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Ann Motl
Ann Motl

2022 Diversity & Inclusion: Ann Motl

Greenberg Traurig, LLP

What do you do if you want a professional organization that speaks to your needs and the needs of other attorneys like you? If you are Ann Motl, associate with Greenberg Traurig, LLP, you start your own.

Motl spends her days working with clients defending complex medical devices. But in her spare time, she’s realized in the last year that she’s at a point in her career where she has the time and the resources to start an organization to address the needs of attorneys with disabilities.

Before Motl started her efforts there was no organization, bar-adjacent or not, in Minnesota that lived to address issues and assist attorneys with disabilities. As someone who uses a wheelchair, Motl was ready to rectify that situation.

“I discovered that to have [an organization] that would connect me to others like me, I would have to make one,” she said. “I’m at a point now where I can really advocate for myself and other people. I couldn’t have done this at another point in my career.”

Motl said part of the reason there hasn’t been an organization like this before is that disability is a broad term, and many disabilities are hidden. She’s been working with legal service organizations and affinity bars to make connections and get the word out to other attorneys and allies throughout Minnesota.

Her colleagues at Greenberg Traurig have been generous with their support, too, she said, sponsoring the group’s first in-person meeting and helping to set up the nonprofit.

The Minneapolis group currently has about 20 active members with more than 50 on its mailing list. Motl is hoping that as word spreads, the number of members and allies will grow, and the group can expand throughout the state and, hopefully, the country.

“We’d love to form an affinity bar and we won’t have to recreate the wheel everywhere,” she said.

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