Lawyer Magazine_Winter 2020


Photo by Athena Hollins ‘11 J.D.

Social justice was important to Roberg-Perez when she decided to attend St. Thomas Law, and is even more pressing now: “The sense of urgency we see today may be responsive to the upheavals of 2020. We’ve seen so much that feels like it is out of our control. A global pandemic. Extreme heat and wildfires. To the extent that we ‘can’ control how members of our communities are treated, and whether our workplaces are diverse and inclusive, we have the obligation to do so.”

responsibility that each and every one of us has to make our communities more equitable,” Roberg-Perez said. The firm has also “looked inward to ask difficult questions about why some of our own diversity and inclusion goals have remained aspirational instead of actualized. We recognize that we must work harder to ensure our organization more closely mirrors the values we hold central to both our origins and our future.” To that end, Robins started holding diversity and inclusion office hours, staffed in alternate months by executive board members and the Diversity and Inclusion team; and has appointed executive board members as liaisons to the firm’s diversity working groups, including the Racial & Ethnic Diversity Working Group, the LGBTQ Working Group, and the Women of Robins Kaplan Working Group. The firm has also created a resource group for Black firm members to build community and provide support. Robins is also committed to promoting diversity in the broader community by “developing a racial justice pro bono initiative with a nationwide focus on alleviating the collateral consequences of criminal convictions in response to over-policing of communities of color and systemic racism in the criminal justice system. It will include high-impact work for individuals and high- impact work for system change.”


Beth Forsythe ’06 J.D. is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP and serves on its Policy Committee (i.e., its board of directors). Dorsey has over 500 lawyers at 19 offices in the United States and abroad, with its headquarters in Minneapolis. Forsythe described the impact of

Floyd’s death on her and the legal community: “The disregard for human life captured in the video of George Floyd’s death was blatant and unending. I kept shouting ‘STOP!’ at my screen, as if that might help. What will help now is to stop doing what we’ve always done, stop ignoring injustices and disparities

Winter 2020 Page 27

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