Robin Wolpert made diversity and inclusion the theme of her 2016-17 term as Minnesota State Bar Association president.
Wolpert’s call for “a bar association that works for everyone, with no one left out” meant “living” diversity and inclusion.
“When you think that diversity and inclusion are important, that’s just a concept,” Wolpert said. “When you know from your own experience that diversity and inclusion empower you, that’s living it, that’s real.”
Wolpert now is working to advance that theme as chair of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. She is focusing on mental health and substance use issues, which she terms the greatest threat to the profession. The board and the Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility committed to taking action on lawyer wellbeing as part of the office’s strategic plan.
“Being part of the lawyer’s board is an opportunity to contribute to a long-term plan,” Wolpert said.
Wolpert grew up in a diverse Massachusetts community amid ethnic, racial and religious tensions. She became fascinated with civil rights and justice and got her Ph.D. in this field. As a college professor, Wolpert taught law and judicial politics to diverse student bodies at Georgetown University and University of South Carolina. As 3M’s in-house compliance counsel, Wolpert worked with diverse teams on a global basis.
Wolpert, an attorney at Sapientia Law Group, works with immigrants and LGBTQ clients in her criminal defense and pro bono practice. “Serving clients with the attitude that they’re valuable people makes all the difference,” Wolpert said.