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Alice Silkey
Alice Silkey

2021 Diversity & Inclusion: Alice Silkey

Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Alice Silkey has been a dedicated champion of diversity and equality in the legal profession since beginning her career in 1986, in what was then largely a male-dominated profession.

As a child growing up in Highland Park, Illinois, she aspired to be an attorney and teacher, inspired by her father, who practiced law until the age of 95.

After graduating from the William Mitchell College of Law, Silkey was in solo practice for about six years. In 1988 she also started her teaching career, as an adjunct legal writing professor at William Mitchell College of Law for five years. During that time she also was a part-time teacher of legal writing at Hamline University School of Law. She eventually became a full-time professor at Hamline, teaching there for 25 years. Now an emerita professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Silkey describes herself as “a teacher at heart.”

Throughout her career, Silkey has been dedicated to promoting diversity in the legal profession. “I can think of no calling more important or more urgent than advocating for diversity, equity and inclusion to promote justice and equality in our society.”

She has been integrally involved in strategic planning for the MSBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She serves on the MSBA Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council, which she has chaired/co-chaired for the past two years.

She also serves on the MSBA Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Section Council, and is 2021-2022 chair. Silkey also serves as chair/co-chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee of the ADR Section Council, and as the diversity liaison for the Council.

Silkey said one of her most enjoyable experiences has been her involvement in arranging mentors for the annual Court Camp, a program sponsored by the Federal Bar Association Diversity and Outreach Committees to help high school students to better understand the legal system.

“Court Camp was an eye-opening experience — seeing students — some of whom had experienced less than positive encounters with law enforcement — interacting with judges was eye-opening. We got to know the students as individuals. Mentoring programs like that are essential.”

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