President's Page: Engage, Collaborate, Connect 

First of all, I want to thank all of the HCBA members, Board of Directors members, Section Leaders, and staff for the trust that you have given me to lead the organization this year. I am thankful for all of your hard work to make our organization a very successful one! Without your hard work it wouldn’t be possible. I also want to thank all of my colleagues, professors, mentors, mentees, law students, clients, friends, and family members for their congratulations and kind words on becoming the 102nd president of the HCBA. I am very excited and humbled to serve as the President. The HCBA has been very busy since the 2020-2021 bar year began in July. As stated in my introductory article (See the September issue), due to the unique circumstances of this year, I have two main goals: to provide value to members during the COVID-19 pandemic and to promote racial equity. 

Because the killing of George Floyd happened in our backyard and the systematic inequities in the administration of justice, racial equity will be a priority this bar year. The HCBA Finance & Planning Committee will take an in-depth look at racial equity within the profession, the Association, and the justice system. The committee will look at ways the Association can provide resources to members who wish to learn more about this topic and how it affects our profession and our justice system. It will also look at ways we can collaborate with other organizations—including the affinity bars, Diversity in Practice, the courts, the County Attorney’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office—to be an ally in the quest for more equity in the justice system. 
The committee will take input from the Board, the HCBA Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and the leaders of the Sections. We want this to be a collaborative effort to strengthen racial equity and eliminate police brutality.
 
I acknowledge that in addition to racial inequality, COVID-19 has posed challenges for attorneys, law students, and the courts as well. These are unprecedented times and we have all had to change the way we work and live. We are looking forward to doing in-person events to bring more normality to our lives and the profession as soon as we are able and our members are comfortable gathering again. In the meantime, the Association is finding creative new ways for our members to engage: more virtual and  on-demand CLEs, virtual networking events, and virtual programing in general. Many sections, including the New Lawyers Section, have started fun and creative ways for us to be connected during these challenging times.
 
Besides those two main goals, the Association 
will also address the recommendations put forth last year by the New Lawyers Task Force on how to better engage law students and new lawyers. We are conscientious that law students and new lawyers are the future of the Association and we want to provide the most value and the best possible programming for them. I have always encouraged law students, my mentees, and newer lawyers to join the organization and be as active as possible because it is very valuable in many aspects for their future careers as well as their personal lives. I am a testament of the value that organization involvement has in early career stages. I joined the HCBA as a new lawyer in 2011 and I became its President in 2020. Not too many professional organizations offer those leadership opportunities to its members in the early stages of their careers. This is a great value of our organization! I have also been able to network and collaborate with the leaders of the Minnesota legal community. 
 
As a whole I want to encourage all members to keep engaging and please share your ideas on how to make our organization a better one. Especially in this time of turmoil, we welcome your thoughts and feedback. We want to make sure we understand what you need and what we can do to help. Thank you again for giving me the opportunity to serve you as your president. Do not hesitate to contact me. I am always open to suggestions and feedback!