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HCBA President Kim Lowe, left, and HCBF President Sharna Wahlgren presented Skip Durocher, the chair of the VLN Board of Directors, a check at the HCBA’s annual meeting on June 1. (Submitted photo)
HCBA President Kim Lowe, left, and HCBF President Sharna Wahlgren presented Skip Durocher, the chair of the VLN Board of Directors, a check at the HCBA’s annual meeting on June 1. (Submitted photo)

A feel-good report on the legal profession

June brings its share of announcements of awards, but this week there are a couple of really good things to report.

First, the Hennepin County Bar Association and the Hennepin County Bar Foundation increased the coffers at the Volunteer Lawyers Network by $50,000. The donation was made in honor of VLN’s 50th anniversary.

The HCBF, the charitable giving arm of the HCBA, contributed $40,000 of the donation through its annual grant-making cycle. The HCBA added $10,000 to the gift.

In 2015-2016, the HCBF gave $120,000 to 16 organizations.

At the same time, the mantle of HCBF leadership passed from Sharna Wahlgren to  Minneapolis attorney Katherine Bruce. Serving with Bruce as officers for the coming year are: vice president Kati MohammadZadeh,secretary Vincent Louwagie, and treasurer Sarah West.

 Robins Kaplan makes history, again

Lisa Beane

Lisa Beane

Robins Kaplan was named the nation’s most inclusive law firm for LGBT attorneys at the first-ever Chambers Diversity Awards USA earlier this month.

Robins Kaplan has published an internal Guidebook for Transgender Inclusion in the Workplace. Associate Lisa Beane, chair of the firm’s LGBT Resource Group and a lead drafter of the guidebook, was named a national finalist in Chambers’Future Leader – LGBT Equality category.

The firm has also advocated for LGBT rights in its pro bono program, including in its representation of Jakob Rumble, a transgender man who allegedly faced discrimination during an emergency hospital visit. In Rumble v. Fairview Health Services and Emergency Physicians Group P.A.,attorneys from Robins Kaplan and Gender Justice secured a groundbreaking ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex discrimination can include discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

About Barbara L. Jones

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