program will start with an overview of the 1993 Racial Bias Task Force Report by Justice Alan Page and Judge Pamela Alexander. It will be followed by a panel discussion on real world perspectives on hiring, retention, advancement and other legal market issues. Judge Perez will be the moderator. Panel members include Fred Ramos, Dan Sachle, and Bob Sykora. Judge Perez is working on recruiting a judge and a hiring partner to possibly join the panel. Finally, the Law school deans will give an update on their respective recruiting efforts of diversity students.

Tram will inventory materials from the minority bar associations left from last year's convention to determine if new materials need to be gathered for this year's booth. Phil Duran will once again staff the booth at this year's convention.

Update on MNCLEO:
Gina reported that the CLEO students will attend the MSBA convention breakfast with the Governor on June 20 immediately preceding the CLE program. Tram will check with MSBA convention manager to see if the students can also attend the Presidents' reception and the New Lawyers Social Party on the evening of June 19th.

Update on Statement of Principle:
This discussion was tabled to a future meeting.

Discussion of judicial clerkship issue:
This discussion was tabled to a future meeting. Next meeting: The committee decided to hold its next meeting on Friday, June 20 at 12 noon, immediately following the CLE program. Please note that this will substitute the regularly scheduled meeting on June 6. The CLEO students and heads of the minority bar associations will be invited to attend. This will be a "wrap-up" meeting for the 2002/03 bar year and a chance for committee members to meet the CLEO students. Tram will check to see if the meeting can be held at the Hyatt. If not, it will be held at the MSBA offices. Tram will send an email announcement to committee members so they can mark their calendars. Gina will invite heads of the minority bars.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
April 4, 2003

Present: Judge George Perez, co-chair; Gina Sauer, co-chair; Lenny Castro; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Update on convention CLE:
Judge Perez will send a letter to the 4 law schools deans inviting them, or another representative of the school, to participate on the law school panel as part of the CLE at the convention.

Gina will follow up with the Hmong, Hispanic and Lavendar bars to line up members from their organizations for the panel. If not, Gina will contact other potential candidates such as Fred Ramos, Dan Lee, and others who have served on the recent William Mitchell diversity program.

Judge Perez & Gina will gather bios from panel members to be forwarded to Tram by April 21 for the CLE applic ation.

Update on GLBT legislation issue:
The MSBA Executive Committee has recommended that the Board of Governors adopt the resolution opposing any legislative efforts to narrow the scope of the MN Human Rights Act to exclude GLBT at the April 26 BOG meeting.

Update on MNCLEO:
The dates of this year's CLEO program are June 8 to July 18. Gina will email Bob Gilbertson to see if his firm (Robins Kaplan) would be willing to host a luncheon immediately following the CLE, as a chance for committee members and students to interact. Other possible firms include Faegre & Benson, and Dorsey & Whitney. Tram will check with MSBA convention manager to see what other convention events the students could participate in.

Update on Statement of Principle:
This discussion was tabled to the May meeting.

Discussion of judicial clerkship issue:
This discussion was tabled to the May meeting.

Other business:
Lenny Castro reported that the proposal to include domestic partners among the list of those who can move a student for admission to the bar is expected to pass the Board of Law Examiners. The proposal that each of the minority bars be able to sponsor one student for admission to the bar is more controversial and will probably take more time to pass.

Next meeting:
The committee will meet next on Friday, May 2, 2003 at 12 noon in the Honors Room of the MSBA offices. Members are encouraged to attend as this will be our last chance to get our act together for the convention CLE.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
March 7, 2003

Judge George Perez and Gina Sauer co-chaired the meeting. Members present included: Wood Foster, Bob Gilbertson, Jerry Lane, Ben Omorogbe, and Courtney Rogers.

Update on convention CLE:
Judge Perez and Gina Sauer will send a letter to the 4 law schools deans inviting them, or another representative of the school, to participate on the law school panel as part of the CLE at the convention. Once the letter has been sent, Bob Gilbertson offered to follow up with them by phone.

Gina Sauer will contact the Hmong, Hispanic and Lavendar bars to line up members of their organizations for the panel. Judge Perez will moderate the panel, and will recruit a judge of color to serve on the panel.

