Supporting and Promoting Lawyers of Color In a Time of Uncertainty

Event Description


In 2020, Black women and Latina women each continued to represent less than 1% of all partners in U.S. law firms. The percentage of Black partners overall finally surpassed 2%. The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic crisis pose a potential danger to efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in U.S. law firms, in-house legal departments, and governmental agencies. As the pandemic continues to fuel uncertainty, resulting in furloughs, layoffs, terminations, reduced salaries, and other tough business decisions, we are provided a reminder that the last time this country faced a significant crisis – the 2008 Recession – a disproportionate number of lawyers of color were the first to experience layoffs and terminations as workloads declined. Businesses, including law firms, that are not intentional and vigilant about how short-term, economic-based employment decisions could impact their diverse talent could easily repeat history. Consequently, while maintaining diverse and inclusive work environments is critical during the current pandemic, retaining diverse talent is equally important. Our panelists will explore how we can support and promote lawyers of colors to ensure our organizations emerge from the pandemic stronger and more diverse. 


Matthew Stennes | Vice President, Chief Litigation and Investigations Counsel | Medtronic
Jenny Gassman-Pines | Partner | Greene Espel PLLP
Irene Kao | Intergovernmental Relations Counsel | League of Minnesota Cities

CLE Credits:

1.0 Elimination of Bias CLE Credits | Event Code: 344171


Civil Litigation Section Members: Free*
MSBA Member not in the Civil Litigation Section: $15
Non-MSBA Member: $25
Law Student: FREE

*Join the Civil Litigation Section: Not a Section Member? Sign up now and receive membership through June 30th, 2022. That’s 16 months for the price of 12!

Deadline to register: March 24th. To register after that time, email the program manager.

Remote Participation: Remote instructions will be emailed to you the day prior to the event.

Payments: Due to the pandemic, accounting staff have limited access to the office making the processing of checks difficult. We request that you register online or over the phone by credit card whenever possible. If you need assistance, please contact the program manager.  If you must pay by check, please use this registration form.

Cancellations: Need to cancel? Please see our cancellation policy .

Accommodations: The MSBA is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which all members can participate fully. If you need reasonable accommodations to participate in this event, please notify the program manager.  Please provide notification at least 72 hours prior to the meeting to allow sufficient time to make arrangements for accommodations. Thank you.

Program Manager:
Kara Haro


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Pre-Registration is Closed

Friday, March 26, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM