City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department
Guled Ibrahim anticipates the day when members of Minnesota’s sizable Somali American community who seek legal assistance or advice can look across the desk at the attorney serving them and see someone from the same community.
Ibrahim, an attorney with the City of Minneapolis Civil Rights Department, acts on what he envisions by mentoring Somali undergraduates and law school students. His objective: to close the justice gap by increasing the number of Somali Americans and other new Americans in the legal profession.
Ibrahim was born in Somalia and immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya with his family when he was in high school. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and earned his law degree at Mitchell Hamline predecessor William Mitchell College of Law.
He started working on projects with the Somali American Bar Association (SABA) while still in law school. Now, he serves as SABA’s president. In that leadership role, Ibrahim launched a membership program aimed at helping law students and younger attorneys succeed in Minnesota’s legal profession, as well as recruiting college students into law schools.
His commitment to advocating for diversity within the legal profession has earned him a host of honors, including a 2021 Bush Fellowship and an Emerging Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota earlier this year.
“A more diverse legal profession will benefit all of us. It makes the justice system more accessible and fairer,” Ibrahim said. “A lot of Somali students would make great lawyers if mentored. There is a process to increasing the number of Somali students entering law school and ultimately into legal careers. I am focusing on providing the type of guidance and mentorship that wasn’t always available when I went to college and law school.”
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