MSBA Women in the Legal Profession Committee
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The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for April 9, 2012

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, April 9, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Anna Kim,  Ashlee Bekish, Krista Schneider, , Dana Bartocci, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Continuing Planning for Sage Roundtable
Topic:  Gender equity and what law firms can learn from other legal employers.

The Committee continued to explore possible dates and speakers and hope to finalize details in the next week. Dana Bartocci volunteered to contact Liz Cutter to determine her interest in participating.

Update on SAGE Award
Subcommittee members continue to meet and work on updating the SAGE guidelines/award application.  Committee members are welcome to attend any of the meetings and/or provide suggestions/feedback.  Please contact Kendra Brodin at kbrodin@stthomas.edu if you are interested.

Update on Law School Panels
Kendra Brodin reported that St. Thomas is still interested in coordinating a panel and should have a date finalized next week.  Notice will be given via email to the full committee.

Update on Joint CLE Program with Diversity Committee on the 2011 SAGE Report
The CLE Subcommittee continues to work on a script with Lake Shore Players.  The CLE will be held on June 28, 2012 at Target fields in conjunction with the MSBA convention “Nine Days in June”.  The one-hour CLE program has been extended to 1.5 hours.  Watch for more details on http://www2.mnbar.org/convention/index.asp as well as a convention brochure which will be coming out soon!

Update on Provisional Bar Membership for Military Spouse
Leslie Altman reported that Peg Corneille indicated that she would be willing to look at a draft proposal at one of the upcoming meetings of the MNCLE Board (May 18, June 22, August 15-16).  The Committee was excited to have Sophane Te, a 2007 graduate of St. Thomas Law School and a military spouse who is very involved in the JD Network, help draft some model provisions for Minnesota.

William Mitchell College of Law CLE on SAGE Report | April 25, 2012
Committee members were encouraged to attend the MSBA co-sponsored CLE on the April 25, 2012. The CLE will be held at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of William Mitchell College of Law.  Leslie Altman will be on the panel.  Registration information will be posted on the committee’s webpage at http://www2.mnbar.org/committees/women-in-profession/upcoming.asp and will also be emailed to the Committee.

Happy Hour
The Committee will host a happy hour on May 17 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the location to be determined.  Ashley Wenger will send out an email to the whole committee.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, May 14 2012 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 12, 2012

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, March 12, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Krista Schneider, Anna Horning Nygren, Dana Bartocci, Emma Madday, Sarah Novak, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Update on Law School Panels

Panelists: Erin Knapp Darda, and Heather Kleibenstein
Topic: Practice areas which are not female-predominant

Panelists:  Julia Halbach, Heather Kleibenstein and Dana Bartocci

Update on Joint CLE Program with Diversity Committee on the 2011 SAGE Report
The planning is moving along. The CLE Subcommittee is working on a script with Lake Shore Players.  The CLE will be held on June 28, 2012 at Target fields in conjunction with the MSBA convention “Nine Days in June”.

Update on Provisional Bar Membership for Military Spouse
Julia Halbach reviewed the following information, all of which was distributed via email to the full committee prior to the meeting:

Leslie Altman reported that this issue was discussed at the most recent Minnesota Women Lawyer Advisory Council meeting and there was significant interest and support in the initiative.  It was suggested that we try to garner as much support from other groups within the MSBA as well as outside of the MSBA.

Next steps:

Continue Planning for SAGE Award/SAGE Roundtable

SAGE Award:  The Committee will skip giving the award this year and will instead use the time to 1) revamp the application form to make it more broadly applicable; 2) review/update the SAGE Guidelines; 3) Get additional employers to sign onto SAGE.  The idea would be to give out the award in 2013, marking the 1oth Anniversary since the SAGE guidelines were first adopted.
 
Next steps:

SAGE Roundtable:

Date: first week of May
Topic: Public sector successes – what can private sector learn from the public sector  and corporate?
Possible speakers:  Liz Cutter (Dana Bartocci will contact), Megan Helzler (Excel), someone from General Mills?

Report on MSBA Council action re William Mitchell College of Law CLE on SAGE Report | April 25, 2012
The MSBA Council approved the Committee’s recommendation to have the MSBA sponsor (in name and monetary donation) the April 25, 2012 CLE.  The CLE will be held at 3 p.m. in the auditorium of William Mitchell College of Law.  Leslie Altman will be on the panel.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, April 9, 2012 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 19, 2012

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, January 19, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Krista Schneider, Anna Horning Nygren, Dana Bartocci, Susan Aase, Lindsey Davis, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Special Guests:  Melissa Wright and Professor Ann Juergens from William Mitchell College of Law

Melissa Wright and Professor Ann Juergens presented a proposed CLE entitled ”Revising the Rules of the Legal Workplace: Finding Solutions for Gender Equity and Diversity”, based on the findings of the 2011 SAGE and Diversity Report.  The CLE will be held on April 25, 2012 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at William Mitchell College of Law.  Ms. Wright and Professor Juergens requested the Committee recommend to the MSBA Council that the Minnesota State Bar Association sponsor the CLE by providing name and $1,500 for reception to follow the CLE.  The Committee voted unanimously to do so.  Ms. Kleibenstein will put together the Resolution to go on the MSBA Council agenda in February.

Update on fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report
The Program has been selected to be presented as part of Nine Days in June (the MSBA annual convention).  The date will be June 28, 2012 from 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.  at the Crowne Plaza Riverfront.  The CLE planning committee is working on writing a script with Lake Shore Players (the theater group of lawyers and judges that will be acting out the script).

Discussion of initiative to provide for provisional bar membership for military law spouse attorneys
The ABA has a resolution that “urges state and territorial bar admission authorities to adopt rules, regulations, and procedures that accommodate the unique needs of military spouse attorneys, who move frequently in support of the nation’s defense”.   This proposal will be voted on at the ABA Midyear Meeting in February.

Ms. Altman has made contact with Peg Corneille at the Minnesota State Board of CLE and is awaiting her response.

Next steps:

  1.  Peg Corneille’s response
  2. Outcome of ABA proposal at the ABA Midyear Meeting

Revisit long-term committee goals | Next 3 years budget requests
The Committee discussed and agreed to keep the budget request at $1500 for SAGE for each of the next three-year budget cycle (2012-13, 2013-24, 2014-15).

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, February 13, 2012 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for December 12, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, November 14 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair),  Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Julia Halbach, Rita Johnson, Krista Schneider, Ashlee Bekish, Sarah Novak, Anna Horning Nygren, Anna Kim, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Special guest:  Kimberly Espinosa (via teleconference) from the Military Spouse JD Network

Update on fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report
The Program is still being considered by the Day 9 Committee.  Hopefully the Committee will know by the next meeting.

Update on law school panels
Ashley Wenger is working on securing February dates from the law schools.  Updates will be given at the next meeting.

Discussion of initiative to provide for provisional bar membership for military law spouse attorneys
Kimberly Espinosa from the Military Spouse JD Network attended via teleconference to speak about the initiative.

Next step: Leslie Altman will contact Peg Corneille at the State Board of Law Examiners to find out what the procedure is for a rule change in Minnesota.  An update will be provided at the next meeting.

Continue discussion re whether to become a MSBA section or stay as a committee
Due to the mixed feedback from Committee members, the Committee voted to table this issue for now and revisit it again in the future.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, January 9, 2012 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for November 14, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, November 14 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair),  Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Julia Halbach, Casey Nolan, Emma Phillips, Christina Walters, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Update on fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report
The following was submitted to the Day 9 Planning Committee:

The MSBA Diversity and Women in the Legal Profession Committees would like to request your consideration to include our bias CLE for the 9 Days in June programming. We envision the CLE as a lively and informative series of vignettes that Interact actors would perform, and after each vignette, well-known attorneys and judges from our legal community would be present to comment on the vignette and facilitate discussion around it, including best practices.  The vignettes are going to be culled from the results and many comments provided via the MSBA’s Diversity/Sage survey and would provide “two sides to every story.”  We currently envision this to be either a one or two hour program (with a respective 4-8 vignettes).

The Lake Shore Players (http://www.lakeshoreplayers.com/ )which is an amateur acting group that includes a fair number of lawyers and judges is very enthusiastic about our project and offered to take our material (the study) and write up the dialogue, rehearse it, and put it on in June for $1,000 or $1,500 (worst case scenario).

The Day 9 Planning Committee meets next at the end of November to review the proposal.

Report of UMN panel discussion and discussion of possibly organizing additional panels at other law schools
The University of Minnesota Law School Panel held on October 19, 2011 was well received.  Students’ feedback was very positive.  It was the consensus of the Committee that these panels are helpful to students so the Committee will proceed with organizing additional panels at other law schools.  Ms. Wenger will get dates from William Mitchell, Hamline, and St. Thomas.  The Committee will discuss potential speakers and topics at the next meeting.

Discussion of initiative to provide for provisional bar membership for military law spouse attorneys
The Committee continued its discussion regarding the initiative by the Military Spouse JD Network to advocate for provisional bar membership for military spouse attorneys in every state. Ms. Demmers reported on her research regarding what other states are doing:

Leslie Altman will contact Peg Corneille at the State Board of Law Examiners to find out what the procedure is for a rule change in Minnesota.  This issue will be discussed further at the next meeting.

 The Military Law Committee is interested in this project but needs to know more.  Tram will circulate Ms. Demmers’ research information to the Military Law Committee.

Report on October 25, 2011 Minority Bar Summit
Leslie Altman and Alan Haynes presented the 2011 SAGE Report on Gender Equity and Diversity at the Minority Bar Summit held on October 25, 2011.  The next summit meeting will probably be held in February.

Other Business:
The Committee continued its discussion of whether to morph into a section of the MSBA or remain a committee.  There was mixed feedback.  Ms. Wenger noted this would be a major change, and one that requires full committee vote.  Ms. Wenger will put together some information to be distributed at the next meeting for review and vote. 

Kendra Brodin is close to completing her data per state research on leadership positions at the state bar associations and any women’s group.  Ms. Brodin will send Tram her completed information for distribution with the next meeting notice.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, December 12, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.

 


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 10, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, October 10, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair),  Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Sarah Demers, Julia Halbach, Emma Phillips, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Krista Schneider,  Kate Sykes, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Update on fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report
Ms. Altman, Ms. Kliebenstein and Ms. Horning Nygren attended the CLE planning meeting with members of the Diversity Committee on October 7.  The planning committee is suggesting a half-day seminar, possibly to be held in early 2012 and/or as part of Nine Days in June. The seminar will consist of reporting on significant findings and talk about best practices.  It should be more interactive with possible vignettes from well-known “actors” (possibly from the Courts).  The planning committee is meeting via teleconference on October 12 to continue planning.  Updates will be given at the next meeting.

Discussion of law school panels
The University of Minnesota Law School Panel is set for October 19 at 12:15 p.m. in Room 40.  Panel members include: Rebecca Bernhard, Julia Halbach (Target), Judge Kathleen Sanberg, Krisann Kliebacker-Lee (Cargil), and Rachel Tobberman.

Discussion of initiative to provide for provisional bar membership for military law spouse attorneys
The Committee discussed the initiative by the Military Spouse JD Network to advocate for provisional bar membership for military spouse attorneys in every state. The Ohio Women’s Bar Association has already petitioned the Ohio Supreme Court to consider provisional bar membership for military spouses who meet specific criteria.  Ms. Demmers volunteered to look at other states to see what they are doing and will report back next month.  It was noted that the Military Law Committee might have an interest in this issue.  Ms. Wenger will contact the chair of that committee.

Report of diversity recommendations for MSBA President Brent Routman
The Committee discussed the list of diversity recommendations proposed by Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, and Ashley Wenger.  The list was distributed to committee members prior to the meeting and was available at the meeting.

The Committee also discussed the possibility of becoming a section (instead of remaining a committee) of the Minnesota State Bar Association. It was noted that the main differences between a section and committee are that section members pay dues and therefore sections have their own budgets and elect their own officers; whereas committees operate out of the MSBA general fund, have limited budget, and committee chairs and membership are appointed by the MSBA President.  Tram will provide Ms. Wenger with information on how to become a section of the MSBA, statistics on how many women are currently on the MSBA Assembly, the percentage of women compared to men in the overall MSBA membership profile.

Minority Bar Summit
The next meeting is scheduled for October 25 at Noon at the MSBA offices.  Heather Kliebenstein will attend on behalf of the Committee.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on Monday, November 14, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 12, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, September 12, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Kendra Brodin, Dana Bartocci, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Demers, Julia Halbach, Emma Phillips, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Anna Horning Nygren, Krista Schneider, Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff), and MSBA President Brent Routman.  Via Telephone:  Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Marlene Garvis.

Update on fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report
Ms. Wenger reported that she met with David Ahlvers, Chair of the Diversity Committee.  The two of them believe a three part CLE series on the findings of the Diversity Survey makes sense due to the amount of information contained in the report.  The goal is to hold the first CLE in early November.  Ms. Kliebenstein, Ms. Nygren and Ms. Altman agreed to work on this project with volunteers from the Diversity Committee.  Ms. Wenger will distribute the final Diversity Survey Report to the Committee.  She and Mr. Ahlvers also discussed holding focus groups on diversity topics with law students in their third year.

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 whether this effort could somehow be tied into the SAGE Awards.  This question will be explored as the SAGE Award process is reviewed and revamped. 

