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Edward B. Magarian, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
Edward B. Magarian, Dorsey & Whitney LLP

The POWER 30: Edward B. Magarian

Edward Magarian, chair of the board at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, is seeing to it that the firm stays true to its mission of diversity and inclusion.

“We have instituted a variety of new initiatives for the board of directors,” Magarian said. “We have agreed and implemented an expectation that the board members take an active role in diversity efforts.” That includes reports from two board members each month on their efforts.

One way of doing that is by taking an active role with affinity groups within the law firm, Magarian said. He is a mentor to the LGBTQ group there.

Also, the firm makes concerted efforts through presentations to affinity groups to encourage members to run for the board of directors.

“We still have work to do. There were a couple of lawyers who ran and weren’t elected, but that’s fine. I didn’t get elected the first time I ran,” he said.

The firm has made a judgment that diversity is the future of the firm, Magarian said. “We are redoubling efforts to recruit and also retain attorneys.” The firm is the most gender diverse it has ever been, he noted.

The firm’s most recent summer associate class also was the most diverse ever, he said. The class had 18 summer associates in Minneapolis of which 10 were women, nine were of color, and three were LGBTQ. (Some associates overlapped in the three categories).

Much of Magarian’s practice involves regulated industries, qui tam actions and white collar crime, which is not for public discussion, he said. The issue that causes him and his clients to lose sleep at night is protecting data.

There are two questions: How to prevent attacks and how to react immediately when the system is breached.

The first step is to have reliable measures in place to prevent a hack. The second step, Magarian continued, is to determine what to do if the measures were unsuccessful, and the third step might be taking action outside the company to restrain the use of the hacked information, such as a temporary restraining order (if the identity of the hacker is known).

“Part of that is working diligently to identify all the evidence of the breach,” Magarian said. Sometimes that is right on the business’ computers, such as emails or evidence of the suspicious copying of information to a USB drive. “Sometimes the data just walks out the door with the employee.”