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Next Meeting: Monday, March 10, 2014 at Noon at the MSBA offices

 

Minutes
Archived Minutes Here

1/13/14

9/10/12 | 10/8/12 | 11/12/13 | 12/10/12 | 1/14/13 | 2/11/13 | 3/11/13



Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Minutes
Monday, January 13, 2014
The January 13, 2014 meeting was held in the Honors room of the MSBA office and
called to order by co-Chair Erin Knapp Darda at approximately 12:05 p.m.
Members Present: Anna Horning Nygren and Erin Knapp Darda, Co-Chairs; Anna Kim;
Julia Halbach; Dana Bartocci; and Rebecca Furdek.
MSBA Director of Diversity and Inclusion Report: Danielle Shelton Walczak reported to the
Committee the goals of the diversity strategic plan. She also outlined the temporary timeline for
completion of the plan. Draft of the plan is expected to be done January 31, 2014. Comments
will be collected the first week of February 2014. Final draft will be submitted to the [counsel]
[WiLP?] on February 13. Finally, the plan will be submitted to the Assembly in anticipation of
its April 25, 2014 meeting.
Danielle also discussed overall MSBA diversity budget amount and the start of the 2014 fiscal
year. She also stated that going forward metrics for committee activity will be implemented to
determine success and create historical data for the Committee and Diversity Department of the
MSBA as a whole.
As an announcement, Danielle informed the Committee of the upcoming training at Fredrickson
and Byron entitled: Humans Rights Approach to Social Justice, taking place each Friday
morning January 24, 2014-February 14, 2104. The cost for the entire session is $50.00
The Future of Sage: Committee members discussed the future of the SAGE Report and SAGE
Best Practices. The Co-Chairs indicated to the Committee that prior to the MSBA’s hiring of the
Director of Diversity and Inclusion, they learned that all SAGE funding had been eliminated for
the 2013-14 bar year and that the MSBA president had informed them that the Committee would
need to fundraise if it required funding to implement SAGE in the 2013-14 bar year. Co-Chair
Horning Nygren stated that historically the Committee received a budget of approximately
$5,000 from MSBA for roundtables,CLEs, and other costs in conjunction with SAGE.
Discussion ensued about how to handle SAGE given MSBA’s new internal focus. The following
options were presented by the Committee:
· Continue with the SAGE and seek outside funding sources for its support;
· “Shop” SAGE to potential partners who have the overall same goals as the Committee
who can continue on its work (such as Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL))
· Bifurcate SAGE and shop the survey portion of the report-for which the Committee has
no additional funding, to partners (such as the Parity Committee of MWL). Then keep
the Best Practices portion SAGE and the awards and rebrand it as the WiLP Best
Practices and WiLP award.
· In bifurcation, take the Best Practices and apply them inward to MSBA in assistance
with the MSBA’s internal diversity & inclusion goals.(The general Committee census
was that in its current form, the Best Practices were better suited for legal employersfirms,
government, corporate, etc.- rather than a bar association. If they were to be used
inward they would have to be redrafted. Committee members expressed concerns about
the amount of time and resources that this effort would require and whether it would be
feasible, given the frustration felt by members about the lack of support from MSBA
leadership and consequent loss of membership. Some Committee members expressed
doubt that internal MSBA diversification would lead to overall diversification in the
legal profession, or whether instead it was a symptom of problems in the legal profession
at large- although, all believed it a good goal. Some committee members expressed that
the difficulties faced by women and minorities in law firms could contribute to their
underrepresentation in the MSBA.
There was larger discussion of the Committee as a whole and its future direction. Co-Chair
Darda indicated that members left the Committee because of MSBA’s funding cuts of the
SAGE programming and related issues. Danielle asked: “Prior to the SAGE budget issueshow
many members were consistently present and engaged in the Committee?” The
response was that numbers fluctuated, but probably averaged around 10 participants per
meeting. Discussions continued about the Committee’s purpose and whether it is just SAGE
or greater. If it is not just SAGE, should there be rebranding?
Given Committee morale, focus concerns, and MSBA’s funding cuts, the Committee agreed
the next step would be to approach the current MSBA president Phil Duran (with support
from the Diversity Committee) and ask him to appoint a Task Force to examine Internal
Diversity and Gender issues within the MSBA, with recommendations on how to support the
MSBA, the Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Committees, and Sections in implementing
the Strategic Plan. The Committee believed that a task force would necessarily include
members of both WiLP and the Diversity Committees. The Committee opined that a task
force would provide the latitude to appoint other individuals, and therefore an opportunity to
interject new blood into both the WiLP and Diversity Committees and perhaps reinvigorate
them for the upcoming bar year.
The Committee also recommended WiLP meet on a quarterly basis while the Task Force is
in existence to alleviate any concern that should it stop meeting entirely, it would cease to
exist. The general consensus was that if the current MSBA president was not supportive of a
Task Force, then the Committee would need to re-strategize.
Meeting adjourned at 1:00 pm.

