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Lica Tomizuka
Lica Tomizuka

2020 Diversity & Inclusion: Lica Tomizuka

Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Minneapolis-based Faegre Drinker has long been active in promoting diversity in the legal profession, according to Lica Tomizuka, a partner in the firm’s real estate group. For a number of years Faegre has used its L-1 program — which hires first year law students as summer interns — to promote diverse hiring, said Tomizuka, who grew up in Berkeley, California, the daughter of Japanese-American immigrants.

Tomizuka was one of those summer interns, hired by Faegre after her first year at the University of Minnesota Law School. After a second summer as an intern, Tomizuka joined the firm upon graduation.

Tomizuka has served on the nominating and hiring committees at Faegre, is a partner co-chair of the firm’s diverse lawyers resource group, and has served on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee since 2015. She was also the firm’s Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Fellow in 2013.

Tomizuka also serves on the board of directors of a number of organizations that provide opportunities for diverse members of the community, including Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, Cookie Cart, YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities, YMCA Camp du Nord, MacPhail Center for Music, and the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

She also serves on the advisory boards of the Journal of Law and Inequality and The College Preparatory School. She also volunteered at Free Arts Minnesota for several years, and was also a volunteer coach for the University of Minnesota Women’s Club Volleyball Team from 2003 to 2009.

She also represents various civic groups in real estate matters, including those committed to advancing diversity and inclusion such as Cookie Cart and Family Tree Clinic, and has been recognized on the Faegre Pro Bono Honor Roll a number of times for her services to organizations that champion diversity.

Regarding diversity work, Tomizuka emphasizes that even lawyers who are just beginning their careers have contributions to make — as she did. “I view diversity and inclusion work as always a team effort and requires everyone on the team to take a leadership role. It’s always gratifying to see the most junior person on a team being intentional and active.”

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