Update on GLBT legislation issue:
Gina Sauer reported that according to Tim Groshens, the current feeling is that the proposed bill narrowing the scope of the MN Human Rights Act to exclude GLBT is not expected to have much, if any, support. Tim also stated that the legislative committee voted to recommend that the Executive Committee adopt our resolution. He does not think there will be any opposition from the Executive Committee, but that they may not move on it because at this point there does not seem to be any urgency given that the proposed bill has little, if any, support.

Update on MNCLEO:
Gina reported that William Mitchell has been awarded the CLEO program for the summer. Though the dates are not certain yet, it will probably run from the beginning of June til mid-July. The committee will invite the CLEO students to come to the diversity CLE at the convention, and will try to arrange for a luncheon at a down town firm immediately following the CLE, as a chance for the committee members and the students to interact. The committee will also think of other possible events to host, or to invite the students to. The committee asked if Gina could get some numbers from program director, Val Jensen, in terms of how many CLEO students decided to attend law school in the Twin Cities, or returned for summer clerkships in the Twin Cities.

Update on Statement of Principle:
Bob Gilbertson reported that he met with a representative from the local chapter of ACCA, who voiced general support for the Statement of Principle. He suggested Bob get in touch with the incoming ACCA chair, to discuss how ACCA might be involved in the project with our committee. Bob has exchanged messages with the incoming chair, and will follow up. The committee discussed how the Statement of Principle might be made known to the legal community, and it was suggested that an article could appear in the Bench and Bar.

Discussion of the U of M affirmative action case before the U.S. Supreme Court and what, if any, the Committee's response will be:
Judge Perez and Ben Omorogbe led a discussion, for the information of the committee members, on the Michigan case involving the current challenge to affirmative action.

Other business:
Judge Perez and Gina reported that a letter had been sent on behalf of the committee, to the Board of Bar Examiners, supporting the proposal from Lenny Castro and the Lavendar Bar that GLBT partners be included among those who could move an applicant's admission to the bar, and that each of the minority bars be able to sponsor one student for admission to the bar. Bob Gilbertson requested that as an agenda item for the next meeting, we add a discussion of judicial clerkships, and specifically whether the cost of traveling to judicial clerkship interviews may be hindering minority candidates from applying. Gina will bring copies of a recent study by NALP on the judicial clerkship application process to see if the study bears this out.

Next meeting:

The committee will meet next on Friday, April 4, 2003 at 12 noon in the Honors Room of the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
February 7, 2003

Present: Gina Sauer, co-chair; Phil Duran, Jerry Lane, Mike Tracy, and Tram Thai of the MSBA staff.

Continued Discussion of GLBT legislation issues
The committee approved the resolution language opposing the repeal of the Human Rights Act that was drafted by Phil Duran, with a friendly amendment to include a reference to HF 341. Also, it was reported that the Human Rights Committee also adopted the resolution so their name has been added to the final draft, which states as follows:

The MSBA Diversity Committee and Human Rights Committee hereby endorse, and call on the MSBA Board of Governors and/or the MSBA Executive Committee to endorse, the following:

RESOLVED: that in an era when safeguarding Minnesotans' civil rights has become more important than ever, the Legislature should not move to withdraw, or more narrowly define, any currently-protected class from the scope of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, as proposed in HF 341 and any companion bill.

Gina Sauer will email the resolution to Susan Holden, chair of the Legislative Committee, and Tim Groshens, MSBA Executive Director, and ask that due to the urgency of the matter, either a special meeting of the Legislative Committee be called or an email poll be conducted so that things can move forward as quickly as possible.

Gina will also email the minority bar associations letting them know what we are doing and ask them to join in on our efforts by adding their organization to the list of supporters.

The committee decided that involvement of ACLU was not necessary at this time.

Update on convention program
The application seeking approval for CLE programming at the convention was turned into the MSBA on January 28, 2003. Approval was still pending at the time of the meeting. The following information was included on the application:

Title: Diversity in the Past Decade: An Update on Diversity and Racial Fairness

Program sponsors: Minnesota Supreme Court Implementation Committee on Multicultural Diversity and Racial Fairness in the Courts, Hispanic Bar Association, and the Hmong Bar Association.

