Cozen O’Connor business attorney Evan Berquist, a member in the international law firm’s Minneapolis office, has been recognized by the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) with a 2020 Excellence Award for Pro Bono Service. The Excellence Awards honor individual contributions to the profession and the community.
The award recognizes Berquist’s work on behalf of First Lutheran Church. The church, together with its partner Listening House, operates a daytime drop-in center for St. Paul’s homeless and disadvantaged people.
In 2018, the city passed a zoning ordinance that threatened to shut down the drop-in center. Berquist and the church successfully challenged the ordinance in federal court, and then negotiated a settlement with the city that allowed First Lutheran and Listening House to resume normal operations. The court order and the settlement each protect the rights of religious communities to use their land in accordance with their faith.
In addition to his work for First Lutheran, Berquist currently coordinates all the pro bono efforts for Cozen O’Connor’s Minneapolis office — totaling over 1,200 hours in 2019. Berquist also serves on the Board of Directors for New Vision Foundation, a nonprofit that teaches IT skills to disadvantaged youth. He has been pro bono counsel for New Vision since 2015.
Henson Efron attorney and shareholder Katy Graves has been elected chair of the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy. The Board of Marriage and Family Therapy is a state agency that protects the public through enforcement of the statutes and rules governing the practice of marriage and family therapists. The Board ensures that marriage and family therapists meet appropriate standards of licensure, continuing competency and professional behavior. Katy was recently elected chair and is one of two public members of the board. She is also a member of the Complaint Panel, which considers ethical complaints made against a marriage and family therapists.
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