Advancement within the MSBA Structure
Mr. Routman informed members that the four MSBA officers are elected in a rotation.  The Hennepin County Bar Association elects one representative, the Ramsey County Bar Association elects another, greater Minnesota districts elect one, and the last spot is the at-large/diversity seat.  Phil Duran currently occupies the at-large/diversity seat.  Thus, one clear way to advance in the MSBA structure is to first advance in the county/district bars.  Mr. Routman recommended identifying your passions and getting involved; taking on responsibilities and fulfilling them in a timely fashion and expressing interest in moving up.  He encouraged members to apply for openings on the MSBA Assembly or other opening as they arise.  He also recommended letting bar officers know of your interest so they can keep it in mind when making Committee chair appointments.  He also suggested the HCBA’s LINC program that focuses on leadership. 

Members asked for Mr. Routman’s suggestions on how to disseminate the information from the Diversity Survey Update Report.  Mr. Routman responded he could include it in a future President’s Column in Bench & Bar magazine.  He also suggested trying to have a CLE program included in Nine Days in June.  Members noted it would need to be an interactive, engaging CLE.  Ms. Brodin, Ms. Altman and Ms. Wenger will work on some recommendations for Mr. Routman as to other diversity efforts he might consider making as President.

Mr. Routman encouraged members to contact him any time with ideas, questions or comments.  His email is: BrentR@merchantgould.com and his cell phone is (612) 703-5063.

Other Business:
Ms. Wenger asked for volunteers for the October 19 panel discussion at the University of Minnesota.  There is only one volunteer to date.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on Monday, October 10. 

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for August 8, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, August 8, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Kate Sykes, Emma Phillips, Casey Nolan, Sarah Novak, Anna Norning Nygren, Jennifer Jameson, Erin Knapp Darda, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Co-Chairs Ashley Wenger and Heather Kliebenstein welcomed everyone to the Committee for the 2011-12 bar year; followed by introductions.

Report of name/mission statement subcommittee; vote on recommendations
Ms. Wenger reported on the work of the subcommittee and indicated that the general consensus was that we should keep our name the same, but change our mission to the following:

"To advance and advocate for the interests of women in the legal profession by building a foundation for achieving success and satisfaction in their professional lives."

Motion was made to adopt the new mission statement; motion was unanimously approved by the Committee. 

The new statement will need to be approved by MSBA President Brent Routman.  Tram will follow up with Mr. Routman and will notify the Committee when it is approved.

Report of legislative criteria subcommittee; vote on recommendations

There was a general consensus from the strategic planning session that we needed some guidelines about when new legislation should be brought up to the entire committee for review.  The subcommittee discussed the idea of developing some basic criteria that legislation had to meet in order to entertain an entire committee discussion.  As far as process, anyone could email one of the chairs of the committee saying they wanted to discuss a certain piece of legislation, but that when they did so they would have to state in their email to the chair(s) how it met the requisite criteria.  The proposed criteria are:

  1. Does the legislation have an impact on women?  If so, what is the impact on legal rights and how does this depart from previous legislations?
  2. Does our knowledge/experience/insight as women attorneys allow us to offer a unique perspective on the issue at hand?
  3. Who else (what other groups, etc.) has taken a position for or against the legislation, and what are these positions?
  4. How does it fit within our mission?

Motion was made to adopt the criteria; motion was unanimously approved by the Committee.

Report of SAGE subcommittee; vote on recommendations
Erin Darda Knapp reported on the work of the subcommittee. 

In General:

  1. Could we take nominations (from people who work at the firms/organizations or others)? We could promote the nomination process through Bench & Bar and the newsletter, etc.
  2. Could the process be two-fold, consisting of a nomination by self or other, followed by a formal application?
  3. Should we consider creating tiers based on number of attorneys and/or kind of organization? We could have two categories, such as private (firms, etc.) and public (i.e. judicial, city/county attorneys, legal aid, nonprofit, etc.) and then have categories under the private firms based on size. The applications could be distinct for the two large categories to make the questions more relevant. Under the private firms, they could all fill out the same application, but then we would divide the applications based on firm size into two or three categories (small, medium, and large.)

About the SAGE Best Practices and Participants:

  1. Once we have the results of the Diversity Survey, could we revisit the entire SAGE Best Practices? They have not been updated since 2003. Many of the firms who signed on are no longer in existence.
  2. We could use the revised Best Practices as a way to get firms/organizations to actively sign on again. We could also use it as a way to get the word out about the Best Practices and the award.
  3. We may want to consider ways to create the Best Practices so that they are as relevant to different kinds of employers as possible. Much of the current language does not apply to employers who are not firms.

The subcommittee recommends that the bulk of the work wait until we receive the responses from the diversity survey.

Planning for fall CLE related to findings of the Diversity Survey Report

The Committee discussed the possibility of doing a fall (probably November) 2-hour CLE on the findings of the Employer Diversity Survey and, in particular, unconscious bias. The plan is to potentially take a shortened version of this CLE "on the road" to the law schools, as well as offer it up as a presentations that we could give to interested firms and employers upon request.  Ms. Wenger will check with the Diversity Committee to see if they want to co-sponsor.  Ms. Kliebenstein volunteered to head up the planning for this CLE.

Meeting schedule for 2011-12:
The Committee will continue to meet on the second Monday of each month from 12:00 – 1:00 pm. at the MSBA Offices.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on Monday, September 12.  MSBA President Brent Routman will be present to talk about advancement within the MSBA structure.

Meeting adjourned.

 

 

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for April 11, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, April 11, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin, Sarah Demers, Anna Kim, Erin Knapp Darda, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Anna Horning Nygren, Emma Phillips, Krista Schneider, Cathleen Sykes, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by phone:  Rachel Welch

Report on Diversity Survey/Need for focus group participants:
Ms. Wenger encouraged members to complete the diversity survey that was sent out to all MSBA members and consider participating in the focus groups. 

Report on March 15 Pipeline Summit: 
Ms. Wenger reported there are discussions regarding the MSBA’s assistance in coordinating all of the pipeline efforts.

Legislative Watch:
The legislation bill H.F.936 prohibiting abortions at or after 20 weeks gestational age unless certain exceptions apply has been heard in the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee and is on its way to the House.

The legislation bill H.F.322 on joint presumption of physically custody is being reviewed by the MSBA Family Law Section.

The Committee discussed whether or not to keep legislative watch as an ongoing agenda item or to report on a need-to-basis. Ms. Bartocci volunteered to report on what positions MWL supports as a way to minimize duplicative efforts Ms. Brodin suggested that perhaps certain legislative bills, such as the abortion bill, should be circulated via email to the full committee as an FYI rather than as a discussion item at the monthly meetings. It was suggested that the committee develop criteria and/or focus points which will help guide us in our legislative work.  The Committee will further discuss this after the strategic planning session.

Strategic Planning Meeting: 
Tram will send out a survey via email to the full committee regarding availability for a strategic planning session from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the MSBA offices.  Dates to pick from are May 16, May 23, June 6, and June 13.  Results will be announced via email.

Next Meeting:
The committee will meet for a strategic planning session on May 16 from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m. at the MSBA offices. This will take place of the May 9th meeting.

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 14, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, March 14, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Sarah Demers, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Meghan Feliciano, Anna Kim, Erin Knapp Darda, Casey Nolan, Krista Schneider, Cathleen Sykes, Susan Thoresen, and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).  Present by phone:  Lindsey Davis, Anna Horning Nygren.

Report on SAGE Best Practices Roundtable:
Ms. Wenger reported that the SAGE best practices luncheon roundtable on March 7 was a success in terms of favorable comments from participants.  The speaker panel was excellent.  Unfortunately, the number of attendees was not as high as hoped.  A suggestion was made to follow up with SAGE employers via an annual survey.

Diversity Commitment Statement:  Committee members reviewed the commitment statement for legal employers, the action plan and a list of potential legal employers to approach as an initial target group.  Members suggested some changes and edits to the commitment statement.

Proposed MSBA Strategic Plan:  Members were asked to review the Diversity Committee’s comments on the draft strategic plan to see whether WLP would like to join in the comments.

Report on February Bar Summit:  Input regarding the employer and individual diversity surveys from the minority and affiliated organizations was solicited at the February Bar Summit.  A diversity pipeline summit is being held on March 15.

Legislative Watch:
Ms. Bartocci informed the Committee that MWL is opposing the repeal of the pay equity act.  Committee members voted to oppose the repeal as well.  Ms. Altman will contact MWL to see whether WLP’s name could be added in support of their efforts.  Ms. Kim reported that the family law section of the MSBA is reviewing a bill for joint presumption of physical custody.  Members expressed interest in knowing more about this bill and the family law section’s position.  Legislation severely impacting the ability of women to procure an abortion, similar to that in South Dakota, has been introduced.  Members are asked to contact Ms. Wenger directly if they prefer WLP not take a position on this type of legislation.   

Partnering with Diversity Committee on resolution to include diversity in law school rankings (in support of CA Bar’s efforts):  David Ahlvers, chair of the MSBA’s Diversity Committee, contacted the California State Bar to see if Minnesota could assist in this effort.  The California bar is not interested in having others sign onto their effort at this time.

Next Meeting: 
Monday, April 11, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 14, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, February 14, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:55 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin, Emily Cooper, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Meghan Feliciano, Jennifer Jameson, Emma Phillips, Krista Schneider, Susan Thoresen, and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).  Present by phone:  Marlene Garvis.  Guest:  Anne Johnson.

Report on St. Thomas Panel:
Ms. Thoresen and Ms. Feliciano reported that the St. Thomas panel program was a positive, well-attended event.

Update on SAGE Best Practices Roundtable:
Ms. Wenger reported that the SAGE best practices luncheon roundtable is set for Monday, March 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the MSBA office.  The panel participants include women attorneys from Xcel Energy, Maslon, and Dorsey & Whitney.  A volunteer is needed to moderate the panel; please contact Ashley if you are interested.  All employers who have signed onto the SAGE best practices will be invited to send a representative.  One CLE credit will be applied for.

Guest Speaker:
Anne Johnson from Hamline University School of Law reported on statistics regarding the generally declining enrollment of female law students across the nation.  MWL’s Parity Task Force is reviewing this information.  Only one of the four Minnesota law schools has an entering class for 2010-11 that was more than 50% female.  Ms. Johnson emphasized that she does not know whether the decrease is statistically significant.   In addition, the applicant pool may have changed in a way that would impact the percentage of women accepted to law school.  Although we know how many MSBA members are women, there is no baseline data on the percentage of women attorneys overall in the state because the Court does not collect this information. 

Legislative Watch:
Ms. Garvis reported that two bills have been introduced at the legislature that are of particular interest to women.  Ms. Wenger will let Ms. Garvis know who else on the Committee volunteered to track legislation.

Next Meeting: 
Monday, March 14, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 10, 2011

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, January 10, 2011 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:40 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Anna Cheng, Sarah Fassbender Novak, Meghan Feliciano, Anna Horning Nygren, Susan Thoresen, Jennifer Jameson, and Nancy Mischel (MSBA staff).  Present by phone:  Kendra Brodin, Lindsey Davis, and Marlene Garvis.

Ashley Wenger reminded everyone of the invitation to attend MLBA's 10th Annual Conference coming up on January 29.  Schedule and registration are available at http://www.mnlavbar.org/ 

Update on the SAGE/Diversity Survey Update Committee:
Ms. Wenger reported the Committee had its first meeting on December 8 and that Committee’s work has been broken into three subcommittees:  Employer Survey, Individual Survey, and Focus Group.  If you are interested in volunteering for the Committee and/or the Subcommittees, contact Nancy Mischel @ nmischel@mnbar.org, The Committee’s next meeting is January 12 at noon.  The Committee hopes to complete its work and have a report submitted to the MSBA Assembly in June 2011.

Update on St. Thomas Panel:
Meghan Feliciano reported that January 24 or 26 at St. Thomas from 12:30-1:30 p.m. are two possible dates.  Ms. Wenger will work on recruiting panelists in addition to Ms. Bartocci and Kendra Brodin for one of these dates.

SAGE Roundtable:
Ms.Wenger reported that Dana Bartocci contacted Meghan at Xcel Energy to see if she would present at a SAGE best practices luncheon roundtable on March 3.  Unfortunately, Meaghan is not available that day.  Nancy Mischel checked the MSBA conference calendar and provided other open dates in early March.  Ms. Bartocci will be asked to check Meghan’s availability on those dates. 

Nine Days in June CLE:
The greater Minnesota programs have been planned by Tim Groshens and are close to complete. Ms. Mischel mentioned that the Diversity Committee expressed interest to the Day 9 Planning Committee in planning a diversity CLE.  Jennifer Jameson will contact Diversity Committee chair David Ahlvers to see if WLP might jointly sponsor a program with them for Day 9.

Legislative Watch:
Marlene Garvis will head this and Anna Horning Nygren agreed to help.  They will report back when there is something of interest to the committee.  Their task is to keep an eye out for local and national legislation that might be of particular interest to the Committee and/or partner with MWL's legislative watch committee in such efforts. 