Program description: The program will have three main parts. First, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the Race Bias Task Force, a representative from the Implementation Committee will provide a brief overview of the 1993 report and update attendees what has been achieved over the past ten years and what still needs to be addressed by the courts. Second, there will be a panel discussion on real- life experiences with diversity efforts in the legal profession. Third, representatives from the four law schools will describe their recruiting efforts.

The hope is that the program will provide a broad overview of where the Minnesota legal profession has been and where we are going with efforts for diversity and racial fairness in the courts. There will be an opportunity for attendees to ask questions and provide input to the Implementation Committee members for areas that need to be addressed by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Update on MNCLEO
Decision on whether or not William Mitchell will have a CLEO program this summer was still pending at the time of the meeting.

Update on Statement of Principle
Bob Gilbertson met with one of the board members (Fred Ramos) of the Minnesota Chapter of the ACCA to talk about the diversity statement of principle. Mr. Ramos reacted very positively and was very helpful in suggesting ideas and in starting the process of putting Bob in touch with some others who could be helpful. Bob plans to follow up with the folks Fred Ramos recommended and will report back to the committee.

Other business
Phil Duran reported that there is a proposal at the Minnesota Bar Admissions Advisory Council that would amend the rule on who is eligible to “move’ another for admission into the bar at the admissions ceremony. The proposal calls for two changes: 1) Adding “Domestic Partner” to those who qualify as an individual sponsor; and (2) Allowing each minority bar association, through its president or designee, to sponsor one student member for admission. Phil asked that the committee consider supporting this effort and send a letter of support to Peg Corneille at the Board of Law Examiners no later than February 28, 2003. Those present voted to support this effort. Gina Sauer will draft the letter of support on behalf of the committee to be sent to Peg Corneille by February 28th.

Next meeting
The committee meets next on Friday, March 7, 2003 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
January 3, 2002

Present: Gina Sauer, co-chair; Dawn Burlingame; Phil Duran; Bob Gilbertson; Mark Ponsolle; Jerry Snider; Mike Tracy; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Discussion of the North Star’s Elimination of Bias Issue
This discussion was tabled to the February meeting.

Update on the Statement of Principle
Gina Sauer will email updated database to Mark Ponsolle and Mike Tracy to have them give it one more look for any glaring errors or omissions. Bob Gilbertson will contact Minnesota ACCA chapter to get their input on how best to approach corporations, and to see if they have interest in co-sponsoring this project.

Update on MNCLEO Program
Gina Sauer will send email to Tram Thai, for forwarding to all committee, as soon as confirmation is received that WMCL is getting CLEO. Once confirmed, Tram Thai and MSBA web staff will oversee creation of section on web site where committee members can submit ideas for activities in which to include the CLEO students, either that their individual firm or agency would like to sponsor or for the committee as a whole.

The chairs sent out a letter of support to the ABA Council on Legal Education Opportunities on December 20, 2002 (letter was distributed at the meeting and if you would like a copy, please email Tram Thai at tthai@mnbar.org).

Other Business

Next Meeting
The committee will meet next on Friday, February 7, 2003 at noon at the MSBA offices. Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
November 6, 2002

Present: Hon. George Perez, Co-Chair; Gina Sauer, Co-Chair; Phil Duran; Jerry Snider; Mike Tracy and Tram Thai, MSBA staff. Discussion of North Star’s

Elimination of Bias Issue
This discussion was tabled to the December meeting. Gina Sauer will follow up with Dani Deering for updates.

Update on Statement of Principle
Gina Sauer reported that her students are working on updating the mailing list and should have it completed soon. In the meantime, the committee discussed the need to make a decision regarding to whom the letter should go to. After some discussions, the committee decided that the letter should go to the Chief Executive Officer of the company, with carbon copies to the General Counsel and the Director of Human Resources (the CEOs and GCs will be identified by names and indicated on the letter; the HR will not).

There were some discussions regarding whether or not the committee should, in addition to sending out the letter and asking the corporations to sign onto the statement of principle, expand the project to include development of some diversity training tools and make those available to interested organizations. One possible suggestion was a “tip sheet” or some guidelines on how to recruit and retain diverse candidates. The committee thought this might be a worthwhile idea to explore and will add this to the December meeting agenda for further discussions.

