| || ||Marlene Garvis took office on July 1, 2005 as the 87th president of the Hennepin County Bar Association, leading a professional organization with a membership of 8,000 lawyers. |
The HCBA is Minnesota’s largest local bar association and also the nation’s ninth largest.
Garvis accepted the gavel from outgoing President Brent Routman at the HCBA annual meeting. Garvis is the first nurse-attorney, and the first graduate of the Hamline School of Law to fill this role. This also is the first year that the Hennepin County, Ramsey County and Minnesota State Bar Associations have women presidents simultaneously.
Garvis is a partner with the law firm of Jardine Logan & O’Brien, focusing her practice on representing clients in litigation-related and administrative proceedings for employment, professional liability, product liability, and licensing and disciplinary matters. She spent fifteen years in a nursing career after completing undergraduate degrees at the University of Minnesota and the College of St. Catherine, along with a master’s degree in nursing from Boston University. She completed her law degree at the Hamline University School of Law in 1984.
Garvis is not new to association work as she takes the helm of the 8,000-member HCBA —the largest local bar association in Minnesota and the ninth largest in the nation. She has invested herself in a variety of organizations and served on many boards and committees. In addition to involvement in nursing associations and health-oriented organizations throughout her career, she has also been in leadership in serveral law-related groups. She is a past president of Minnesota Women Lawyers and also a past president of the Hennepin County Bar Foundation.
In her acceptance speech at the HCBA annual meeting, Garvis outlined some key issues that face the profession, and lawyers in Hennepin County in particular. She hopes to refine association processes and strengthen partnerships. She sums up her philosophy in one word: Connectedness.
She believes that much can be accomplished through collaboration with different groups working together. Garvis hopes to apply that principle to relationships within the association and to partnerships with outside organizations. She plans to build on partnerships developed in the past year such as the Minnesota Council of Bar Presidents, where district bar, specialty bar, and minority bar presidents work together with the state bar to achieve joint goals. She also looks to enhanced relationships with the courts in pursuit of the administration of justice, with Volunteer Lawyers Network to accomplish more in pro bono service, and in partnerships with the media and the public in understanding the essential role of lawyers and the judiciary—both of which find themselves often under fire.
Bar relationships have always been important to Garvis, and she begins her leadership year enthusiastically building on her experiences. “The HCBA has traditionally been a pro-active organization, successfully drawing on its large and diverse membership. There’s always been a place for me here to find ways to give back to the community, and that’s all anyone could ask.”
With husband, Arlan, Garvis resides in Minnetonka. They are proud parents of three adult sons.