Next Meeting:  Monday, February 14, 2011 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for December 13, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, December 13, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Casey Nolan, Susan Thoresen, Jennifer Jameson, Casey Nolan, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by phone:  Rebecca Bernhard (Co-Chair), Susan Aase, Kendra Brodin, Lindsey Davis, Katlyn Brin, and Erin Knapp Darda.

SAGE Award Update:
The 2010 SAGE Award recipient is Dorsey and Whitney. The award will be presented at the April 2011 Assembly meeting.  A congratulations ad will be printed in the January issue of the Bench and Bar, and notice has been posted on the Committee’s website.

Update on the SAGE/Diversity Survey Update Committee:
Leslie Altman reported the Committee had its first meeting on December 8.  There was a nice turn out of attendance and a good mix of diversity within the Committee membership.  The Committee’s work will be broken into three subcommittees:  Employer Survey, Individual Survey, and Focus Group.  If you are interested in volunteering for the Committee and/or the Subcommittees, contact Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@mnbar.org or Nancy Mischel @ nmischel@mnbar.org, The Committee hopes to complete its work and have a report submitted to the MSBA Assembly in June 2011.

Update on Law School Panels:
Ashley Wenger will contact St. Thomas and get some possible dates lined up.  Erin Knapp Darda will facilitate, and Dana Bartocci volunteered to speak if necessary.

Report on Time Management CLE – December 2, 2010
Kendra Brodin reported the CLE went well.  There were 13 people in attendance. Committee members who attended the CLE indicated it was very helpful and suggested expanding the time to two hours for next time.  Kendra will work with Tram on getting the evaluations sent out to the participants.

Legislative Watch:
An email will be circulated to committee members soliciting interest in volunteering to serve as the Committee's Legislative Watch Chair.  If this is a topic of interest to you, or if you have some experience in this area, please consider volunteering for this position!  Responsibilities would include keeping an eye out for local and national legislation that might be of particular interest to the Committee and/or partnering with MWL's legislative watch committee in such efforts. 

SAGE Roundtable:
The Committee discussed hosting a luncheon CLE/roundtable in March 2011 on the SAGE best practices. The tentative dates are March 2 or 3, 2011 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Tram will check the MSBA conference room for availability. The idea would be to feature Dorsey & Whitney being the recipient of the 2010 SAGE Award, and invite them and possibly past award recipients (Maslon and Excel) to share with the group how they have implemented the SAGE best practices and what differences it has made. Dana Bartocci will make contacts with Maslon, Excel and Dorsey to determine their availability and interest in participating in the roundtable. 

Nine Days in June CLE:
The Committee also discussed the possibility of hosting a CLE at the MSBA’s Nine Days in June.  Dana Bartocci volunteered to travel and present on behalf of the Committee at the 8 outstate districts if needed.  An email to the whole committee will be sent out to gauge interest on whether the Committee should do this.

Other Business
Ashley Wenger confirmed that Ann Johnson from Hamline will be present at the February meeting to share with the Committee her findings on the issue of decreasing women enrollment at the law schools across the states.

Next Meeting:
Monday, January 10, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for November 8, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, November 8, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin, Meghan Feliciano, Jennifer Jameson, Erin Knapp Darda, Casey Nolan, Emma Phillips Krista Schneider, Ana Horning Nygren, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by phone:  Leslie Altman

Update from SAGE Award Subcommittee:
The Subcommittee recommended the SAGE award be given to Dorsey & Whitney LLP.  The award will be presented at the April 2011 Assembly meeting. 

Update on the SAGE/Diversity Survey Update Committee:
Leslie Altman and Alan Haynes will be the Co-Chairs.  The first meeting is scheduled for December 8 at noon at the MSBA offices (and will likely meet montly on the second Wednesday at noon at the MSBA offices).  The Committee is still in the process of recruiting volunteers to serve on the committee so if you are interested, please let Rebecca, Ashley or Tram know. The Committee hopes to complete its work and have a report submitted to the MSBA Assembly in June 2011.

Update on Law School Panels:
The Saint Thomas panel will be postponed until January.

Update on Time Management CLE – December 2, 2010
The CLE notice went out on October 28.  Everything else is all set.

Legislative Watch:
Committee members were encouraged to keep on their radar for any legislation that the committee should be aware of.

Other Business
It was reported that Ann Johnson at Hamline is looking at the issue of decreasing women enrollment at the law schools nationwide.  Ashley will check with Ann to see if she would be available at the January or February meeting to share what she has learned with the rest of the WLP Committee.

Next Meeting:
Monday, December 13, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 11, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, October 11, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin, Jennifer Jameson, Katelyn Brin, Sarah Demers, Elizabeth Schmiesing, Emma Phillips, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by phone:  Rebecca Bernhard (Co-Chair), Judge Kathy Sanberg, Susan Aase.

Present by invitation:  Anna Cheng (pending new member)

Update from SAGE Award Subcommittee:
Letters to Dorsey and Whitney, and Briggs and Morgan asking for additional information were sent at the end of August with the requested response date of September 13.  Dorsey has responded with their additional information. Tram will follow up with Briggs.

Discussion of SAGE/Diversity Employer Survey for 2010:
This is still in the formative stages.  Leslie Altman and Alan Haynes (from the Diversity Committee) will be the Co-Chairs for this joint project. Updates will be provided at the November meeting.

Update on Law School Panels:
It was reported that the panels at William Mitchell and Hamline both went well.  The events were well attended and students had good questions and were appreciative. The panel for the University of Minnesota had not taken place yet at the time of this meeting (it will be held October 13).  A report will be given at the November committee meeting. No date has been set for the St. Thomas panel.

Legislative Watch:
Committee members were encouraged to keep on their radar for any legislation that the committee should be aware of.  It was suggested that the Committee partner with MWL Legislative Committee.

Report on Minority Bar Summit Meeting on October 5, 2010:
The deans at the law schools reported a general decrease in the number of women applicants across the board (from 50% to 42%). It was noted that this seems to be the national trend and not specific to only Minnesota.

Planning for CLE:

Kendra Brodin distributed for the Committee’s review a course outline.  Kendra will teach the substantive material, followed by a panel discussion.  Final details (including the panelists) will be confirmed and forwarded to Tram so she can put together a notice for publication.

Next Meeting:
Monday, November 8, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 13, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, September 13, 2010 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:50 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin (by phone), Marlene Garvis (by phone), Anna Horning Nygren, Elizabeth Schmiesing, Susan Thoresen, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Present by Invitation:  The WILSA representatives from the four law schools were all in attendance.  Sunny Beddow - Hamline; Emma Phillips - University of Minnesota; Emily Kerr - St. Thomas; and Krista Schneider - William Mitchell. They will be added to the mailing list to start receiving meeting notices.

Update from SAGE Award Subcommittee:
Letters to Dorsey and Whitney, and Briggs and Morgan asking for additional information were sent at the end of August with the requested response date of September 13.  At the time of the meeting, no response had been received.  An update will be given at the October meeting.

Discussion of SAGE/Diversity Employer Survey for 2010:
MSBA President Terry Votel would like to avoid appointing a new task force to undertake updating the survey and would like the WLP and Diversity Committees to work jointly on the project. The working group ideally would be made up of 15-20 members, representing both the WLP and Diversity Committees as well as members from the task force that worked on the survey in 2005. The following WLP members have indicated an interest in serving on the working group:  Leslie Altman, Marlene Garvis, and Dana Bartocci.  Other interested members should contact Rebecca, Ashley or Tram to be put on the list for consideration.

Upcoming WILSA Events/Meetings/Law School Panels:

William Mitchell:

Hamline:

St. Thomas:

University of Minnesota:

Possible topics for the law school panels:

Planning for CLE:

Next Meeting:
Monday, October 11, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting was adjourned at 12:50 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for August 17, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Co-Chair), Ashley Wenger (Co-Chair), Marlene Garvis (by phone), Anna Horning Nygren, Erin Knapp Darda (by phone), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Update from SAGE Award Subcommittee:
Marlene will be drafting a letter to the two applicants requesting additional information and details; the letter will be sent with Rebecca’s signature. 

Discussion of SAGE/Diversity Employer Survey for 2010:
Rebecca announced this is the year to update the Sage/Diversity Employer Survey. The MSBA has committed to updating the SAGE diversity survey every five years.  The last one was in 2005:
http://www.mnbar.org/committees/DiversityTaskForce/Diversity%20Report%20Final.pdf

Because the survey was expanded beyond gender in 2005, a Task Force was appointed at that time to work on the project and it included members beyond WLP.  (Prior to the 2005 report, the SAGE survey had been done by the WLP Committee.)  MSBA President Terry Votel would like to avoid appointing a separate Task Force this time and is hoping this work could be done by a subcommittee of the Diversity Committee, in conjunction with WLP.

There is $10,000 in the 2010-11 budget for this project.  In 2005, the bulk of the funds were spent to pay someone to write the report.  Some funds were also spent on the MN Center for Survey Research and for an analyst to help interpret the survey data. 

Rebecca and Ashley will be meeting with David Ahlvers (Diversity Committee Chair) and MSBA staff to discuss this project on August 23.  An email to the WLP Committee members will be sent out following this meeting with the updates.

Review action items from Strategic Plan:
Ashley reported the letters to the law schools have been sent out.  The response was generally well received. William Mitchell, Hamline, and St. Thomas are definitely interested; no response yet from the U of M. A lunch or late afternoon panel was tentatively scheduled for the week of October 4 at Hamline. Rebecca will draft an email to be sent out to the listserv soliciting WLP committee members to participate on the panels. The following members volunteered to moderate: Erin Knapp Darda – St. Thomas; Rebecca Bernhard – William Mitchell; Ashley Wenger – U of M; Marlene Garvis – Hamline.

Marlene reported she has sent some web ideas and articles to Tram to post on the website.  The MSBA Legal News Digest goes out weekly on Wednesday.  There is a form to fill out and submit if the Committee wants information included in the digest.

Discussion of Strategic Plan and next steps to be scheduled:

MSBA proposed changes to Bylaws:
The document was distributed to all members via email.  Comments should be sent to Tram Nguyen at tnguyen@mnbar.org.  Comments are due to the MSBA by September 30. 

Other Business:

Meeting Schedule for 2010-11:
Tram will send out an email to the committee listserv asking members to vote between these two options: 1) Second Monday at Noon; or 2) Second Tuesday at 8:00 a.m.   The September meeting date will be determined by the survey results.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:00 a.m.


MSBA’S WOMEN IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION COMMITTEE
STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION 2010-2011

 

 

 

 

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for April 12, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, April 12, 2010 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair – by phone), Leslie Altman (by phone), Susan Aase (by phone) Dana Bartocci, Kendra Brodin, Erin Knapp Darda, , Sarah Demers, Marlene Garvis (by phone), Judge Kathy Sanberg (phone), Ashley Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)..

Report on Panels for Law Schools
Ashley Wenger reported that all four school panels have occurred and all was a success and recommended that this is a project for the committee to continue.

Update on SAGE Award
Tram Nguyen reported that letters and nominations forms were sent out to employers who have signed on to the SAGE Best Practices in early March with the deadline to submit nominations of March 26th. To date, only Dorsey & Whitney has turned in a nomination.  However, at the request of one legal employer, the deadline to apply for the SAGE Best Practices award has been extended.  This extension applies to all legal employers.  The new deadline to submit a nomination is Monday, April 26, 2010. A notice will be included in the weekly MSBA Legal News Digest.

Update and Vote on Proposal to Consolidate WiLP Committee with the Diversity Committee
The Committee discussed the pros and cons of the possible merger, as proposed by the Diversity Planning Task Force.  Following is a summary of the reasons cited for or against the proposal.

Those who are in favor of the proposal to merge believe that:

Those who are against the proposal to merge believe that:

The committee members present were not ready to take a vote at the meeting.  Rebecca will draft an urgent email summarizing today’s discussions to be sent out to the full committee via the committee’s email listserv and asking for members to vote by Friday, April 16th or Monday, April 19th by 4th p.m.  It was noted that a short response time will get more people to vote.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, May 10, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 8, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, March 8, 2010 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair – by phone), Dana Bartocci, Erin Knapp Darda, Anna Horning Nygren, Susan Thorsen, Judge Kathy Sanberg (phone), and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Invited Guest:  Phil Duran (Chair, MSBA Diversity Planning Task Force)

Diversity Planning Task Force Proposal to Reorganize MSBA Diversity Structure
Phil Duran, Chair of the MSBA Diversity Planning Task Force, provided the Committee with background information on the Task Force and presented the Committee with the attached proposal to reorganize the MSBA Diversity structure.  The proposal calls for the merging of the existing Diversity Committee and Women in the Legal Profession Committee into a “Diversity and Gender Equity Committee”.  Mr. Duran was present to seek input from the Committee and requested that the Committee get back to him with a position in April.  The Committee saw a natural connection between the two committees but was concerned that the gender issue might get overlooked with the merging of the two committees.  Further discussion will need to be had before a decision is made.  Rebecca and Tram will work on getting a notice out to the committee listserv informing the full committee of this proposal and giving everyone a chance to weigh in.

Panels for Law Schools
Upcoming lunch time panels:
March 10 – William Mitchell – Susan Thorsen is moderating
March 16 – Hamline – Rebecca Bernhard will moderate
March 18 – St. Thomas – Erin Knapp Darda will moderate pending schedule
March 22 – University of Minnesota – Susan Gainen will moderate

Update on SAGE Award
Letter and nominations forms have been sent out all those who have signed on to the SAGE Best Practices.  Nominations are due March 26.

