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Sybil Dunlop
Sybil Dunlop

2020 Attorneys of the Year: Sybil Dunlop

We all had an eventful 2020. But not many of us were involved firsthand with election lawsuits, diversity and equity issues and leading a statewide group of attorneys. But that was Sybil Dunlop’s year in a nutshell.

The partner at Greene Espel was the lead Minnesota counsel on several state cases brought to ensure that everyone eligible to vote was able to do so, especially given the pandemic.

“Previously the state had had a rule that for an absentee ballot to be valid, it had to be witnessed,” she said. “We got that removed. We also got a ruling that ballots postmarked by Election Day had to be counted if received within the week.”

Simultaneous to this she was continuing her work as a past president of the Infinity Project, which works to place women as judges throughout the state. Dunlop is proud of her work to not only encourage women to apply for judgeships, but by preparing them for interviews.

In 2020 she helped plan three events to educate and encourage women to apply for judicial positions. Despite the pandemic she and her team at the project planned a weekend seminar for nearly 100 attorneys that included an address from Gov. Tim Walz, a presentation from the chair of the Judicial Selection Committee, panels featuring current selection commission members and judges, and coordination of one-on-one consultation time for participants.

Both of those endeavors inform the direction of the firm’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practice, which she founded. The idea behind the practice is to offer clients assistance as they navigate their own businesses. The consulting means Dunlop gets to leave the courtroom and get into the details with clients in terms of strategy and what they want to do.

All of her 2020 work has energized Dunlop and razor-focused her path going forward, she said, grounded in her foundation from Smith College and Vanderbilt University Law School.

“I am so grateful to do work that’s meaningful in the time we’re in,” she said. “It’s why I went to law school — to be doing work of substance that is impacting policy.”

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2020 here.

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