Minneapolis: -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) is pleased to announce that two individuals are recipients of the 2010 HCBA Diversity Awards. Presentation of the awards will take place at the HCBA Annual Meeting on May 20.
Michael O. Freeman and Judith Bevis Langevin are this year’s honorees. The purpose of these awards is to recognize those who have fostered a continuing commitment to increasing diversity in the legal profession and made efforts to increase access to legal services for historically underrepresented individuals.
Michael O. Freeman is the Hennepin County Attorney. In this capacity, he has been a champion for workforce diversity through hiring Assistant Hennepin County attorneys from diverse backgrounds and establishing a Minority Law Clerk Reception. In addition, Freeman has implemented a five-year diversity action plan within the County Attorney’s Office, which goes beyond hiring a diverse workforce and aims to create a work environment that fully utilizes the potential of that diversity and values and respects employees for whom they are. Freeman’s diversity efforts have also been prevalent through his service on the boards of Summit Academy and Augsburg College.
Judith Bevis Langevin is a principal at Gray Plant Mooty who practices employment law. Actively promoting diversity has been one of Langevin’s unofficial job descriptions throughout her career. She facilitated the creation of theatre-based training on sexual harassment with the program, “Both Sides Now.” Enthused with the potential of such live training programs performed by professional actors, she has teamed with Theatre at Work to make such programs on diversity available. These programs have been produced on-site for a number of organizations and have received tremendously positive feedback. In addition, Langevin has demonstrated her commitment to closing the racial and gender disparity gaps through her involvement in numerous boards and committees.
The mission of the HCBA is to serve the needs of a diverse membership by advancing collegiality, professionalism, ethical conduct, and competence in the legal profession. The association strives to ensure the fairness and accessibility of the legal system by promoting public understanding and confidence in our system of justice and by working along with the courts to improve the administration of justice. The largest of Minnesota's 21 county bar associations, the HCBA serves a membership of over 8,400 legal professionals.