Report on Leadership Professional Development Seminar –February 25, 2010
The seminar was well attended (about 60 people) and well received.  For future seminars, the Committee will look into the possibility of videotaping and offering it as a video replay.

Discussion of Committee Goals
Tabled to the April meeting.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, April 12, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 8, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, February 8, 2010 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair), Lacee Anderson, Sarah Demeis, Anna Horning Nygren, Casey Nolan, Judge Kathy Sanberg (phone), Ashely Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Invited Guest:  Phil Duran, MSBA Diversity Committee

Resolution on Same-Sex Marriage (Phil Duran – MSBA Diversity Committee
Phil Duran from the MSBA Diverstiy Committee presented a resolution calling on the MSBA to urge the Legislature to permit same-sex couples access to civil marriage. After some discussion, the Committee voted to endorse the resolution.  See attached resolution.

Update on Leadership Professional Development Seminar – February 24 or 25, 2010
Everything is set to go.  Tram will send out the notice to the whole committee again, and also include information in the MSBA Legal News Digest.

Panels for Law Schools
Hamline’s panel is set for February 9 at Noon.  Casey Nolan is moderating.  Dates for the other 3 schools have not been set.  We are looking for one more panelist for St. Thomas.

Discussion of SAGE Award
The Committee decided to once again give out the SAGE Award this year. All legal employers in Minnesota, including private firms, government, county and city agencies, or corporate legal departments, who have committed to the implementation of the SAGE Best Practices are eligible to apply for the SAGE Best Practices award. Leters and nominations forms will be sent out beginning of March.  Judge Sanberg and Sarah Demens volunteered to work on this Subcommittee.

Discussion of Committee Goals
Commtitee members were encouraged to think about goals for the upcoming year.  This will be further explored at future meetings.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, March 8, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 11, 2010

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, January 11, 2010 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair), Susan Aase (byphone), Dana Bartocci, Jennifer Jameson, Ana Horning Nygren, Casey Nolan, Margaux Soeffleer, Ashely Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Update on Leadership Professional Development Seminar – February 24 or 25, 2010

Date:  February 24 or 25, 2010 (date to be determined based on panelists’ availability).
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 p.m
Location: Gray Plant Mooty
Panelists: 

Price:  $20 for MSBA Members, $25 for Non-MSBA members, $15 for students and paralegals

The panelists and date will need to be finalized within the next couple days. A Save the Date annoucement will be sent out as soon as the date is confirmed; followed by a formal notice once all the details are finalized.

Panels for Law Schools

Hamline has been scheduled for February 9, 2010 at Noon in Room 105. Ashley is still working on the list of questions. 

Other Business
Phil Duran from the Diversity Committee has requested to be on the Agenda for the February meeting to discuss a resolution urging in the MSBA to come out for marriage equality.  Mr. Duran would like a chance to ask the support of the Women in the Legal Profession Committee.  This will be put on the February meeting Agenda.

It was suggested that the Committee also start to think about Committee goals for 2010-11 at the next meeting.  This will also be put on the February meeting Agenda..

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, February 8, 2010 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1: 00 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for November 9, 2009

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, November 9, 2009 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair), Susan Aase, Dana Bartocci, Marlene Garvis (by phone), Jennifer Jameson, Casey Nolan, Susan Thorsen, Ashley Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Update on Leadership Professional Development Seminar – February 2010

The tentative dates are February 24 or 25, 2010.

The Committee continues to work on putting the panel together. Tamara Olsen from GPM has confirmed and Judge Montgomery is a maybe.  The Committee is considering committee member Marlene Gravis, former president of the HCBA, to be one panelist.  Alternatively, the Committee is also considering Sue Holden, past MSBA president.  Both Marlene and Sue are active on the Diversity Task forces.  The Committee is hoping to find at least one other panelist who could bring leadership experience from the public sector or the non-profit community.  Dani Deering was suggested as a possibility. Committee members were encouraged to think more about possible panelists and share those via email with the rest of the committee before the December meeting.

Casey Nolan will check to see if Gray Plant Mooty can host the CLE.  Oppenheimer is also a possibility.

Tram Nguyen will check the MSBA CLE calendar for any conflicts on those dates.

Rebecca Bernhard will circulate a list of questions via email before the December meeting.

Website Resources
Ashley Wenger is working on the collection of articles and resources for the committee’s webpage. If you have any articles or links, please send them to Ashley Wenger at awenger@flynngaskins.com.

Panels for Law Schools

The targetted dates are the last two weeks in January and first two weeks in February, 2010 over the lunch hour. It was noted that it might be a good idea to have an evening event for William Mitchell students.  Susan Aase has agreed to be on the panel. The student groups will provide food (pizza). Dana Bartocci and Ashley Wenger will work on finding additional panellits and get tentative dates from the law schools.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, Decemher 14, 2009 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1:03 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 12, 2009

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, October 12, 2009 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebecca Bernhard (Chair), Lindsey Davis, Casey Nolan, Anna Horning Nygren (New Lawyers Liaison), Ashley Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Professional Development Seminars
Report on September 17 Negotiation Skills CLE:  It was reported that about 30 were in attendance and that all went well. One thing to note for the next seminar is to make sure to do evaluations.

Winter/Spring CLE: The Committee decided the topic for this seminar will be “Leadership”.  The tentative date will be February 23, 24 or 25.  Some possible panelists that were discussed are: Patricia St. Peter, Sue Holden, Sonia Miller-VanOort, Linda Holsten, Tamara Olsen, Susan Aase, Ann Johnson, Judge Ann Montgomery, and Justice Meyer.  Ashley Wenger, Jennifer Jamison and Casey Nolan will work on contacting the panelists and asking for their interest and availability in February.

Website Resources
Ashley Wenger is working on the collection of articles and resources for the committee’s webpage. If you have any articles or links, please send them to Ashely Wenger at awenger@flynngaskins.com.  It was suggested that an article/link could be highlighted each month.  The Committee agreed this was a good idea.

Panels for Law Schools
Given the current economic climate and the likely despair that many law students have regarding employment opportunities, the Committee thought it would be helpful and advantageous to provide a panel presentation in which a variety of female lawyers discuss a variety of different career opportunities and paths that they have been able to take. Ashely Wenger will make contacts with the WILSA groups to see if they want to host a presentation.  Tram Nguyen will check to see if we have money in the budget to provide lunch to the students and panelists.

Other Business
The Minority Bar Summit will meet on November 5 at Noon at the MSBA Offices.  Rebecca Bernhard attended the first meeting on the Committee’s behalf and will be happy to attend this one as well, unless other committee members have an interest in attending instead.  Tram Nguyen will send out an email to the Committee members regarding this.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, 2009 at Noon at the MSBA offices.  

Meeting was adjourned at 12:55 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for August 10, 2009

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, August 10, 2009 from Noon – 1 p.m. the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:
Rebeccas Bernhard (Chair), Susan Aase, Dana Bartocci, Katie Bennett, Jennifer Jamison, Casey Nolan, Debra Page, Susan Thoresen, Ashely Wenger, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

Chair Rebecca Bernhard began the meeting by welcoming everyone to the Committee for the 2009-10 bar year, followed by brief introductions of those present at the meeting.

Professional Development Seminars
September 17 Negotiation Skills – Final Planning: Debra Page provided a status update on where we are with the program planning. Speakers have been confirmed (Priscilla McNulty, Michele Jester, Robert Levy, and Ed Laine).  Debra distributed a working draft of potential questions for the panel and welcomed additional suggestions from committee members. A conference room at Faegre and Benson LLP has been reserved for the CLE but confirmation will need to be made with Faegre before sending out the CLE annoucement. Once all details are confirmed, Tram Nguyen of the MSBA staff will email the notice out to all committee members and include it in the MSBA’s weekly Legal News Digest, which will go to all MSBA members.  Dana Bartocci will also help distribute it to MWL for posting on their website.

Other Seminar/CLE Ideas: The Committee explored the possibility of doing other CLE programs this year and decided that it will do 2 more programs for the year.  One will be in the winter and the other in the spring (possibily in conjuction with MWL’s annual CLE on professional development. Rebecca will reach out to MWL regarding this possibility). Possible topics for the programs include: communication styles, leadership skills, delegation, and balance. The Committee will decide which topic to focus on at the next meeting.

Website Resources
Ashley Wenger is working on the collection of articles and resources for the committee’s webpage. The list will be circulated to the Committee for review prior to the next meeting.  Other suggestions for articles and/or resources are welcomed.

Committee Goals for 2009-2010

The rest of the meeting was spent brainstorming on possible projects for the bar year.  Committee members made the following suggestions: 

Meeting Schedule
The Committee will continue to meet on the second Mondays of the month for the 2009-10 bar year.

Next Meeting
The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, September 14, 2009 at Noon at the MSBA offices. 

Meeting was adjourned at 1:05 p.m.


 

- Last Updated 8/28/09 -

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 16, 2008

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Tuesday, September 16, 2008 in the offices of the Bar Association.

The following people were in attendance:

Rebecca Bernhard (Vice-Chair)
Meghan Butler
Heather Diersen
Sharon Horozaniecki
Renee Kraft
Terri Krivosha (Chair)
Debra Page
Alona Rindal
Brooke Swenson
Ashley Wenger


Terri Krivosha began the meeting by providing a recap of meetings that were held on September 3rd and 5th with members from the Diversity Task Force, the WLP Committee and the Diversity Committee.  Based on feedback provided in those meetings, the MSBA will be forming a new task force, a Diversity Best Practices Outreach Task Force, that will be charged with promoting the Diversity Best Practices Guide to legal employers.  Since the SAGE Best Practices have been incorporated into the Guide, the Outreach Task Force, or one of its subcommittees, will be assigned the task of overseeing the SAGE Best Practices program.

The rest of the meeting was spent brainstorming on possible projects for the bar year.  Committee members made the following suggestions: 

After discussing the suggestions, the Committee decided to focus on leadership development and posting a list of web resources on the Committee’s webpage.

The Committee’s next meeting will be held on Monday, October 13.  The agenda for the meeting will be to discuss the Committee’s projects and to figure out the first steps for each.  Future meetings are tentatively scheduled for the second Monday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 10, 2007

 

The Minnesota State Bar Association Committee on Women in the Profession met on Monday, September 10, 2007 in the offices of the Bar Association. 

The following were in attendance:

Dana Bartocci
Meghan Butler
Marlene Garvis
Anne Johnson
Renee Kraft
Terri Krivosha
Melisa Lopez Franzen
Kathleen Marron
Lisa Montpetit Brabbit
Hon. Kathy Sanberg
Brooke Swenson
Suzanne Taylor


Committee Chair Terri Krivosha began the meeting by asking committee members what they thought the Committee’s next step should be.  Should the Committee host roundtable discussions or focus on something else?

A discussion was held regarding the purpose of roundtables, who to invite and how to ensure that the decision makers attend.  The committee also brainstormed on possible topics and speakers.  Several people mentioned Deloitte & Touche LLP as a leader in Diversity Issues and specifically mentioned their Retention and Advancement of Women Initiative.  Kathleen Marron will forward information on a possible speaker from Deloitte & Touche to Terri Krivosha.

During the course of the discussion, members of the MSBA’s Implementation Task Force informed the group that as part of its work to develop a diversity toolkit for legal employers, the Task Force was reviewing the Best Practices and updating them to include best practices on Race and Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, Disability, and Religion.  Judge Kathy Sanberg stressed that as committee members talk to legal employers about signing-on to the Best Practices, it is important to make them aware that the Best Practices are being updated and that they will be expanding.  Terri Krivosha requested that the Committee be given the opportunity to review the updated Best Practices prior to their becoming final.

In the end, the Committee decided that in order to reach the right people, it will need to go to the workplace of the legal employer rather than the employer coming to the MSBA.

Lisa Montpetit Brabbit suggested that in the process of contacting legal employers to sign on to the Best Practices, the Committee could also use the conversations to ask:

Sue Bores will resend the employer list to the Committee and ask for volunteers to help with follow-up.  Terri Krivosha requested that committee members follow-up with their own employers, if they have not already done so.

Also, Sue will put information in the MSBA’s weekly Legal News Digest regarding the Best Practices, how employers can sign-up and information on the annual SAGE Best Practices Recognition award.

The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 8 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for August 13, 2007

 

The Minnesota State Bar Association Committee on Women in the Profession met on Monday, August 13, 2007 in the offices of the Bar Association.  The meeting was brought to order at approximately 12:05 p.m. by Terri Krivosha, Chairperson of the Committee.

The following were in attendance:


Leslie Altman
Jennifer Benowitz
Jennifer Clayson Kraus
Jennifer Forbes
Sarah Gorajski
Terri Krivosha
Priscilla McNulty
Lisa Montpetit Brabbit
Debra Page
Anna Scanlan
Stacey Sorensen
Mary Stumo


The Committee first discussed one concern raised during the meeting with the Roundtable for Managing Partners of medium-size firms.  Certain firms have expressed a concern that endorsement of the Sage Best Practices will create an enforceable contract, resulting in liability for failure to perform on the part of the firm.  For this reason, the letters requesting firm endorsement were revised to confirm that the Best Practices are guidelines.  Copies of those revised letters were previously sent to all Committee members.

