President's Page: Navigating & Celebrating

Dear Members,
It was a tremendous pleasure to serve as the president of the HCBA this 2020-2021 bar year. Even though it was a challenging year due to the worldwide pandemic, I enjoyed every minute of serving in this role. I want to take this opportunity to thank my fellow board members and officers for all the work they provided to the association over the course of the year. I also want to thank members of the Finance and Planning Committee, Section Chairs, and Committee Chairs. All of them spent so many volunteer hours to make this organization the best it can be. The work of the HCBA could not be done without these valuable volunteers. I would like all members to applaud and recognize this service to the organization and the legal profession.

I also want to thank the staff for all the great work they do for our members every day. Without the staff, the organization could not accomplish all the work that it does. I have always felt supported by staff and felt that they are committed to the organization and the legal profession. I would like to give a special shout out to our CEO Cheryl Dalby for all the support she has provided me over the last year. She and her team have been instrumental to help the HCBA navigate this difficult year.

The Finance and Planning Committee had a remarkably busy year. The committee had two subcommittees in charge with two of the main priorities of the year, namely: racial equity and new lawyers.

The Racial Equity Subcommittee provided two recommendations to be implemented this year: 1) In conjuction with the YWCA St. Paul, the HCBA will provide programing supporting the “21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge” by which participants receive daily challenges intended to better understand racial and social injustice and identify ways to dismantle racism and discrimination. Those challenges include, for example, being asked to read an article, listen to a podcast, or reflect on an experience. 2) Improving and consolidating the existing resources for new attorneys and law students of color. The HCBA is connecting its large membership to those existing tools/programs. In 2021, the Diversity Committee is identifying and consolidating these resources, and it will promote those resources through our website and other channels.

The New Lawyers Subcommittee provided five recommendations: 1) Creating an HCBA New Lawyer Engagement Committee solely focused on addressing new lawyers’ ongoing concerns to ensure recruitment and continued involvement in the HCBA and creating two new liaison positions to the HCBA board for New Lawyer Section’s leadership. 2) Creating non-voting liaison to the board seats for the treasurer and vice president of the New Lawyers Section. 3) Developing a proposal to provide to the Minnesota Supreme Court regarding the association’s views on the future of the bar exam in Minnesota. 4) Working with section leadership, through the council of sections, to encourage programming specifically targeted to new lawyers. 5) Creating an HCBA signature event sponsored by the New Lawyers Section to assist lawyers within the first five years of practice to network for jobs straight out of law school or in lateral positions.

This year we celebrated two Bar Memorial sessions. Both memorials provided a much needed opportunity to remember and recognize the colleagues we lost over the last two years.

Even though we were not able to meet in person this bar year, I am happy to report that our CLEs, socials, trivia nights, and other events had strong attendance. I enjoyed my presidency very much and hope we can see each other in person soon.

Thank you again for giving me the pleasure and honor to serve you as your president.

 Esteban A. Rivera
2020-2021 HCBA President

Rivera_150Esteban A. Rivera is an attorney licensed in
Minnesota and Ecuador. He practices mainly
immigration and international law with emphasis
in Latin America. He practices investment,
employment, and family-based immigration
law, as well as removal defense. He is very active
in the local legal community and the local bar
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