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Inti Martínez-Alemán
Inti Martínez-Alemán

2019 Diversity & Inclusion: Inti Martínez-Alemán

When he first came to Minnesota three years ago, after practicing in his home country of Honduras for five years, Inti Martínez-Alemán immediately recognized a considerable, unmet need for legal services for the state’s Hispanic population.

“There were legal services for family issues and immigration, which is important,” he said. “But they were being underserved when it came to business, real estate, and employment litigation.”

He started Ceiba Fôrte Law Firm, a name that gives a nod to the strong roots of the Latin American community, and values not just excellence and professionalism, but also qualities like justice, equality, and peace. Two years ago he expanded the firm to a second location near Buffalo, New York.

Although he has a thriving practice, Martínez-Alemán noted that he hopes to see more competition in the future, which would mean that the Twin Cities not only has more attorneys who serve the Hispanic community, but also includes Latino and Latina lawyers.

Toward that end, Martínez-Alemán is dedicated to finding new paths for diversity in the local legal community. For example, he’s an advocate of allowing foreign-trained lawyers to sit for the bar exam after completing an LLM degree from an ABA-accredited school. Currently, he noted, Minnesota is one of the most restrictive jurisdictions for foreign-trained lawyers.

“Minnesota would benefit tremendously if other colleagues were allowed to practice law here, after following a process that other states have not had a problem implementing,” he said.

Competition makes for better attorneys, he added, and diversity creates a stronger, more vibrant community.

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