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Hillary Taylor
Hillary Taylor

2019 Up & Coming Attorneys: Hillary Taylor

As a black woman who identifies as queer, Hillary Taylor believes she does not have the privilege of not caring deeply about diversity and inclusion in the profession. She’s personally marked by the barriers to the profession that have been a result of white male dominance.

“I get to be that kid from Minnesota who gets to come into public service and give back,” Taylor said.

Taylor recently joined the solicitor general’s division of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, where she works on constitutional challenges, tort claims and employment counseling and litigation. She is also a member of the office’s hiring, recruitment and diversity committee.

Taylor deeply values her involvement with pro bono clients, professional organizations and the affinity bars, including the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association and ­The Advocates for Human Rights.

A recent asylum case produced a favorable outcome for her client from Nigeria. Taylor explained that in Nigeria it is against the law to be gay or to “support” a gay person, even a family member. Her client fled to Minneapolis to escape threats of arrest and violence. Producing an application hundreds of pages long, he was granted asylum at the administrative level within a month of his interview.

“I felt so honored to be working with him,” Taylor said. She has also worked through the Children’s Law Center on behalf of youngsters in foster care, arguing for what the child wants, not necessarily what others think is in her best interests. “Children need advocates in a system that is talking about them and around them,” Taylor said.

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