Next step: The committee will work on putting together a final letter to be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, General Counsel, and Director of Human Resources. Staff will work on personalizing the final letters.

Update on MNCLEO Program
Gina Sauer reported that she is in the process of drafting the letter of support from the committee to help ensure that Minnesota will be awarded the national CLEO this summer. It was noted that law firms will be interested in sponsoring events for this as a recruitment tool. The committee discussed ideas to be included in the letter such as past activities (inviting students to be part of the MSBA annual convention), sponsoring a reception for students, and having mentors for students during their stay.

Other Business
Gina Sauer reported that she, along with Phil Duran, attended the October 24 Minority Bar Summit. There is a subgroup of the Minority Bar Summit that is charged with creating a brochure with different diversity resources for law school students coming to Minnesota. The Summit noted that it is important for the Diversity Committee to support and be involved in this project and requested that the committee appoint a designee to work on the project. Phil Duran volunteered to be the committee designee for the project and will ask to be added to the Minority Bar Summit mailing list. Next Meeting The committee will meet next on Friday, December 6 at 12 noon at the MN JUDICIAL CENTER in ST. PAUL (please note different meeting location for December meeting only). Judge Perez will secure a meeting room and will notify staff of the room number. Meeting adjourned.


Diversity Committee
Meeting Summary
October 4, 2002

Present: Hon. George Perez, Co-Chair; Gina Sauer, Co-Chair; Dawn Burlingame; Lenny Castro; Phil Duran; Wood Foster; Ben Omorogbe; Jerry Snider; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Update on Statement of Principle

Mike Tracy reported that members of the Subcommittee held a telephone conference on September 24 to review the Statement of Principle mailing list in an effort to determine if the contacts listed are correct/appropriate for a future mailing. An update report was distributed to those present; and is attached here for your information.

There were some discussions on whether or not the committee should be spending its time on pursuing this project further, or whether time would be better spent on other projects. A suggestion was made that the committee should revisit the issue of bringing the statement of principle to the law firms instead of corporations. Another idea was made that the emphasis should be changed to providing tools for diversity training, rather than seeking signatories for the statement of principle.

After a lengthy discussion on the above issues, the committee decided on the following next steps:

1) Follow up with updating the contacts list. Gina Sauer will have her students at William Mitchell College of Law update the list as part of their college study program.

2) Provide tools for diversity training

It was also requested that an electronic copy of the Statement of Principle be distributed to committee members. Staff will email the information with the next meeting notice.

Update on MNCLEO Program

Gina Sauer reported that no decision has been made yet on which three schools will get the federally-funded CLEO program next summer. William Mitchell and Hamline law schools are both in the running so there is a good chance that Minnesota will have a CLEO program. The committee explored the possibility of providing a letter in support of the Minnesota law schools. Gina Sauer will check with the Board to determine if this would be acceptable.

Discussion of MN Courts Appointments/Committees/Boards

Lenny Castro reported that he was able to locate the Executive list from the Secretary of State website. The updated list with all the new vacancies will be available in the next month or so and Lenny will be providing that list to committee members when it becomes available. In the meantime, Lenny will forward any preliminary information to committee members as well as for distribution for possible discussion at the next Minority Bar Summit.

Judge Perez distributed the Judicial list of all current committees and task forces; and will distribute an updated list of all members on the judiciary and any new vacancies when the list becomes available, possibly next month.

Once the new lists become available, the plan is to get the word out to the various minority bar associations, identify good candidates for the vacant seats, and contact them.

Next Meeting

The committee will meet next on Friday, November 1 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


October 4, 2002

Statement of Principle
Update

Statement of Principle Committee members held a telephone conference on September 24, 2002 to review the Statement of Principle mailing list in an effort to determine if the contacts listed are correct/appropriate for a future mailing. Prior to the meeting, committee members reviewed the list.

During the meeting it was determined the list was outdated and would not be appropriate for future mailing use. The committee discussed the need to divide up the list among Diversity Committee Roster members willing to contact one page of the list (approximately 30 Company names) in order to determine the best contact(s) at each organization. In addition to sending out the “Action” letter, the need to follow up with a phone call to every individual receiving this letter was discussed. The call would ensure the letter was received by the appropriate individual and provide an opportunity to explain the importance of this action as well as answer any questions.