Terri Krivosha next circulated a list of legal employers who had not yet endorsed the Best Practices and another list of legal employers who had not renewed their endorsement.  Members of the committee were asked to indicate those employers for whom they would be willing to contact a leader (or a person willing to speak with leadership) to encourage endorsement or renewal. 

The Committee agreed that certain tools would be helpful for making those contacts.  Terri Krivosha agreed to provide all members with (a) a short bullet point summary of the Best Practices' history, significance and importance; (b) a copy of the letter requesting endorsement or renewal; and (c) a copy of the Best Practices.  The Committee discussed various ways to solicit endorsement and renewal.  One suggested format was an initial email contact with attached copies of materials and a follow-up telephone conversation.  Terri will provide all members with the final list of responsibilities for these contacts.

The Committee next reviewed the text for an ad prepared by Stacey Sorensen to be placed in Bench & Bar commending those employers who have committed to the Best Practices.

The Committee next discussed the Best Practices Recognition Award, including the means of obtaining nominations (including direct nominations from employees), determination as to meritorious activity, use to continue repeated outreach for Sage generally, using personal stories as part of the nomination process, and timing of the award.  The Committee determined that the Award will be postponed until after the Committee's current work on additional commitments to the Best Practices.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 12:55 p.m.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 12, 2007

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met at Noon on Monday, March 12, 2007 at the MSBA offices. The following were in attendance:

Dana Bartocci
Rebecca Bernhard
Cynthia Bremer
Marlene Garvis (via phone)
Sarah Gorajski
Laura Hammargren
Susan Holden
Anne Johnson
Phyllis Karasov
Niki Kinn
Terri Krivosha
Debra Page
Hon. Kathy Sanberg
Brooke Swenson
Sue Bores (MSBA staff)


At the last meeting, Jennifer Benowitz, Rebecca Bernhard, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, and Priscilla McNulty had volunteered to begin developing a plan of action and to make recommendations at this meeting on the Committee’s next steps. Rebecca Bernhard reported on the Subcommittee’s meeting and a copy of their meeting minutes was distributed. They discussed the checklist idea that was discussed at the February WLP meeting and decided that because of the diversity of the different employers, the checklist is not the best first step for the Committee. Instead, the Subcommittee came up with eight recommendations of action items for the Committee to consider.

Everyone present at the meeting agreed on the recommendation to set a specific goal of increasing the number of legal employers signed-on to the Best Practices to 75 and on the recommendation that the Committee needs to work on recruiting employers outside of the Twin Cities area to participate.

It was noted that the district bar associations may provide the best opportunity to reach the non-metro area employers. Susan Holden, based on her experience as the MSBA President last year, made recommendations to focus on District 11 which includes Duluth, District 3 which includes Rochester, District 7 which includes St. Cloud and Moorhead, District 15 which includes Bemidji and Brainerd, and the Range District.

It was noted that the district bar associations are in the process of scheduling their annual meetings which members of the MSBA Executive Council try to attend and that several Committee members are also on the Executive Council. The Committee spent time discussing whether or not members of the Committee need to attend these meetings to talk about SAGE or whether members of the Executive Council can effectively promote the program. The schedule for the meetings has not yet been finalized and the Committee decided that it will need that information so that it can figure out how to proceed. Sue Bores will forward that information to the Committee when it is available along with the schedule of Council members that will be attending the meetings. In the meantime, Phyllis Karasov and Anne Johnson volunteered to draft a short promotional piece on the Best Practices that can be distributed at the meetings.

The Committee also agreed on the recommendation to develop a CLE program that can be done in-house at the offices of legal employers and also taken on the road to the district bar association meetings. The CLE will be designed to meet the 2 hours of Bias requirements with the first hour providing an overview of the SAGE data and the second hour in a format that engages the employees in a discussion on what is and is not working within their workplace and how the Best Practices can be implemented. A concern was raised about the level of participation in these discussions and whether or not employees will feel comfortable talking about their workplace in front of other employees and, specifically, in front of law firm partners. The Committee spent time discussing this and talked about different methods of engaging people in a discussion. Anne Johnson, Marlene Garvis and Judge Sanberg volunteered to work on developing the CLE program.

The Subcommittee also recommended that the Committee consider sponsoring either a program or an event at the Bar Convention in June. Sue Bores reported that the programming for the convention has already been completed and that the promotional brochure was ready to go to the printer. Rebecca Bernhard, Debra Page and Dana Bartocci volunteered to take a look at the convention schedule and see if there are any promotional opportunities for the Committee. Sue Bores will e-mail the convention schedule to the Subcommittee members.

A recommendation was also made to host employer round tables broken down into smaller groups that are more targeted such as a round table for small firms, a round table for medium firms and a round table for large firms; a round table for corporate employers and a round table for both public or non-firm employers that are not corporations such as the law school employers. The Committee decided to table this until the fall because it felt that this could not be implemented until there are a larger number of employers signed-on to the Best Practices.

Meeting schedule:
The date of the next meeting has been changed from Monday, April 9 to Monday, April 16 and will be held at the offices of Maslon Edelman Borman & Brand LLP.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 12, 2007


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met at Noon on Monday, February 12, 2007 at the MSBA offices. The following were in attendance:

Catherine Ahlin-Halverson
Dana Bartocci
Jennifer Benowitz
Rebecca Bernhard
Cynthia Bremer
Susan Burns
Marlene Garvis
Laura Hammargren
Anne Johnson
Niki Kinn
Terri Krivosha
Priscilla McNulty
Sonja Ortiz
Debra Page
Hon. Kathy Sanberg
Brooke Swenson
Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Dana Bartocci gave an update on the status of the five legal employers who did not renew their commitment to the Best Practices in 2006:

Cousineau McGuire Chrtd Sue Bores has already resent the renewal letter to HR.
Excel Energy Law Department Excel was unaware that it was a yearly commitment, but they are committed to the Best Practices. In fact, they just completed a year-long study of their internal practices as compared to SAGE for purposes of implementation.
Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson PA Have not heard back from them.
Messerli & Kramer PA A renewal letter should be resent to HR.
University of Minnesota Law School They want to discuss this and will get back to us.

Committee members present at the meeting received a copy of the Job Description for Employer Liaisons that Phyllis Karasov had drafted. A few comments were received and Sue Bores will incorporate those into a new draft and then it will be e-mailed to the committee for review. The final version will be posted on the Committee’s webpage.

A question was asked regarding how the Committee can make sure that the job description reaches the right person within an organization. The Committee discussed this and decided that employers will be asked to provide the name of the Best Practices liaison during the renewal process. Also, the MSBA has a contact list of the people who filled out the Diversity Task Force survey and the Committee can use this to develop a Best Practices contact list.

Catherine Ahlin-Halverson gave an overview of the SAGE Best Practices checklist that Haley Schaffer and herself tried to develop. In the process of working on it, they came to the conclusion that a single checklist may not be useful to employers in identifying and prioritizing the areas that they need to focus on. They recommend that the Committee consider developing six checklists, one for each of the Best Practices. They also wondered if small firms, large firms, government employers, corporate legal departments, and law schools will each need different checklists.

The Committee discussed this recommendation and decided that a checklist for each Best Practice was a good idea but that they can be applicable to every type of legal employer. It was suggested that sample surveys be included with each checklist to help employers identify the areas that they need to focus on. Also, it was noted that it is important for employers to see their progress. A survey instrument, similar to the Attitudinal Survey, could be developed to help employers measure their progress and to measure management’s perceptions of how things are going versus the employee’s perceptions.

Catherine also reported on the San Francisco Bar Association’s No Glass Ceiling Initiative, which sought compliance with the goal of at least 25% women in management positions by January 1, 2005. Sue Bores has additional information on this program and will forward it to the Committee via e-mail.

Before the meeting ended, Terri Krivosha asked for volunteers to form a subcommittee that will begin to develop an action plan for the Committee. Jennifer Benowitz, Rebecca Bernhard, Kathy Sanberg, Dana Bartocci, Priscilla McNulty and Marlene Garvis volunteered and will make a recommendation at the Committee’s next meeting.

Meeting schedule:
The Committee has determined that monthly meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 8, 2007

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met at Noon on Monday, January 8, 2007 at the MSBA offices. The following were in attendance:

Catherine Ahlin-Halverson
Dana Bartocci
Cynthia Bremer
Susan Burns
Susan Holden
Anne Johnson
Phyllis Karasov
Jennifer Clayson-Kraus
Terri Krivosha
Haley Schaffer
Mary Stumo
Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Terri Krivosha began the meeting by explaining to the Committee that at the December 11 meeting, several subcommittees had been formed to work on publicity, outreach, CLE and compliance. However, after the meeting, Terri and Sue Bores thought a more efficient way to proceed was to focus on a Best Practices implementation checklist first and after its completion work on the other initiatives. Terri asked a subcommittee consisting of Jennifer Forbes, Haley Schaffer, Mary Stumo, Cynthia Bremer and Debra Page to meet prior to this meeting and develop some preliminary guidelines as a discussion item for the Committee to review.

Each committee member present at the meeting received a copy of the notes from the subcommittee’s meeting. Cynthia Bremer and Debra Page were the participants and Cynthia gave an overview of the meeting. She explained that Debra and she had concluded that rather than focusing solely on an implementation checklist, they recommend that the Committee focus on addressing why law firms should sign-on to the SAGE Best Practices, how the Committee contacts law firms and gets them to sign-on, and how the Committee rewards or recognizes those employers that do sign-on.

The Committee spent time discussing this and made the following comments:

A Best Practices implementation checklist could be useful to the employers as a benchmark tool with which they can measure their progress.

The Committee should think about developing a “welcome kit” that includes an implementation checklist as well as other information that better communicates to the employer what is expected of them when they sign-on to the Best Practices.

It was noted that the Committee has never solicited the feedback of the 27 employers that are currently signed-on to the Best Practices. The Committee has no idea if these employers are actually implementing the Best Practices, what steps they have taken, if they have been successful or if they have experienced obstacles. The feedback of these employers would be valuable to the Committee.

One of the main concerns of employers is figuring out how they can be more competitive. In order to get employers to sign-on to the Best Practices, the Committee could develop, as part of a marketing strategy, a “business case” that communicates to employers the importance of addressing diversity in their workplace, how it helps in the retention of employees and how it makes the employer more competitive.

The Committee needs to make it easy for employers to renew their commitment annually and should develop an easy way to remind employers to do this.

A checklist should include an item that addresses the need for meeting schedules that are sensitive to women’s schedules. Early morning and late afternoon/early evening meetings may not be convenient for someone who is trying to get kids to school or needs to pick them up after school.

Marketing events should include women. Does it always have to be golf or some other sporting event? What about theatre or some other type of arts/culture event?

The Committee could identify the top 10 things that an employer can do to implement the Best Practices and also establish a timeline for doing so.

Employers need to communicate to its employees that they have signed-on to the Best Practices and outline the steps that they will be taking to implement them.

Encourage employers to designate a liaison to the Women in the Legal Profession Committee. At the very least, ask employers to provide the Committee with the name of the person responsible for implementing the Best Practices in their workplace.

The Committee can raise awareness of the Best Practices among newer attorneys by inserting a flyer/brochure in the new admittee’s welcome packets that they receive at the swearing in ceremony.

The employer should provide “sensitivity training” that addresses gender and diversity issues.

Employers should annually review the rosters of their committees to make sure that the membership of each includes diversity.

The employer should establish an annual audit that reviews such items as the employer’s discrimination policy, leave policy, and flex-time policy.

The Committee can develop a “business case” to law firms that outlines the reasons why addressing diversity in the firm helps increase employee retention and helps the firm stay competitive.

Ask each legal employer to identify four items that it plans to focus on within the next twelve months and provide the Committee with a contact person so that we can check on their progress.

The Committee should sponsor an annual luncheon/social event for legal employers to come together and share their Best Practice successes.

The Committee needs to increase promotion (example: articles in Bench & Bar, MWL newsletter, Minnesota Lawyer, etc.).

The Committee needs to address the fact that the Best Practices implementation is not a “one size fits all” program. What works in a larger size employer may not work in a smaller size employer.

From the comments above, the Committee decided to:

1). Follow-up with the five employers that did not renew their commitment to the Best Practices in 2006. Dana Bartocci and Susan Holden volunteered to do this.

2). Ask employers to provide a liaison to the Committee. Phyllis Karasov volunteered to draft a job description for this and the Committee will review it at its February meeting.

3). Work on getting more employers to sign-on to the Best Practices and ask the employers to establish a goal for the next year.

4). Develop a marketing plan.

5). Sponsor periodic meetings (CLE or social event) with employers so that the Committee can get feedback on their Best Practices implementation and hear their success stories.

6). Establish itself as a resource for employers who may have questions on how to implement. Perhaps create a resource list of people who can provide assistance on a specific topic.

7). Develop a CLE road show.

After the meeting, Anne Johnson volunteered to begin work on writing an article about the Best Practices.

