Profiles in Practice: Kevin Green


Kevin Green has wanted to be a lawyer since he was ten. It was around 2017 when he thought, “I haven’t done anything toward reaching that goal.”

How things have changed.

Kevin-Green-1Green is now a 3L at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and will join Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath as an associate upon graduation. In the meantime, he serves as associate editor for the University of St. Thomas Journal of Law and Public Policy, student body president, vice president of the University of St. Thomas Minnesota Black Law Student Association (BLSA), student director of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, and a student board member of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association.

Green, who grew up in an environment where “you didn’t always know if the light switch was going to work,” is a first-generation college graduate and will be the first attorney in his family. He said there have been times when, in school, it was a struggle to have his voice heard when he tried to explore and examine the philosophical underpinnings of law.

“I did come into law school thinking, ‘I am finally going to get to a place where the law and the system we have in place will make sense.’ Now, that isn’t the paradigm you get when you walk into your first-year classes,” he said. “I remember, after my first-year classes, feeling like I wasn’t getting what I wanted, what I needed. When those rose-tinted glasses came off, which was a little bit of a process, I felt better adjusted.

“Whenever I have decided to be vulnerable, my peer group has been there as a point of strength, a point of community, and a point of family away from family.”

Kevin-Green-2“Whenever I have decided to be vulnerable, my peer group has been there as a point of strength, a point of community, and a point of family away from family,” he continued. “Even if some of my words fell on deaf ears, so be it. For me, it has been a good thing—to a point—for me to express myself and connect with my peer groups.”

Green said he’s also found a greater sense of belonging by participating in legal groups outside of school itself. “School is the place where I know I am going to get fed academically. I am going to learn the law and how to apply it, even if I don’t like what it says,” he said. “However, I go to those other spaces as bridges. For example, I go to BLSA because that’s where I see Black men and woman who are successful today, not successful 20 years ago. And, for another example, the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association has helped me feel more me.”

Kevin-Green-3For now, Green said he’s looking forward to having the chance to put his litigation skills to work. “What draws me to litigation is the ability to marry your intellectual skill and analysis with oral advocacy skills,” he said. “It makes me feel like I’m using every part of myself.”

Over the course of his career, Green said he hopes he helps society, not just the legal industry, become more inclusive and accepting.

 “In what ways can I make it easier for our Black and brown and minoritized kids? Yes, it’s still going to be hard, but there is someone out there who is making it easier for them and giving them a better level of access than we had 20 years ago or 30 years ago, and I would like that person to be me,” he said. “I might be here today, but my thoughts are in tomorrow, as in ‘How can we lead the future generation and make it a fairer playing ground so that more people from varying backgrounds can be successful?’”

Will-Ashenmacher-150By Will Ashenmacher
Will Ashenmacher is a licensed attorney, former journalist, and communications manager in the Minneapolis office of Ballard Spahr. In his role, he works across the national firm’s seven Western offices to find and further stories about Ballard Spahr’s attorneys, work matters, and firm culture. Ashenmacher volunteers with the University of St. Thomas’ ThreeSixty Journalism program. He lives in the Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis with this dog, Kitsu.

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