The committee also discussed the need to follow-up with those organizations that have already signed the Statement of Principle. We should find out what effect signing this document has had on their commitment to diversity as well as their relationship with their clients.

Finally, the committee discussed the diversity committee sponsoring a program whereby attendees will be given the opportunity to be successful in relation to their commitment to diversity, both in terms of hiring and retention.


Diversity Committee Meeting Summary September 6, 2002

Present: Judge George Perez, Co-Chair; Gina Sauer, Co-Chair; Lenny Castro; Phil Duran; Mark Ponsolle; Mike Tracy; and Tram Thai, MSBA staff.

Co-Chairs Judge Perez and Gina Sauer opened the meeting by welcoming members present to the first meeting of the committee for the 2002/03 bar year and thanked them for their service. Committee members introduced themselves and noted the reasons for their interest in the committee.

Report on Chairs’ Meetings with MSBA President:

Judge Perez & Gina Sauer reported that they, along with other committee and section heads, met with MSBA President Jon Duckstad in August to discuss goals and priorities for the year. The Chairs thought that the meeting was productive and that Jon Duckstad is supportive of the committee’s goals.

Discussion of Committee’s Goals for 2002/03:

1) Finalize decision whether to pursue a state-funded Minnesota CLEO, or if national CLEO program is awarded to WMCL, collaborate with WMCL to support the program and ensure its success.
The committee decided to collaborate with WMCL to support the national CLEO program and ensure its success instead of pursuing a Minnesota CLEO. Motion was made and adopted to have the Chairs communicate to the Minnesota Supreme Court Task Force on Racial Bias that the Courts should support the National CLEO program that WMCL will be sponsoring next summer.

Action Item: The Chairs will put together a letter to Justice Page.

2) Continue to solicit signat ories to Statement of Principle among Minnesota corporations and law firms.
The committee noted that part of the reason for the low response rate from past mailings may have been because it did not target the right people. The committee decided on the following next steps: 1) Identify contact; 2) Develop contact; 3) Publicize the corporations who have signed onto the Statement of Principle in the Bench & Bar and Corporate Counsel magazines, as well as put it on the MSBA website under the committee’s webpage.

Action Item: Dani Deering, Mark Ponsolle and Mike Tracy will work on identifying and developing contacts. Staff will forward the list of corporations to these members.

3) Work to advance diversity among the various appointments/committees/ boards controlled by MN courts.
The committee will start by obtaining a list of all existing boards and committees from the courts to identify the appropriate contacts.

Action Item: Judge Perez will get the Judicial list; Lenny Castro will get the Executive list.

4) Collaborate with the law schools to increase the diversity of their student bodies.
The committee stressed the importance of supporting the law schools and establishing a liaison between the MSBA and the law schools. It was suggested that the committee send a letter to the diversity offices of each of the law schools to extend our support and offer our assistance.

5) Increase communication with the MN Minority Bars and Lavender Bar, and collaborate with them on mutually beneficial projects or issues, including the creation of a brochure and web page designed as a resource for attorneys and prospective law students of color who are contemplating moving to Minnesota.
The committee discussed the possibility of becoming a clearinghouse for diversity issues and stressed the importance of increasing communication with the various minority bars by sharing minutes and publicizing different events. The committee also discussed the possibility of identifying links to various diversity resources and working with the MSBA staff in putting those up on the committee’s web page.

Meeting Schedule for 2002/03:

The committee will meet monthly on the first Fridays of the month at 12 noon at the MSBA offices. The schedule is as follows:

· October 4, 2002
· November 1, 2002
· December 6, 2002
· January 3, 2003
· February 7, 2003
· March 7, 2003
· April 4, 2003
· May 2, 2003

Other Business:

The committee discus sed what, if any, position the committee wants to take on the North Star elimination of bias CLE credit issue. It was suggested that committee members attend of these seminars to have a better understanding of the matter. This issue will be discussed further at future meetings.

Next Meeting:

The committee will meet next on October 4, 2002 at 12 noon at the MSBA offices. Meeting adjourned.

- Last Updated 08/04/05 -