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for March 11, 2013

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, March 11, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Erin Knapp Darda (Co-Chair),  Heather Keliebenstien (Co-Chair), Rachel Kitze, Kendra Brodin, Ellie Krug, Dana Bartocci, Ashley Wenger (phone), Ashlee Bekish, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Guest: Sarah Rohne – ABA Commission on Women in the Legal Profession

Update on SAGE Best Practices
The Resolutions and Report were submitted to the MSBA on March 8. Erin Darda and Kendra Brokdin will present at the General Policy Committee on March 13 at 3:30 p.m. If approved, the Resolutions and Report will go to the Assembly for final approval and adoption on April 25.

Update on Law School Panels
The joint panel with MWL at the University of Minnesota will be held April 11 at Noon.  An email will be sent out to the Committee soliciting volunteers for the panel (one mid-level, one with 10 years practice experience, and one with 20 years practice experience).  Rachel Kitze will send questions to Erin Darda (generational gaps in communication, how to view success, work-life balance issues).

Still working on the panel at William Mitchell.

Update on Negotiating CLE

  • Tentatively scheduled for June
  • Potential speakers include a magistrate judge from the federal bench, Magistrate Judge Maron, Mary-Margaret Zindren (HCBA Executive Director), Terri Krivosha (transactional attorney from Maslon).  Erin will contact Terri, and Ellie will contact Mary-Margaret.

Trans Gender CLE

  • Tentatively scheduled for middle of May
  • Speakers: Ellie Krug (male to female perspective), Devin Mead (female to male perspective
  • Moderator: Rebecca Wagner (OutFront Minnesota)
  • Hosting firm: Robins Kaplan

Revisit Military Spouse Initiative

  • Sarah Novak, Leslie Altman, and Ashley Wenger (original Subcommittee members)
  • More help is needed with this initiative. It has been stalled since the passing of Leslie Altman. The Committee feels the need to follow through with this in honor of Leslie, who really pushed for this initiative.
  • Leslie was responsible for drafting the Recommendation – Heather Kleibenstein volunteered to take over this portion (Ashley Wenger: rule change; Sarah Novak: background information).
  •  

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on April 8, 2013 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for February 11, 2013

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, February 11, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Erin Knapp Darda (Co-Chair),  Anna Kim, Krista Schneider, Kendra Brodin, Rachel Kitze, Greta Rudolph, Dana Bartocci, Ellie Krug, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

Update on SAGE Best Practices
The working group will meet early next week to finalize the Resolution and Report, which is due no later than March 13 in order to make it on the April 15 Assembly agenda for approval.

Update on Law School Panels
The panel for the U of M will likely be in April.  Rachel Kitze will update at the next meeting.

Update on Negotiating CLE
Tabled to the next meeting.

Revisit Military Spouse Initiative
Tabled to the next meeting.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on March 11, 2013 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for January 14, 2013

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, January 14, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Erin Knapp Darda (Co-Chair), Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Ellie Krug, Jennifer Jameson, Anna Horning Nygren, Ashlee Bekish, Kendra Brodin, Dana Bartoci, Rachel Kitze, Sarah Novak (by phone); and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

**The Committee congratulated Co-Chair Heather Kliebenstein on making partner at her law firm – Merchant and Gould.  Congratulations Heather!**

SAGE Best Practices
Erin Darda reported that the revised SAGE Best Practices document was approved by the Committee at the December meeting.  The document will need to go through the MSBA General Policy Committee first, then to the MSBA Assembyl for approval. The Committee (via its newly formed SAGE subcommittee) will be putting together a Report and Recommendation to be submitted by March 13 to the MSBA for its April 15 Assembly.  Subcommittee members include: Kendra Brodin, Ellie Krug, Anna Horning Nygren, Jennifer Jameson, and Sarah Novak.  The Committee will also ask to be on the next Diversity Committee meeting agenda, which is scheduled for February 1 at noon.  Tram will check with Alan Haynes, Chair of the Diversity Committee, to see if this is possible.

