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Sinloria Macrae
In law school, Sinloria Macrae was a research assistant to then Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Dr. Artika Tyner, director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Advocacy began early for employment lawyer

Name: Sinloria Macrae

Title: Associate, Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis office

Education: B.A., English, sociology, College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University; J.D., University of St. Thomas School of Law

For Sinloria Macrae, being born in Washington, D.C., to parents from Sierra Leone and growing up in Hastings has meant bridging gaps and “navigating newness.”

Macrae, an associate practicing in labor and employment law at Littler Mendelson’s Minneapolis office, served as an advocate for her parents as immigrants and for herself, for example, in applying to college on her own.

In law school, Macrae served as a research assistant to then Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Alan Page and Dr. Artika Tyner, director of the Center on Race, Leadership and Social Justice at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

“It was inspirational to see people who looked like me in these incredible positions,” Macrae said. “They were so humble and they really me how to be in a leadership role and have humility.”

Macrae credits adjunct professor Joan Harris with inspiring her to work in employment law. Working as a Target Law Scholar with Dionne Blake, Target Corp. assistant general counsel, confirmed her interest in that area.

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: Tell me a funny joke or story.

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: There was that early advocacy with my parents being immigrants and navigating their culture and the U.S. culture. When I went to undergrad, I started off as a nursing major, because I knew that I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know in what capacity. I took a biology class and did not do well, so I realized that was not the right fit. I took a sociology class and loved it. I loved learning about people. That same semester, St. John’s and St. Ben’s had something called the Red Mass. Alumni in the legal profession or civic engagement would come back and network with students. Meghan Sully from Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services was the keynote speaker. When I heard her speak, I was just so inspired. I asked if I could shadow her or meet for an informational interview to understand more about the profession. She said, “No, why don’t you come on over and intern for us?” That’s what I did during my sophomore year summer. I tracked criminal expungement cases and created a spreadsheet of various factors that impacted the judge’s decision. It was fantastic and it solidified my interest in law school.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: “There There.” That was really good.

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: The overuse of acronyms. That’s really annoying.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: One thing I really enjoy about this profession is that it’s a practice, so you’re constantly learning. There’s always an opportunity to try something new.

Q: Least favorite?

A: On the flip side of that coin, because it’s so dynamic, it can be kind of hard to find your way at first, especially as a newer attorney. But I’m sure down the line that adds to your skill set and could be applicable in whatever you go into.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: Spending time with my family and friends. They’re my village. They got me to where I’m at. It means everything that I can spend time with them. Outside of that, I love trying new restaurants. I also like Netflix. I watch a wide variety of shows and movies and then I do try to read more now that law school is over.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: The Spiral Brewery. Get a stout or porter together. It’s in downtown Hastings, in the historic part.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: Dionne Blake. She has been so influential in my career so far. I worked with her in their legal department as a Target Law Scholar for a semester during my 2L year.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: I really liked “How to Get Away with Murder.”

 

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