It was a year of landmark achievements for Adine Momoh.
As the Hennepin County Bar Association approached its centennial year, Momoh assumed the organization’s presidency on July 1 with a dual distinction: She is the first African-American woman to head the HCBA and also, at 34, its youngest president ever.
The daughter of parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Sierra Leone, Momoh set a theme of “Championing the Profession” for her term. By that, Momoh explains, she wants the HCBA to be a champion of the profession and at the same time she’d like to see individual lawyers play more active roles in helping less established lawyers succeed professionally.
“A champion can be a mentor who shows you the ropes, but it’s also someone who goes out of their comfort zone to introduce you to networks, contacts, and resources you never even knew of,” says Momoh, an equity partner and business trial attorney at Stinson Leonard Street.
In an effort to facilitate greater networking opportunities for younger and diverse lawyers, Momoh has launched a new program called A Table for Ten, which encourages diverse social gathering over breakfast, lunch or dinner at minority-owned restaurants.
In addition to the new-lawyer and diverse-lawyer groups, another overlooked population, she says, is attorneys who have been practicing seven to 15 years. These lawyers, she says, are oftentimes facing stark life transitions like starting families, caring for aging loved ones or entering organizational leadership, and the HCBA can assist them with “whatever skills or resources they need.”
“We can help them excel in their practice, and in turn they should do what the HCBA was created to do a hundred years ago, which is to serve the community — not just the legal community, but the community at large.”