Law School Panels
Rachel Kitze suggested that there be a joint-panel/event with MWL, in either February or April.  The Committee thought it was a good idea, and decided on April due to timing.  Topics suggested from the U of M WILSA included:  how to network; what success means for women attorneys; transitions between careers; and working through generational issues.  The Committee thought all those were great topics and asked Rachel to follow up with her board to see which of those topics they’d like us to present on.  Rachel will report back at the next meeting.

Professional Development CLE
The Committee brainstormed on possible topics and decided to do one on negotiating. The last time the Committee held one on this topic was in September of 2009.  Heather Kleibenstein will lead the planning group, with Dana Bartocci and Ashlee Bekish as members. It is tentatively scheduled for the spring. 

Director of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI) Report and Recommendation
Erin Darda reported that we received 9 votes all in support of the DDI Report. We needed 10 votes for full committee endorsement. The final report was submitted to the MSBA leadership on December 31, and will be on the MSBA Council on February 15 for approval.  Rachel Kitze did not vote via email but voted in support of the report at today’s meeting so that brought the total votes to 10. Erin noted that the Diversity Committee should feel free to indicate to the MSBA Council that the WLP Committee is in support of the report at the February 15 Council meeting.  Erin also volunteered to provide a letter in support if necessary.

Next Meeting
The Committee will meet next on February 11, 2013 at noon at the MSBA offices. We will add back on the agenda the military spouse initiative.

Meeting adjourned.


The Women in the Legal Profession Committee
Meeting Summary for December 10, 2012

The Women in the Legal Profession Committee met on Monday, January 14, 2013 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the offices of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

In Attendance: Erin Knapp Darda (Co-Chair), Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair), Anna Horning Nygren, Jennifer Jameson, Ashlee Bekish, Tara Kalar, and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff).

 

SAGE Best Practices
The Committee voted to adopt the revised SAGE Best Practices document, which was circulated via email to the committee prior to the meeting.  The next step is to write a report and recommendation and submit it by March 13 for the April 25 MSBA Assembly for approval.  The Committee will also ask to be on the agenda for one of the upcoming meetings of the Diversity Committee to fill them in so everyone is on the same page.

Law School Panels
No update.

Professional Development CLE
This item was tabled to the January meeting.

Diversity Committee Recommendation for a Director of Diversity and Inclusion (DDI)
The Committee held a lengthy discussion about the report, which was circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting.  The general consensus from the committee members present was that while they are supportive of the concept, they also had some concerns that need to be addressed before a formal vote.   Erin Darda will follow up with David Ahlvers on those concerns and will plan to attend the final meeting of the Diversity Strategic Committe on December 20 to voice those concerns to the larger group.  The Committee will have a chance to vote via email before the final report is to be submitted to the MSBA on December 31, 2012.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on January 14, 2013 at noon at the MSBA offices.

Meeting adjourned.


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

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

In Attendance: Erin Knapp Darda (Co-Chair), Heather Kliebenstein (Co-Chair, via phone), Ashley Wenger, Greta Rudolph, Sarah Demmers, Kendra Brodin (via phone)  and Tram Nguyen (MSBA staff)

The Committee held a special meeting to review the draft updated SAGE Best Practices, which was circulated via email to the full Committee prior to the meeting.  The Committee members present reviewed and made some recommended changes to the draft document. The revised draft document will be circulated again to the full committee for comments before the December meeting.  At the December meeting, the final draft will be voted on to move forward.  Upon Committee approval, it will be circulated to the MSBA Diversity Committee for comments/support; and finally  put on the MSBA Assembly meeting agenda for a vote at the April 25 Assembly meeting.

Next Meeting:
The Committee will meet next on December 12, 2012 at noon at the MSBA offices. On the agenda will be brainstorming for possible topics for a professional development CLE or another SAGE roundtable.

Meeting adjourned.