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HCBA Recognizes Commitment to Diversity
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News Release: April 27, 2016 


MINNEAPOLIS—The Hennepin County Bar Association’s (HCBA) Diversity and Inclusion Committee recognizes two individuals (one lawyer and one non-lawyer) and a legal employer for their outstanding commitment to diversity in the profession. Individual awardees are: Judge Peter Reyes (Minnesota Court of Appeals) and Katherine Hubbard (Madigan, Dahl & Harlan). Xcel Energy receives the legal employer award. Recipients will be recognized at the HCBA annual meeting on June 1. 

Judge Peter Reyes has spearheaded a number of local, state, and national initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the bar. He has created numerous mentorship programs to help young attorneys from diverse backgrounds, including a program that paired Hispanic law students with veteran Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association attorneys. He developed the strategic plan for the Minnesota State Bar Association Diversity & Inclusion Council, an ambitious statewide effort which included representatives from multiple statewide affinity bars.

On a national level, he has led multiple efforts to develop young lawyers from under-represented backgrounds. He helped launch the Collaborative Bar Leadership Academy, a national program that provides professional development for bar association leaders from diverse backgrounds. He also organized hosting efforts for two HNBA conferences held in Minnesota.

Judge Reyes was appointed to the Court of Appeals by Governor Mark Dayton in 2014. A graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, he served as president of the HNBA from 2012 to 2013. He also served as president of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association from 2000-2003.

Kathy Hubbard, the firm administrator for Madigan, Dahl & Harlan, has worked extensively with the Association of Legal Administrators Minnesota (ALAMN) chapter to improve the pipeline of diverse individuals to careers in the legal community. She led the two-phased diversity initiative for the ALAMN. She met with several diversity professionals and spoke to many other ALA members who had diversity committees in their chapters. She also improved diversity outreach and education efforts for members. Recently, she organized a legal career fair at Patrick Henry High School in North Minneapolis, which put high school students in touch with different types of careers in the law-related fields. Hubbard is a past president of ALAMN.      

As an employer, Xcel Energy has promoted diversity through intentional hiring practices, community outreach, company programming, and external financial support. The law department currently has 39 attorneys, of which 20 are female. In addition, out of the seven lead attorneys, two are minorities and four are women. Since 2011, the company has participated in the Twin Cities Diversity in Practice 1L clerkship to help develop 1L students from under-represented groups. Internally, the General Counsel’s Employee Excellence and Equality Committee (GCEEE) works to create an inclusive, transparent environment by offering training on bias and diversity to the legal department and company-wide. This has entailed bringing in high-profile speakers on diversity. The law department also sponsors a number of affinity bars in Minnesota.