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Traci Bransford
Traci Bransford

2019 Diversity & Inclusion: Traci Bransford

Traci Bransford — diversity and inclusion thought leader, mentor, program innovator and scholarship finder — says she was raised to believe that to whom much is given, much is required.

“It’s just right. You can’t help our next generation without pulling others up,” says Bransford, the first black woman partner at Stinson LLP in Minneapolis.

To help “feed the pipeline” because there are so few African American attorneys at large law firms, her brainchild this January was to host a panel at Stinson for black Minnesota law students and associates on how to succeed at big firms. She worked with the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and had top Twin Cities African American attorneys giving tips to help the young people advance their careers.

She is a mentor in the St. Thomas School of Law externship program, and she is eager to help students find scholarships. Serving on the executive committee of the National Bar Association’s commercial law section, a scholarship provider, she has encouraged students to apply for national scholarships of $5,000 or more through the association. She also has worked with the corporate law section’s scholarship subcommittee. (The National Bar Association is a 94-year-old association of 65,000 predominantly African American Attorneys.)

Her efforts have paid off. A Stinson student volunteer from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Minneapolis and an incoming Stinson associate each were awarded significant scholarships, she says.

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