Minneapolis (06-10-03): -- On July 1, 2003, John M. Dornik takes office as the 85th president of the Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA), 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. Accepting the ceremonial gavel from outgoing president Jean Holloway, Dornik begins a one-year term as president, leading nearly half of the attorneys in Minnesota.
A graduate of St. Mary’s College in Winona, Dornik earned his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1989. A trial lawyer throughout his career, Dornik is a shareholder with the firm of Mackenzie & Hallberg where he has practiced since 1996.
In his acceptance speech at the HCBA Annual Meeting, Dornik quickly summed up his approach to leadership for his presidential year by saying that everything the association does should be measured by its ability to "deliver value to the membership. It will be considerably easier to resolve issues as they arise and to focus our time and energy if we keep that priority always in the forefront." Having established that yardstick, Dornik pointed to two areas he believes the association must address, each precipitated by the changed economic picture locally and nationally: pro bono service and responsible funding for the justice system.
Dornik also made the case for active bar membership. "Especially for newer members of the bar, the HCBA provides a great opportunity to make a difference. The chance to shape the direction of the law and our profession is enhanced through the bar. . . . Actively participating in the bar is one way to become more effective and, ultimately, successful."
Active in a wide variety of roles with the HCBA and the Minnesota State Bar Association for over a decade, Dornik began making his mark as a member and then leader in the New Lawyer sections. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and both the Minnesota and the American Trial Lawyers associations. He served on the Minnesota Conference of Chief Judges Committee on Litigation and on the Minnesota Lawyers International Human Rights Committee.
Dornik is a lifelong resident of Hennepin County where he also attended the Academy of Holy Angels High School. He, his wife Sarah Kalweit, and their three children make their home in South Minneapolis.
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Also serving on the 2003-2004 Executive Committee of the Hennepin County Bar Association are:
Brent Routman, President-Elect, Merchant & Gould
Marlene Garvis, Treasurer, Jardine Logan & O’Brien
Michael Unger, Secretary, Rider Bennett
Jean Holloway, Past President, Faegre & Benson
Jerrie Hayes, New Lawyers Section Chair, Moss & Barnett
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Interviews can be arranged through Duane Stanley, HCBA Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.