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Kaleb Rumicho
Kaleb Rumicho

2020 Up & Coming Attorneys: Kaleb Rumicho

As a 9-year-old boy, Kaleb Rumicho emigrated from Ethiopia after waiting for five years as his father and his attorneys worked on gaining asylum status for his wife and four children.

His father, Edossa, an advocate for the Oromo people, was on an exchange program in Canada when a coup d’état occurred in his home country. As the new government targeted Oromo people, Edossa headed for Minneapolis, where he had a cousin and where he found legal help for his case.

Now deputy general counsel and director of judicial appointments in the governor’s office, Rumicho saw how the power of law changed his family’s destiny. “I witnessed how powerful the legal system here is compared to many countries around the world,” he said. “I discovered the law is deeply rooted in our political, economic and social world and pursuing a legal education was the best way for me to have an impact in my community.”

Today Rumicho is passionate about working on legal issues that impact Minnesotans on a daily basis, especially working on the state’s response to the pandemic. Every day he aims to make “a difference in people’s lives.”

What inspires you and motivates you to achieve your goals?

It goes back the sacrifice my parents made in being forced to uproot their lives and start anew. We were their priority and they put a hold on their ambitions and goals.

What’s the best piece of advice that you ever received?

My parents always say know who you are, know where you came from. You’re American and Oromo. Retaining the culture and the language has helped me navigate where I want to go and who I want to be.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

I speak multiple languages and I’m Oromo.

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