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2020 Virtual Awards Celebration

2020 Virtual Awards Celebration

For the first time in our history, MJF hosted an online version of our Annual Awards Celebration.

A video of the complete program is here.

The program book for the event can be found here.

The full text of keynote speaker Ivan Fong’s speech is here.

Our guests joined us on September 30, 2020, for a quick virtual cocktail/mocktail lesson, then stuck around to watch keynote speaker Ivan Fong and to hear from the winners of our 2020 Outstanding Service Awards:

Direct Service Provider: Erin Osborne (CMLS)
Private Practice Pro Bono: Richard Allyn (Robins Kaplan LLP)
Advocate: Sothea Phea Poch (SMRLS)
Law Student awards:
Katherine Boland (University of St. Thomas School of Law)
Marisa Tillman (University of Minnesota Law School)
Dylan O’Brien (Mitchell Hamline School of Law)

Conditional Medical Release Project

In addition, MJF recognized the work done in 2020 by the Mitchell Hamline Reentry Clinic, in association with Mitchell Hamline Professors Jon Geffen and Bradford Colbert, University of Minnesota Professor Perry Moriearty, University of St. Thomas Professor Mark Osler, and students from all three law schools.

Beginning in April 2020, the three local law schools urgently began to assist incarcerated individuals apply for conditional medical release (“CMR”). This process was created to seek the release of incarcerated individuals who have illness or conditions that make them susceptible to COVID-19. The five largest hot spots for COVID-19 in the country are in jails and prisons. The Minnesota Department of Corrections (“DOC”) agreed to allow incarcerated individuals to call a newly formed law school “hotline” to complete the application forms. Unfortunately, due to the volume of calls, the Mitchell Hamline Reentry Clinic needed numerous volunteers to answer calls. Moreover, because the callers are incarcerated, they were unable to call them back. It became clear they needed help. Professors from the local law schools sent emails to students seeking volunteers for this important project. The response from law students was overwhelming. The response from the callers was exclusively positive and routinely praised the work of the students. In all, students drafted nearly 300 applications for CMR and took hundreds more calls from family and friends. As of July 16, 2020, DOC has approved the release of 164 individuals and the number is still increasing. None of this was possible without the selfless volunteers who stepped up in a time of crisis and helped. The students’ actions epitomize the empathy and dedication we want from future lawyers and society.

MJF recognizes the work of these law student volunteers:

Annika Beck
Claire Beyer
Anne Bolgert
Kjestina E. Bruer
Emily Curran
Abrianna Dolfi
Thomas D. Godfrey
Kevin Gray
Braxton Haake
Abigail Hanson
Holly Harrington
Chad Huot
Maya Johnson
Catherine Keating
Sara Jane Koste
Nari Kretschmer
Sam Logterman
Kristina Ludewig
Andrea J. Meitler
Jessica M. Nyland
Elizabeth Pancratz
John Schwieters
Laura Sweeney
Matthew Thom
Brandon Vaca
Madison Vandenberg
Angela Whicher
Lindsay Zerfas

Keynote Speaker Ivan Fong

Ivan Fong is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of the 3M Company. In that role, he oversees all legal, legal policy, compliance and global security matters for the company. Prior to joining 3M in October 2012, Ivan was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  He was previously Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Cardinal Health, Inc.; Senior Vice President and General Counsel of GE Vendor Financial Services; and GE’s first Chief Privacy Leader and Senior Counsel, Information Technology.  Ivan also previously served as Deputy Associate Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice, an adjunct professor at Georgetown Law, and a partner with the firm of Covington & Burling.  He began his legal career as a law clerk to Judge Abner J. