The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 5                                                                                                   May 2015
Getting Out of the City!

Dear Reader, 

  

As some know, Call for Justice, LLC has been conducting outreach to greater Minnesota with the goal of educating social service providers and religious organizations on state-wide legal resources for low-income persons. This expansion of our Legal Liaison Program is in part funded by a grant from the Minnesota State Bar Foundation (thank you very much MSBF!) and thus far, we've conducted training sessions in Owatonna, Rochester and Alexandria. Next month, we'll be in Albert Lea.

 

As I've traveled, I've heard a common refrain--"Thank you for coming to us!" This is usually quickly followed by "I didn't know most of the resources you've told us about even existed!"

 

Frankly, our experiences in greater Minnesota underscore how easy it is for us "Twin Citians" to forget that really, the world doesn't revolve around us. There's a huge need for legal resources "out there." We're more than happy to train on how resources like 211, the Volunteer Lawyers Network and Minnesota Legal Advice Online each have respective roles in greater Minnesota, but it's so very clear that there needs to be more coordination of resources--and more outreach--to places outside the Twin Cities. C4J is happy to take a leading role in this work, yet we welcome other collaborators.

 

In the end, it's about how information is all-powerful. Having it can enable others to protect their basic needs; not having it has the opposite effect.

 

  

ellie

Goings On:
Here are some happenings within the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota legal and social services landscapes.
In This Issue:

1. Stinson Leonard Street, LLP Wins NLADA Award

Kudos to SLS!

The National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) recently announced this year's Beacon of Justice Award winners, which wonderfully included Stinson Leonard Street, LLP. The Beacon of Justice Award is intended to highlight firms and legal providers who have "devoted significant time and resources to creating and implementing innovative strategies to improve life outcomes for low income individuals." Congratulations Stinson Leonard Street, LLP and in particular to Theresa Hughes, the firm's Pro Bono Director!

2. Hamline's Dispute Resolution Institute
The DRI Readies for Summer Classes

Some may not know that the Dispute Resolution Institute at Hamline University School of Law is ranked among the top 5 dispute resolution training centers in the country. The Institute is now gearing up for Rule 114 certification classes on topics such as family mediation, cross-cultural dispute resolution, elder law mediation, and "Decision Making in a Chaotic Reality." Check out the course offerings here: www.hamline.edu/law/dri  

3. MSBA Future of Legal Education Task Force
Final Report Soon Issued

Last summer, the Minnesota State Bar Association commissioned a Task Force on the Future of Legal Education. Chaired by retired Supreme Court Justices Helen Meyer and Sam Hanson, the Task Force was charged with exploring and recommending what steps, if any, would help the MSBA, Minnesota's courts and Minnesota's law schools to assure that legal education in Minnesota maximizes its relevance and value. C4J executive director Ellie Krug has been a member of the Task Force and reports that the Task Force's work is now complete. Look for a detailed report with recommendations from the Task Force in June.  

4. Protection of Children Sparks Pro Bono Need
Preliminary Recommendations from Governor's Task Force

Our colleague Lilia Panteleeva at the Children's Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) has put out an urgent call for additional pro bono attorneys to assist with a drastic increase in the number of foster children and their legal needs, in part as a consequence of various preliminary recommendations made by Governor Dayton's Task Force on the Protection of Children.  

 

As Lilia reports, the Task Force's work has resulted in county child protection agencies taking a more vigorous approach to protecting at-risk children. Consequently, there's a huge uptick in the number of CHIPS (Child in Need of Protection or Services) petitions, meaning that more children need the help of attorneys. You can view the CLC's appeal for attorneys here.  

 

If you or someone you know is interested, now's the time to jump in to help among our most vulnerable of humans in legal need. Additionally, there will be a CLC-sponsored CLE on the Task Force's final report on a date to-be-determined in August.  

5. New Medical-Legal Partnership
A Collaboration between Hamline and United Family Medicine

Hamline University School of Law and United Family Medicine have collaborated to create The Health Law Clinic, which is a community-based clinic providing comprehensive, patient-centered primary care to low-income and medically underserved residents in Saint Paul. The clinic, which opened on May 5, serves people between 125% and 250% Federal Poverty Guidelines. Jada Fehn, a passionate 2012 Hamline law grad, serves as the clinic's Instructor and Managing Attorney.

 

Medical-legal partnerships are a growing national movement in which lawyers and medical providers collaborate as an integrated team to address the needs of low-income patients, whose unmet legal needs keep them from getting and staying healthy. Medical-legal partnerships also work at a systemic level to help health care providers develop strategies to improve the provision of health and legal services and advocate for legislative and policy changes that will remove legal barriers to improved public health. There are only 34 law schools participating in medical-legal partnerships nationwide.

6. "Out" Lawyer Fellowship Available!
Minnesota Lavender Bar Association Renews Greater MN "Out" Lawyer Fellowship

Last year, the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association (the state's largest professional association of LGBTQ attorneys) launched its "MLBA Fellowship" program which was designed to support lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attorneys who live and practice outside the seven county Twin Cities metro area. The $5000 Fellowship requires that the awardee be "out" publicly and that he/she/they assist with MLBA's outreach in helping LGBTQ Minnesotans both feel more welcomed and informed about LGBTQ-friendly legal resources.  

 

The deadline for applying for this year's Fellowship is August 1; the Fellowship application can be found at info@mlba.org. If you're a lawyer from outstate Minnesota please consider applying for the Fellowship! Also, please help pass the word about this Fellowship to LGBTQ lawyers practicing in greater Minnesota. Thank you! 

7. Victim Rights & Services in Minnesota

C4J's Most Recent 211 Training is on Crime Victims' Rights and Resources

As many know, one of C4J's functions is to train United Way 211 on legal resources and on how to target legal referrals so as to reduce amount of "bouncing" from referral to referral a person in legal need might experience as they search for legal help. Thus far, we've conducted 24 211 training sessions; most of those trainings are videotaped, which you can view here.  

 

Our most recent training was on Crime Victims' Rights and Resources, put on by Lolita Ulloa of the Hennepin County Attorney's Office (Managing Attorney for the Victim Services Division) and Sharon Haas (Crime Victim Advocacy Services Manager) of the Council on Crime and Justice. Look for that videotape to be uploaded to YouTube in June; for the time being you can see the written training paper here: callforjustice.org/legal-referral-training-materials 

8. 211's Referrals to Minnesota Legal Advice Online

Steady Progress in Less than One Year 

Last June, State Support for the Legal Services Coalition launched Minnesota Legal Advice Online (www.mnlegaladvice.org), a project aimed at giving Minnesotans at 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines (or less) the chance to go online and ask questions of pro bono attorneys. Those attorneys, in turn, can provide actual legal advice-all as a way of helping persons in legal need who might otherwise not have access to legal resources.

 

C4J and United Way 211 were among the stakeholders who assisted with getting MLAO off the ground. In May, 2014, just before MLAO went live, C4J arranged for State Support to train 211 on how MLAO would work. (You can view that training session here.) Afterwards, 211 started making referrals to MLAO.

 

In case anyone wonders what kind of impact C4J's training of 211 has (and the effectiveness of 211 as a legal system resource), here are the number of referrals 211 has made to MLAO as of the end of April 2015:

 

                June - December 2014 referrals to MLAO: 467

                January - April 2015 referrals to MLAO: 167

 

The total number of unique client accounts created at MLAO as of early May 2015 was 1,379.

 

If you ask me, that's a pretty good impact, especially considering that many of 211's referrals to MLAO were coupled with social services (shelters, food resources, etc.) referrals. Thank you, 211! And thanks to MLAO/State Support for being such a great collaborator!  

People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.

CLE Examines the Impact of the '64 Civil Rights Act

On May 29 (9:30-11:30AM), a distinguished panel will discuss the impact of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which some have characterized as one of the most significant civil rights achievements in U.S. history. The event will take place at Hamline University and is sponsored by Hamline, the Ramsey County Bar Association, the Minnesota Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Second Judicial District's Equal Justice Committee. 2 Elimination of Bias credits have been approved. To register, click here.

 

Spread the word with this informational flyer: The Civil Rights Act at 50 

Wellness Seminar for Legal Professionals

The Hennepin and Ramsey County Bar Associations, Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, and the University of Minnesota Law School are sponsoring a "Making the Case for Personal Wellness" seminar on Wednesday, June 3 at the Radisson Blu in Minneapolis (11:30-1:30PM). The seminar, which is organized through the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, will include a panel discussion on how legal professionals can make health and wellness a greater priority. (As opposed to those other priorities like billing time and dealing with demanding clients!) For more information and to register, click here.

MN Brain Injury Alliance Lunch & Learns

Did you know that the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance sponsors monthly Lunch & Learn Programs? June's program is entitled "Hmong Culture and their Perspective on BI," and will take place on June 10 at the MBIA's offices in Roseville. Another program will take place on July 14 covering effective communication strategies for interacting with a person with a brain injury. Registration can be made by calling 612-378-2742.

Join us for "A Night with Davina and The Vagabonds" 

Tickets are now on sale for C4J's second annual fundraiser, "A Night with Davina and The Vagabonds"!

Individual tickets are $85. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 612-339-4944. Discounts for nonprofit professionals and students are available upon request. Please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm for the discount codes at emily.lindholm@callforjustice.org.  

 

We'd like to extend a HUGE "thank you" to our event sponsors: Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Michaud, Cooley, Erickson & Associates, Inc., Faegre Baker Daniels, Foley & Mansfield, Robins Kaplan LLP, Best & Flanagan LLP, Briggs and Morgan, P.A., Carpenter, Evert and Associates, Ltd., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Halleland Habicht PA, Law Office of Jerry A. Burg, Lindquist & Vennum LLP, and Wallen-Friedman & Floyd PA.   

In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our June issue, please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm at emily.lindholm@callforjustice.org by June 10.

Sincerely,

Ellen (Ellie) Krug
Executive Director
ellen.krug@callforjustice.org
- Made Possible by C4J Donors -

Foundation Support:
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation, Ramsey County Bar Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation.

 

Law Firm Support:
Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, P.A., Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Barry & Helwig, LLC, Bassford Remele, A Professional Association, Best & Flanagan LLP, Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Cooper & Reid, LLC, Cousineau McGuire, Chartered, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Fish & Richardson P.C., Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, Gray Plant Mooty, Halleland Habicht PA, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Jerry A. Burg Law Office, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Larson King, LLP, Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., Lindquist & Vennum LLP, Maslon LLP, Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., Merchant & Gould, Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Robins Kaplan LLP, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Unger Law Office and Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP

 

Business & Community Support:
Bestwestern Normandy Inn & Suites, Boston Scientific, Brending Electrolysis, Carpenter, Evert and Associates, Ltd., Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Michaud, Cooley, Erickson & Associates, Inc. and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company

 

Friends of Justice (Individual Donors):
Lisa Lamm Bachman, Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Elizabeth A. Brenner, Dan Burton, Vicki and Richard Carlson, Regina M. Chu, Emily Cooper, David Couillard, John Daly, Gina DeConcini, Martha Delaney, Paul Dieseth, Liz and Brian Dillon, Phyllis Doman, Jerrad Fenske, Charles Ferrell (In honor of Richard Kyle), Al and Ellen Fisher, Donna and Paul Floyd, Donald and Arvonne Fraser, Tom Fraser, Sara Galligan, Beth Garland, Elise Ginsburg, Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Fouthma Haji-Taki, Rebecca Hallette, Joy Hamilton, Frank and Jayne Harris, Bradley Hart, Catharine Haukedahl, Amy Walsh Kern, Anita Kozan (In memory of Ruth Evelyn Iverson Kozan), Ellen Krug, Mark Krug, Richard Kyle, Jr. and Elizabeth Wittenberg, Brian and Erin Lindholm, Jim Long, John Medeiros, Pete Michaud and Tom Wilson, Caitlin Miles, Alan Miller, Kathy Moran, Ari Murphy, Jean Nead, Crystal Ng, Kathy Nielsen, Kelly Olmstead, Melissa Otto, Gary Pederson, Kelly Phillips, David Piper, David Potter, Jill Prohofsky, Paul Quast, Linda Raines, Christine Rehm, Thea Reilkoff, Liz Reppe, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong and Pam Michaud, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham and Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams, and  Jay Wolkenbrod

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