Meeting schedule:
The Committee has determined that monthly meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices. The next meeting will be held on Monday, February 12.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for December 11, 2006

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met at Noon on Monday, December 11 2006 at the MSBA offices. The following were in attendance:

Leslie Altman
Dana Bartocci
Patricia Beithon
Jennifer Benowitz
Rebecca Bernhard
Cynthia Bremer
Caitlin Elliott
Jennifer Forbes
Anne Johnson
Ann Kaul
Jennifer Clayson-Kraus
Terri Krivosha
Lisa Montpetit Brabbit
Debra Page
Hon. Kathy Sanberg
Haley Schaffer
Mary Stumo
Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Overview of the SAGE Best Practices and the SAGE Surveys:
Each committee member present at the meeting received a copy of the SAGE Best Practices, the executive summary of the Survey of Private Law Firms and the executive summary of the Survey of Public Employers. Each of these is also available on the Committee’s webpage.

The Hon. Kathleen Sanberg and Anne Johnson gave the Committee an overview of the history of the Committee, the surveys and the Best Practices:

• The Committee was formed in 1997 upon recommendation of the Women in the Legal Profession Task Force.
• The Committee was charged with developing a series of benchmark surveys of legal employers over a period of five years.
• The purpose of these surveys, called the Self-Audit for Gender Equity (SAGE) surveys, was to collect data on hiring, retention and promotion rates; opportunities for professional development; participation in management; compensation criteria; and policies regarding discrimination, sexual harassment and work and family life.
• The surveys collected data from law firms for a period covering 1996-2000 and from public employers for a period covering 1997-2000.
• After the surveying was completed, six Best Practices were developed that addressed the issues of Equal Access, Workday, Governance, Evaluation/Promotion, Retention, and Compensation.
• The Committee tried to make the Best Practices applicable to all legal employers.
• Public and private legal employers were invited to participate in focus groups and give their feedback on the Best Practices and to discuss what was working and what wasn’t working for them in regards to gender equity.
• The MSBA approved the SAGE Best Practices in June 2003.
• 27 legal employers have committed to implementing the Best Practices in their workplace.

Campaign ideas to promote and publicize the Best Practices:
At the last meeting, the committee spent time brainstorming on projects for the bar year. A subcommittee consisting of Susan Burns, Catherine Ahlin-Halverson, June Pineda and Terri Krivosha met to review the ideas and make a recommendation as to which projects the committee should concentrate on this bar year. Their suggestions are:

• Publicity: Increase awareness of SAGE and the Best Practices via articles, the committee’s webpage, etc.

• Law School Outreach: Raise awareness of the Best Practices within the law student community so that students take potential employer’s diversity and gender equity initiatives into consideration when making employment decisions.

• Develop a Best Practices implementation checklist for legal employers.

• Develop either a single CLE program or a CLE “roadshow” that can be presented to targeted audiences such as the people responsible for hiring.

• Develop a survey that legal employers can use annually to assess their gender equity progress.

The following comments were made by committee members:

More education is needed to raise awareness that everyone has inherent biases and preferences and that these impact a person’s judgments and decision making processes. Perhaps a CLE program can be developed on this topic.

The law schools can be more involved in educating the students on gender equity and diversity issues. One example is to ask the law schools to train law students to ask potential employers about their Best Practice initiatives. Another example is to get the law schools to require that legal employers recruiting on campus sign a statement indicating that they will fully disclose their diversity and gender equity policies. Lisa Montpetit Brabbit said that St. Thomas requires students to take a diversity class and that she has incorporated the SAGE Best Practices into the curriculum for her diversity class. Several committee members expressed their opinion that the focus should be educating the law students on gender and diversity issues but that the pressure to implement the Best Practices should be put primarily on the legal employers.

An observation was made that the committee needs to improve its communication to legal employers on the value of signing on to the Best Practices. And, the committee needs to work on raising awareness of the Best Practices with employees. A suggestion was made that perhaps the Best Practices could be e-mailed to every MSBA member. An article could also be placed in the MSBA’s weekly Legal News Digest (LND).

The Committee discussed forming subcommittees to work on the five recommendations. However, after the meeting, Terri Krivosha and Sue Bores on reflection thought a more efficient way to proceed is to focus on the Best Practices implementation checklist first and after its completion focus on publicity, outreach, CLE and compliance. Terri has asked a subcommittee consisting of Jennifer Forbes, Haley Schaffer, Mary Stumo, Cynthia Bremer and Debra Page to develop some preliminary guidelines before the next meeting as a discussion item for the group to review.

Meeting schedule:
The Committee has determined that monthly meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices. The next meeting will be held on Monday, January 8.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for November 13, 2006


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met at Noon on Monday, November 13, 2006 at the MSBA offices. The following were in attendance:


Catherine Ahlin-Halverson
Leslie Altman
Dana Bartocci
Jennifer Benowitz
Rebecca Bernhard
Susan Burns
Jennifer Forbes
Karen Hansen
Anne Johnson
Jennifer Clayson-Kraus
Terri Krivosha
Priscilla McNulty
Debra Page
June Pineda
Brooke Swenson
Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Review of the purpose of the Committee and the SAGE Best Practices:
Each committee member present at the meeting received a copy of the SAGE Best Practices. Anne Johnson provided a brief history of the Committee and an overview of the SAGE Best Practices, which are intended as guidelines to help legal employers with the hiring, retention and promotion of women.

Leslie Altman, Co-Chair of the Diversity Task Force, gave a brief overview of the 2005 Self-Audit for Gender and Minority Equity Report which surveyed legal employers and individual attorneys on gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and religion. Leslie noted that the data gathered in the report indicated that there has not been much improvement in the area of gender equity since the last SAGE survey.

Brainstorm on projects for the bar year:
The committee spent time brainstorming on projects for the bar year. Project ideas generated were:

• CLE programming that incorporates the Diversity Task Force Report; perhaps developing a “roadshow” that can be presented at law firms

• Develop more direction for legal employers on how they can implement the Best Practices in their workplace

• Develop a standard that will help measure the progress of legal employers that are implementing the Best Practices

• Recognition award to a legal employer that is making significant progress in gender equity or to an individual who is making a contribution towards eliminating diversity

• Roundtable discussions for legal employers

• Develop a program that specifically targets newer women attorneys

• Develop a relationship with the law school associations; figure out how to raise awareness of the Best Practices among the students and get them to ask potential legal employers what they are doing to implement them

Susan Burns, Catherine Ahlin-Halverson, June Pineda and Terri Krivosha volunteered to form a subcommittee that will review these ideas and make a recommendation at the next WLP Committee meeting as to which projects the committee should concentrate on this bar year.

Suggestions on who else to invite to join the Committee:
Each committee member present at the meeting received a copy of the current committee roster. Terri asked committee members to think about other individuals who should be invited to join the committee and asked that suggestions be forwarded to Sue Bores at either sbores@mnbar.org or 612-278-6325. A suggestion was made that perhaps there should be a law student representative from each law school.

Meeting schedule:
The Committee has determined that monthly meetings will be held on the second Monday of each month at Noon at the MSBA offices. The next meeting will be held on Monday, December 11.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for December 6, 2005

Participating: Dana Bartocci, Jessica Clay, Anne Johnson, June Pineda, Danielle Shelton (co-chair), Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Committee's 3-Year Budget Plan:
Danielle Shelton reported that the committee's proposed budget for the next three bar years, starting with July 2006 thru June 2007, has been submitted to the MSBA. Sue Bores reported that a representative(s) from the committee will be invited to meet with the MSBA's Governance Committee to discuss the proposal in detail.

Annual Renewal of Participating Legal Employers to the SAGE Best Practices:
Renewal packets have been mailed to the 25 legal employers that have signed-on to the Best Practices. Danielle reported that the first roundtable has been scheduled for Thursday, February 16 at Noon at the MSBA offices. Additionally, she clarified that at the last meeting it was decided that just the legal employers that have recommitted to the Best Practices, not new employers that are signing on for the first time, will be invited to this meeting.

A suggestion was made that perhaps each roundtable should focus on a single topic. After a brief discussion, it was decided that the February roundtable will focus on the issues of hiring, promotion and retention of women lawyers.

Recruitment of New Legal Employers to Sign-On To the SAGE Best Practices:
At the committee's last meeting, revisions were made to a letter that will be sent to legal employers that have never committed to the Best Practices. Danielle will send the revised letter to Sue so that she can send it out. Sue reported that there are 4,583 legal employers within the state of Minnesota and since the committee does not have the financial or staff resources to send a mailing to all of them the committee will need to narrow its focus. It was decided that the mailing will focus on the top 100 Minnesota law firms and the SAGE survey participants. Also, Dana Bartocci has the names of the general counsel at several major corporations and will forward them to Sue.

SAGE Best Practices Recognition Award:
Sue asked the committee to decide on a deadline for employers to submit a nomination for the SAGE Best Practices Award and also to decide if the committee was planning to give it out at the MSBA's Convention in June or at the Bar Leader Conference in September. It was decided that the award will be given out in September. Sue reminded the group that they have to have their choice for recipient of the award approved by the MSBA's Executive Council and the deadline to submit it will be Wednesday, May 24. Based on this information, the committee decided that Tuesday, February 28 is the deadline for employers to submit a nomination. This will give the committee time to review the applications and, if necessary, conduct interviews.

Speaking Opportunities at the Law Schools:
Anne Johnson reported that she is in the process of scheduling a WLP Committee presentation to Hamline law students in late January or early/mid February. Danielle volunteered to contact William Mitchell, Dana volunteered to schedule the University of Minnesota and Anne volunteered to contact St. Thomas. It was requested that, if possible, the dates for these programs be scheduled by the committee's next meeting so that speakers can be recruited for the programs.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, January 3 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 18, 2005

Participating: Rebecca Bernhard, Kirsten Hansen, Anne Johnson, Suzette Kusnierek, Kristen Ludgate, Danielle Shelton (co-chair), Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Task Force on Diversity in the Profession:
Several members of the WLP Committee have been invited to participate on the MSBA's Task Force on Diversity in the Profession. Danielle Shelton gave a brief overview of its purpose to those not on the task force. As of this meeting, the task force had not yet scheduled its first meeting.

Speaking Opportunities/CLE Programming:
The committee spent time discussing whether or not it should plan and sponsor its own CLE programs this year. Ultimately, the committee decided not to offer CLE programming. Sue Bores suggested that the committee consider seeking out speaking opportunities by contacting Minnesota CLE, the Hennepin and Ramsey County Bar Associations, and bar districts through out the state to offer itself as a CLE programming resource. Anne Johnson reported that the Women's Legal Caucus has contacted her and requested speakers for an upcoming program.

Also, the committee decided that it would like to continue seeking speaking opportunities at the law schools and several people volunteered to initiate contacts with the schools. It was suggested that in order to increase attendance at these programs that they be scheduled in early 2006 rather than later in the spring.

Recruitment of current and new legal employers for the SAGE Best Practices:
The committee has decided to focus primarily on two initiatives this year:

• To get the 25 legal employers that initially signed-on to the Best Practices to resign for the 2005/06 bar year.
• To recruit new legal employers to sign-on to the Best Practices.

It was noted that the committee needs to start being more proactive by offering incentives to the employers that do sign-on to the Best Practices. The committee decided to offer recognition by maintaining a list of the current Best Practices participants on the WLP Committee's webpage with a link to the employer's website. The committee will also invite participants to a series of roundtables so that they can discuss the Best Practices with other legal employers.

Danielle has volunteered to draft a letter that will be sent to the 25 legal employers who initially signed-on to the Best Practices and invite them to re-sign for the 2005/06 bar year. Rebecca Bernhard has volunteered to draft a marketing letter that will be sent to legal employers that have never signed-on to the Best Practices.

Other Business:
In order to spend more time recruiting employers to sign-on to the Best Practices, the committee has decided to drop several proposed projects from its agenda: development of a speaker's forum and development of an information clearinghouse on the committee's webpage.

Next Meeting:
Starting in November, the committee has changed its meeting schedule to the first Tuesday of each month. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 1 at Noon at the MSBA offices.

 


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 15, 2005

Participating: Leslie Altman, Jessica Clay, Kirsten Hansen, Anne Johnson, Suzette Kusnierek, Susan McKay, Lesley Reynolds, Hon. Kathleen Sanberg, Danielle Shelton, Susan Tindal, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

SAGE Nominations:
Sue Bores indicated that two nominations for received for the SAGE Best Practices award. The committee members present at the meeting declined to review them. Instead, Susan McKay, Leslie Altman, Kirsten Hansen and Jessica Clay volunteered to meet via a conference call to discuss the nominations and decide if follow-up interviews with the applicants will be needed.

The 2005/06 Budget & the Budget Process:
Sue reported that an allocation will be included in the 2005/06 budget for a statistical data gathering project. President-Elect Sue Holden will provide more information and direction on the project at a later date.

Speaking Opportunities at the Law Schools:
At past meetings, Anne Johnson has expressed an interest in seeking out speaking opportunities with the women's student groups at the law schools. At this meeting, Anne indicated that she wants to proceed with this and plans to put together a panel of women attorneys in different practices and stages of career to talk about what it is like outside of law school, what obstacles the women law students may encounter, what changes are happening, and the resources and groups that are available to women attorneys. Anne volunteered to contact Hamline Law School, the University of Minnesota and St. Thomas to arrange dates. Danielle Shelton volunteered to contact William Mitchell.

