News Release: May 1, 2012
Minneapolis: -- The Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 HCBA Diversity Awards.
Consistent with the HCBA mission to serve the needs of a diverse
membership by advancing collegiality, professionalism, ethical conduct,
and competence in the legal profession, the association recognizes Leslie Altman,with Littler Mendelson,as this year’s honoree for the award recognizing an individual, and Leonard, Street and Deinard
as this year’s honoree for the award recognizing a law firm.
Presentation of the awards will take place at the HCBA Annual Meeting on
Leslie Altman has been a
dedicated advocate for gender equity and diversity in the legal
profession throughout her career. She is a past president of the
Minnesota Women Lawyers, a former director of the National Conference of
Women’s Bar Associations, and has participated in the American Bar
Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession. She has twice
chaired the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Diversity Task Force,
where she led a large team of legal professionals in surveying the
progress of women and minorities in the legal field in Minnesota. The
success of Altman’s work can be seen in the increasing visibility and
discussion of diversity and gender equity in the legal profession, which
in turn has led law firms to address historical disparities and attract
and retain a diverse workforce.
As a legal employer, Leonard, Street and Deinard
demonstrates a strong commitment to diversity through a variety of
initiatives. The awards committee took note of the firm’s commitment to
communicating the case for diversity, creating a more welcoming office
culture, and fostering effective mentoring programs. Leonard Street was
one of the first major law firms in Minnesota to make a woman attorney a
partner, and is the only Twin Cities law firm to offer comprehensive
scholarship and professional development programs to all four Minnesota
law schools. Through these actions and many others, diversity is shown
to be a core value at Leonard, Street and Deinard.