At the time, she chaired the Federal Bar Association’s Younger Lawyers Division.
“I was thinking about ways that attorneys can perform pro bono work to improve access to justice and perform work focused on removing systemic and racial and socio-economic disparities in our state and across the country,” said Momoh, a partner at Stinson.
The organization created the StepUp Pro Bono Challenge to encourage young attorneys to perform 50 hours of volunteer work involving social justice issues. Interested lawyers expressed apprehension. “Some attorneys, while inspired to do this work, didn’t know where they could find work to be done or whether they had the skills to do it,” Momoh said. “Some also didn’t have resources or the tools to do this, or didn’t know whether their employer would support it.”
Momoh tapped University of St. Thomas Professor Dr. Artika Tyner, an author, educator and social justice advocate, to develop a digital continuing legal education course for the pro bono challenge. Tyner bases some of the course on her book, “The Lawyer as Leader: How to Plant People and Grow Justice.”
The course covers attorneys who did pioneering work in social justice issues and became leaders in shaping law and public policy. Tyner addresses the core competencies that attorneys need to become leaders, and addresses research on access to justice and economic disparities.
Lawyers are “the anchor — that embodiment — of what justice means in society,” Tyner said. “Now we have to not only espouse it but make it come alive and tangible.”
Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2022 here.