Information Clearinghouse:
The goal of this project is to collect information on local and national groups that are working on gender issues in the legal profession and provide descriptions and links on the committee's webpage. Unfortunately, this item has been on the committee's agenda since September of 2003 and has not developed into anything more than an idea. Anne asked the group if they still had an interest in pursuing this project. Susan McKay, Suzette Kusnierek and Danielle Shelton volunteered to form a subcommittee with Anne to gather information on the internet and organize it. Anne has a research assistant who has started researching information and will share it with the committee at a future meeting.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 18, 2005

Participating: Leslie Altman, Dana Bartocci, Rebecca Bernhard, Jessica Clay, Dyan Ebert, Kirsten Hansen, Suzette Kusnierek, Susan McKay, Tricia Pepin, Hon. Kathleen Sanberg, Danielle Shelton, Michael Tracy, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Diversity Committee's Proposal:
Michael Tracy, co-chair of the MSBA's Diversity Committee, was in attendance and spoke to the group about the Diversity Committee's proposal to ask the MSBA to form a task force to update the Glass Ceiling Task Force Report that was prepared by the Hennepin County Bar Association in 1993. A copy of the report was distributed at the meeting.

Michael indicated that the task force would be composed of members from the MSBA, HCBA & RCBA Diversity Committees, the Women in the Legal Profession Committee, the minority bar associations and possibly a few other groups. Specifically, the Diversity Committee plans to focus on the employment barriers faced by minorities, including minority women.

MSBA President-Elect Susan Holden has already discussed this project with the Diversity Committee. Michael Tracy will follow up with Susan to let her know that the Women in the Legal Profession Committee is interested in participating and to determine how to proceed on this project.

The 2005/06 Budget & the Budgeting Process:
The committee spent time discussing their budget needs for the 2005/06 bar year and the committee’s interest in securing additional funding so that additional surveying can be done. Sue Bores had previously provided the co-chairs with information about the MSBA’s budgeting process and indicated that if the committee plans to request additional funding they will need to do so by January 25. Susan McKay volunteered to contact the Minnesota Center for Survey Research and ask for a cost estimate.

Law School Speaking Opportunities:
A discussion was held regarding speaking opportunities at the law schools and the need for the committee to define the topics that it plans to offer. Minnesota Women Lawyers' speaker bureau was cited as a model that the Women in the Legal Profession Committee could follow. It lists attorneys who are available for speaking engagements and their topics of expertise. This idea will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting.

Next Meeting:
The committee’s next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 15 at Noon at the MSBA offices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 19, 2004

Participating: Leslie Altman, Dyan Ebert, Kirsten Hansen, Dana Holt, Susan McKay, Danielle Shelton, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Status of the Best Practices:
Sue Bores reported that 25 legal employers have signed-on to the Best Practices and she passed around a list of the participants for the committee members to review.

Report from the Nominations Subcommittee:
The committee members reviewed a draft of the nomination form for the annual SAGE Best Practices award and spent time discussing it. The Best Practices brochure will be included in the nomination materials and the committee decided that question #5 should direct the nominees to the bullet points listed under each Best Practice in the brochure. It was also suggested that the form specifically ask for the name of the person in charge of implementing the Best Practices within the law firm/company. Dyan Ebert made note of the comments and will incorporate them into another draft, which will be sent to the entire committee for feedback.

Law School Speaking Opportunities:
Anne Johnson has drafted a letter that offers the committee as a resource for presentations to law students on gender equity. The presentations will provide a brief summary of the SAGE survey data, provide an overview of the Best Practices and the Recognition Program, and address why these should be important to graduating law students. Anne's letter had previously been circulated to the committee via e-mail and at the meeting it was approved to send to the Career Services Offices and the women's law student groups. Additionally, it was suggested that a similar letter be sent to MNCLE, law firms, other legal employers and district & county bar associations. Dyan volunteered to work on this.

Also, the committee decided to develop a list of the topics/presentations that it would like to offer and will ask committee members to sign-up for the topics that they are willing to present on. This idea will be developed more at the next meeting.

It was noted that there are several new members on the committee and they are probably not going to be familiar with the SAGE survey data. A suggestion was made that before the committee starts looking for speaking opportunities, it should conduct a training session that reviews the history of the SAGE program. It was noted that Judge Sanberg has been with the committee since its beginning and has the most knowledge on the committee and its work. Sue will contact her to ask if she will be available to conduct a training session at the next meeting.

Information Clearinghouse:
Leslie Altman mentioned that she is a member of the ABA's Commission on Women in the Profession and noted that they are also developing an information clearinghouse on their website. She offered to contact Anne Johnson to see if she had found a law student to work on this project and to share the contact information for the person who is coordinating the commission's website project.

Other Business:
Sue passed out a meeting notice for a CLE program entitled "Women in the Private Practice of Law: The Choice to Stay or Leave" that is being sponsored by Res Ipsa Loquitur on October 27. She thought that it might be of interest to committee members and noted that Judge Sanberg and Anne Johnson will be presenting on SAGE and the Best Practices.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 16, 2004

Participating: Dyan Ebert via the phone, Anne Johnson, Suzette Kusnierek, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Danielle Shelton, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Report from the Nominations Subcommittee:
Prior to the meeting, Sue Bores had circulated a revised version of the Nomination Form. Committee members were asked to review it and provide feedback on it. Several comments were received and Anne Johnson will discuss them with the other members of the Nominations Subcommittee.

One of the comments noted that the annual award was initially intended to recognize a legal employer who had gone beyond the Best Practices. However, the phrase at the top of the nomination form indicates that it is intended to recognize "a legal employer who has made a significant contribution through the implementation of the SAGE Best Practices". The committee members spent time discussing this and decided that the nomination form should be designed to help identify a legal employer who has gone above and beyond the Best Practices.

Law School Speaking Opportunities:
Anne Johnson has drafted a letter that offers the committee as a resource for presentations to law students on gender equity. The presentations would provide a brief summary of the SAGE survey data, provide an overview of the Best Practices and the Recognition Program, and address why these should be important to graduating law students. A copy of the letter will be circulated via e-mail to the committee membership for it to review and comment on.

The plan is for the letter to be sent to the Career Services Offices and the women's law student groups at the law schools. Danielle Shelton has already talked to William Mitchell and they have expressed an interest in inviting the WLP Committee to speak next spring. Anne has also had a similar discussion with Hamline Law School.

It was noted that there are several new members on the committee and they are probably not going to be familiar with the SAGE survey data. A suggestion was made that before the committee starts looking for speaking opportunities, it should conduct a training session that reviews the history of the SAGE program.

Information Clearinghouse:
Anne is working through Hamline Law School to find a student who can help with the internet research that will be needed for the Information Clearinghouse. At this time, she is exploring the possibility of creating a work study program so that the student can be paid.

New Business:
At the August meeting, a discussion was held about how to include the participation of both metro and non-metro attorneys. It was noted that several committee members do not work in the metro area and have long commutes to attend a meeting. After several different options were discussed, a decision was made to schedule the meetings at 4:00 P.M. on the third Thursday of each month at the MSBA offices so that non-metro area committee members can spend the majority of their day in the office before driving to Minneapolis.

However, the low attendance at this meeting, along with several comments that Sue has received, indicate that this issue should be revisited. Sue will survey the committee and ask if members have a preference of scheduling meetings in the early morning, at Noon or in the late afternoon.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for August 18, 2004

Participating: Justice Paul Anderson, Rebecca Bernhard, Dyan Ebert, Kirsten Hansen, Dana Holt, Anne Johnson, Debra Lund via the phone, Susan McKay, Hon. Kathy Sanberg via the phone, Danielle Shelton, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Status of the Best Practices Sign-On:
Twenty-four legal employers have signed-on to the Best Practices. Prior to the meeting, Sue Bores had sent a draft of the September Bench & Bar ad to the committee via e-mail and asked for suggestions or comments. None was received and the ad was approved. The committee would also like to run the ad in the MWL newsletter With Equal Right, however it might not be able to afford it. Dyan Ebert volunteered to contact MWL and ask if they will extend a discounted rate to the committee.

Recognition Program:
It was decided that the nomination form for the annual SAGE Best Practices award needs to be revised so that the questions ask for more specific information on each of the six Best Practices. Susan McKay suggested forming a Nominations Subcommittee and Rebecca Bernhard, Dyan Ebert, Anne Johnson and Susan volunteered. They will work on further developing the nomination questions and will submit a draft to the committee at its September meeting.

The committee also established the following timelines for the year:

January 3 Sue will send out the revised nomination form to legal employers.
February 1 Deadline to receive nominations.
February 17 The WLP Committee meets to review the nominations and determine if additional information will be needed from the nominees.
Feb/March The Screening Subcommittee will conduct follow-up interviews with the nominees and determines an award recipient.
March 17 The Screening Subcommittee makes its recommendation to the WLP Committee.
April 15 The MSBA Executive Committee meets and will need to approve the award recipient.
June 15-17 The MSBA Convention will be held in Brainerd.

Kirsten Hansen, Dana Holt, Susan McKay and Judge Sanberg volunteered to form the Screening Subcommittee.

Information Clearinghouse:
It was suggested that the committee try to find a law student to help with the internet research that will be required for this project. Anne Johnson offered to check law student availability at Hamline and will report to the committee in September.

New Business:
A discussion was held regarding finding speaking opportunities within the women's organizations of the law schools to discuss gender equity within the legal profession. Several committee members have contacts within the law schools and volunteered to ask them about speaking opportunities. It was decided that the committee should develop either a presentation or "speakers bureau" that it can offer as a resource. Anne Johnson volunteered to develop a list of topics. At the next committee meeting, members will review the list and sign-up for the topic that they are willing to present on.

The committee spent time talking about how to increase participation of both metro and non-metro attorneys. It was noted that several committee members do not work in the metro area and have long commutes to attend a meeting. After several different options were discussed, a decision was made to schedule the meetings at 4:00 P.M. on the third Thursday of each month at the MSBA offices so that non-metro area committee members can spend the majority of their day in the office before driving to Minneapolis.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, September 16 at 4:00 P.M.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for October 15, 2003

Present: Leslie Altman, Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Jennifer Debrow, Erika Donner, Kristin Eads, Anne Johnson (co-chair), Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Sharon Reich Paulsen, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Status of Best Practices Sign-On
Currently, one legal employer has signed on to the Best Practices: Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren. Sue Bores checked the Lindquist & Vennum webpage and confirmed that a press release was issued announcing the firm's commitment to the Best Practices. Anne Johnson reported that she has contacted the firm and notified them that the MSBA has not received their letter of commitment.

A letter will be sent to the legal employers who participated in the SAGE survey reminding them of the Best Practices and the recognition program. They will also receive a copy of the Best Practices and information on how to sign-up. The list of SAGE survey participants was reviewed and committee members volunteered to follow-up with contacts that they have at each employer.

Recognition
Committee members reviewed a draft of the certificate that employers will receive when they sign on to the Best Practices. Suggestions were made to improve it and these will be incorporated into another draft, which will be distributed at the November meeting. It was decided that the certificate will indicate the year in which the employer committed to the Best Practices. As employers annually renew their commitment, they will receive a sticker with the year on it, which can be added to the certificate.

Jennie Clarke distributed a draft of the nomination form for the annual award. Committee members spent time discussing it and made several suggestions. Jennie will incorporate these into another draft and distribute it to the committee for comments.

Publicity
Deb Pexa, Executive Director of Minnesota Women Lawyers, offered space in the next edition of its newsletter for an article on the Best Practices. Anne volunteered to write it. The committee would also like to publish an article in Bench & Bar that provides an update on the Best Practices and the recognition program. Anyone interested in working on this should contact committee co-chairs Anne Johnson or Jennie Clarke.

Information Clearinghouse
This year, the committee has decided to focus on developing an information clearinghouse. The goal is to collect information on local and national groups that are working on gender issues in the legal profession and provide descriptions and links on the committee's webpage. Jennie reported that she has started collecting information and links from the internet and that Standford University maintains a site that the committee may find useful as a model. Committee members who have ideas or links for this project should forward them to Jennie at jclarke@hensonefron.com.

New Business
The Minnesota Legal Administrators Association (MLAA) has contacted Anne and asked the Women in the Legal Profession Committee to present the Best Practices to its membership. The tentative date of the program is January 13. Anne will follow-up with them to finalize the details.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, November 19 at noon.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for September 17, 2003

Present: Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Jennifer Debrow, Erika Donner, Kirsten Hansen, Anne Johnson (co-chair), Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Laura Walvoord, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).

Status of Best Practices Sign-On
Sue Bores reported that Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren has signed on to the Best Practices and that several other employers are considering adoption. It was mentioned that Lindquist & Vennum had issued a press release announcing that they had committed to the Best Practices. Anne Johnson will follow-up with the firm and let them know that the MSBA did not receive their commitment letter.

A suggestion was made that the legal employers who participated in the SAGE survey should be sent a reminder of the Best Practices, the recognition program and that they have not yet signed-on. This will be done via a letter, which Anne volunteered to write. At the next meeting, the committee plans to review the list of employers who participated in the survey and identify key contacts so that committee members can make follow-up calls.

Recognition
Sue and Pat Everheart are designing certificates, which will recognize the employer's commitment to the Best Practices. They hope to have a mock-up ready for the October meeting. In the meantime, Anne volunteered to write a thank-you letter, which will be sent with the certificates.

The committee discussed the process for the annual award and started establishing a timeline. The Women in the Legal Profession Committee will select the award recipient and submit its choice to the MSBA's Executive Committee for approval. The Executive Committee will meet on April 16 and May 21. The convention will take place on June 9-June 11 in Duluth.

Jennie Clarke has drafted the nomination form for the annual award, which she will circulate to the committee via e-mail and ask for comments. The committee has not determined the last date on which it can accept submissions.

Information Clearinghouse
This year, the committee has decided to focus on developing an information clearinghouse. The goal is to collect information on local and national groups that are working on gender issues in the legal profession and provide descriptions and links on its webpage. The committee hopes that in doing this it will begin a process of trying to connect with some of these groups so that everyone knows what the other is doing and to see if there are synergies that can be created by having stronger relationships with these groups.

Committee members who have ideas or links for this project should forward them to Jennie Clarke at jclarke@hensonefron.com.

New Business
The committee would like to become more involved with the law schools, in particular the women's law school associations. Anne Johnson volunteered to write a letter to each law school and offer the committee as a resource, particularly for speaking opportunities.

Next Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 15 at noon.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for April 23, 2003


Present: Leslie Altman, Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Anne Johnson (co-chair), Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Sharon Reich Paulsen, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Sue Bores (MSBA staff).


March 28 Executive Committee Meeting:
On March 28, Jennie Clarke and Anne Johnson met with the Executive Committee and discussed the history of the SAGE survey, the Committee's work to develop the Best Practices and the plan for implementation of a recognition program. After a lengthy discussion, the Executive Committee approved a resolution, which will be forwarded to the Board of Governors for consideration at its April 26 meeting. If you would like a copy of the resolution, please contact Sue Bores at either sbores@mnbar.org or 612-278-6325.

Anne reported that the Operations Committee requested that the Women in the Legal Profession Committee review its 3-year budget and pare down its anticipated needs. The revised budget that was submitted, and which was approved by the Operations Committee, is as follows:

2003 - 2004: $6,000
2004 - 2005: $4,000
2005 - 2006: $4,000

Convention:
The committee sponsored CLE "Gender Equity in the Legal Profession: Implementation of SAGE Best Practices" will be held on Thursday, June 19 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. The schedule of presenters is as follows:

A mailing will be done that invites legal employers to both the CLE program and the reception. Pat Everheart, Director of Public Relations, designed an invitation and also created a promotional piece on the Best Practices. A mock-up of each was provided at the meeting and the committee members were asked to review them and suggest changes.

It was decided that the mailing will be sent to the SAGE participants, managing partners of the top 100 law firms, district and Minority bar associations, the MWL leadership, members of the Board of Governors and other organizations that are listed in the January issue of Bench & Bar. Additionally, Deb Pexa will promote the events in The MWL Exchange.

Jennie Clarke reported that she is working on creating a form that employers will sign when they agree to the Best Practices. This will be made available at both the CLE program and the reception. After the convention, certificates will be mailed out to the employers who signed on to the Best Practices.

Other Business:
A brief discussion was held regarding the name of the annual award. As discussed at the March 19 meeting, it has been noted that it is likely that people will not be familiar with Martha Angle Dorsett and her contributions to the law. The suggestion was made to rename the award the SAGE Best Practices Award. No formal action was taken on this and it will be discussed at a future meeting.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 28 at noon.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 19, 2003

Present: Jennifer Debrow, Anne Johnson (co-chair), Leslie Altman, Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

MSBA Convention:
Jennifer Debrow reported that the committee has been selected to sponsor an Elimination of Bias CLE at the MSBA Convention, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel on Nicollet Mall. The program is scheduled to start at 11:15 A.M. and end at 12:45 P.M. It was noted that this will not conflict with lunch, which will start at 12:45 P.M.

It was decided that the CLE program will cover a brief history of the SAGE program, the survey results and introduce the Best Practices & Recognition Program. Anne Johnson, Judge Sanberg, and Leslie Altman volunteered to be speakers. Additionally, Jennifer will check on the availability of Justice Anderson or Ray Krause.

A suggestion was made that the Committee consider sponsoring a late afternoon reception at which it thanks the employers who participated in the SAGE survey. Sue checked with Kammi Stout, the MSBA's Convention Manager, and confirmed room availability and the time (4:30 P.M. to 6:00 P.M.). Deb Pexa will ask the Minnesota Women Lawyers Board if they are interested in co-sponsoring the event. If they are interested, she will draft the announcement that will be published in the convention brochure. Additionally, Sue and Pat Everheart will work on designing invitations, which will be sent to the SAGE participants.

It was noted that there will need to be some type of form that employers sign when they agree to the Best Practices. Anne will ask the Recognition Subcommittee to start working on this.

March 28 Executive Committee Meeting:
The Executive Committee will be meeting on Friday, March 28 to consider adoption of the Best Practices and the Recognition Program. Anne Johnson and Jennie Clarke will attend the meeting. In preparation, they prepared a packet of information for the Executive Committee members to review in advance: a brief report on the history of SAGE, copies of the public and private survey results, the Best Practices draft and copies of several articles, which had been published on SAGE.

Other Business:
A discussion was held regarding the name of the annual award. It was noted that it is likely that people will not be familiar with Martha Angle Dorsett and her contributions to the law. After discussing several other options, it was decided that perhaps the best name would simply be the SAGE Award. Anne Johnson will notify the Recognition Subcommittee of the discussion and ask them to reconsider the name.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 23 at noon.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 13, 2003

Present: Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Jennifer Debrow, Jon Duckstad, Anne Johnson (co-chair), Leslie Altman, Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Sue Bores (MSBA staff)


Discussion with Jon Duckstad:

MSBA President Jon Duckstad accepted the committee's invitation to attend this meeting. It began with the committee members introducing themselves and explaining their interest in the Women in the Legal Profession Committee.

Anne Johnson began the discussion by giving Jon an overview of the Best Practices and Recognition Program and informed him that the WLP committee will be asking the MSBA for its continued support at the March 28 Executive Committee meeting and then, hopefully, at the April 26 Board of Governors meeting.

The discussion also focused on the Tier 2 recognition, which will be awarded annually at the MSBA Convention. Jon told the committee that it will need to submit its final choice to the Executive Committee for approval each year.

MSBA Convention:
The committee has been selected to sponsor a 90-minute program at the MSBA Convention. The program title will be "Gender Equity in the Legal Profession: Implementation of the SAGE Best Practices" and will be held on Thursday, June 19. This will be discussed in detail at the next committee meeting.

Other Business:
The committee discussed its three-year budget proposal and the costs associated with developing the recognition program. Jennie Clarke has been researching various types of awards and developed budget proposals for two options. In option A, the committee would design an award and use the same one every year. In option B, an artist would be commissioned to design and produce a different award each year. No decision was made on this and it will be discussed at a future meeting.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19 at noon.


Meeting Summary for December 3, 2002


Present: Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Anne Johnson (co-chair), Leslie Altman, Susan McKay, Deb Pexa, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Sue Bores (MSBA staff)


November 19 Focus Group:
The November 19 focus group was well attended, however, not as helpful as the focus groups that were held in July. Several helpful suggestions and comments were received and the Best Practices Subcommittee will meet to incorporate these into the Best Practices.

The majority of participants indicated that their employers were already practicing some, if not all, of the Best Practices. However, a few employers indicated that while they support the Best Practices, they were choosing not to commit to all of them. For example, one person indicated that the partners at their firm had decided not to develop a mentoring program.

A discussion was held on how to handle this situation. It was decided that the employees should be made aware of the Best Practices and that their employer had signed on to them. Hopefully, the employees will be encouraged to hold their employers accountable.

A suggestion was made that the Women in the Legal Profession Committee sponsor quarterly roundtables and invite the employers who signed on to the Best Practices. This will be discussed further at a future meeting.


Recognition Subcommittee:
The Recognition Subcommitee will meet to start work on designing the certificates that will be distributed to the Best Practices participants.


Marketing & Publicity:
Elise Schadauer and Terrie Wheeler, of Professional Services Marketing, met with the committee in October and discussed ideas that will generate publicity for SAGE and the Best Practices. They have prepared a detailed report, which was handed out to the committee members. If you would like a copy, please contact Sue Bores at either sbores@mnbar.org or 612-278-6325.

Pat Everheart, Director of Public Relations at the MSBA., will be invited to the January meeting to discuss this report in depth.

Other Business:
The committee would like to invite members of the MSBA's Executive Committee to upcoming meetings to discuss the future of SAGE and to solicit MSBA support for the Recognition Program. Anne Johnson will contact Susan Holden, the MSBA Secretary and check her availability for either Wednesday, January 15 or Thursday, January 16.

MSBA President Jon Duckstad and President-Elect Jim Baillie will be invited to the February meeting, which has been scheduled for noon on Thursday, February 13 at the MSBA offices.


Meeting Summary for October 21, 2002

Present: Anne Johnson (co-chair), Leslie Altman, Hon. Ray Krause, Sharon Reich Paulsen, Deb Pexa, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Elise Schadauer, Terrie Wheeler, Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Best Practices Subcommittee:
WLP committee members had previously been asked to review the Best Practices and make comments/suggestions on them. These were then incorporated into the Best Practices and a revised version was handed out at the meeting. The next step will be to invite SAGE participants to a focus group, which will be held in November, and to solicit their feedback.

The date of the November focus group was changed to Tuesday, November 19 so that members of both subcommittees will be in attendance. Jennie Clarke will write a letter of invitation to the SAGE participants and forward it to Sue Bores, who will send it out.


Recognition Subcommittee:
Judge Kraus provided an overview of the Recognition Subcommittee's recommendations:

The committee discussed the level of detail and verification that will be needed for the second tier applicants and decided that this should be at the discretion of the Award Subcommittee.

A motion was made to approve the recommendations of the Recognition Subcommittee and it passed. Judge Kraus will make the above noted change to the report.

Marketing & Publicity:
Terrie Wheeler and Elise Schadauer, of Professional Services Marketing (PSM), attended this meeting and talked to the committee about publicity and marketing of SAGE. A discussion was held regarding recognition that had worked in the past and to determine the best possible outcomes in the future. Terrie and Elise will review the notes that they took at this meeting and send recommendations to Judge Sanberg. These will be discussed at a future meeting.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, December 3 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the MSBA offices.


Meeting Summary for September 25, 2002

Present: Anne Johnson (co-chair), Leslie Altman, Jennie Clarke (co-chair), Hon. Ray Krause, Susan McKay, Sharon Reich Paulsen, Hon. Kathy Sanberg, Sue Bores (MSBA staff)

Best Practices Subcommittee:
The Best Practices will be distributed via e-mail to the entire committee and members will be asked to review it one more time. Comments will be due by Friday, October 4 to Anne Johnson. The Subcommittee will then meet one more time to incorporate any comments and suggestions received.

Before final publication of the Best Practices, and finalization of the Recognition Program, it was decided that the committee should hold another focus group of participants in the SAGE process. The purpose of the focus group would be to get feedback from individuals who are not as closely tied to the development of the Best Practices and the Recognition Program and who are decision makers at their places of employment about the feasibility and practicability of these steps of our program. The focus group is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, November 20 at noon. Prior to the focus group meeting, the draft best practices and the draft format for the recognition program would be distributed to those participating. Jennie Clarke will draft a letter inviting SAGE participants to attend.

Recognition Subcommittee:
Judge Kraus reported that the Recognition Subcommittee has prepared several recommendations. These will be distributed via e-mail to the entire WLP committee for review and discussed in depth at the next meeting. One of the main points to work out is the verification process of second tier nominees to ensure that an employer is meeting the Best Practices and not overstating their achievements.

The final recommendations, along with a three year budget request, will be submitted to the Board of Governors at its April 26 meeting. Sue Bores will arrange for the committee to be on the agenda. The plan is for the first tier awards to be launched at the 2003 MSBA Convention. The second tier award will be announced at the 2004 Convention.

Publications & Promotion:
Judge Kraus wrote an article for the Minnesota Lawyer's special Women in the Law issue, which was published on August 26. If you missed it and would like a copy, please contact Sue Bores at either sbores@mnbar.org or 612-278-6325.

Judge Sanberg has written an article for Minnesota Women Lawyer, which is scheduled to be published in October. The committee has postponed the Bench & Bar article until early next year.

At the next meeting, Jennie Clarke will bring Terry Wheeler, who is the marketing person at Henson & Efron. She has volunteered to help the committee develope a strategy to publicize SAGE and the Best Practices.

Future plans include developing a CLE program that will promote the Best Practices and Recognition Programs. This program will be for Bias credits and it may be held at the MSBA convention in June.

The SAGE Executive Summary:
Anne Johnson has completed a draft of the Executive Summary for Public Employers and copies were handed out at the meeting. Committee members are asked to review it and contact Anne with any comments. She can be reached at either atjohnson@gw.hamline.edu or 651-523-2299. If you would like to receive a copy of it, please contact Sue Bores.

It was decided that final drafts of the Executive Summary for Private Employers and Public Employers be sent to those employers who participated in the SAGE surveys and the July focus groups.

A suggestion was made that when other bar associations request copies of the SAGE materials they should be charged a fee to cover the copy costs. No decision was made on this and it may be discussed at a future meeting.

Next Meeting:
The next meeting has been scheduled for Monday, October 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the MSBA offices.

- Last Updated 05/15/13 -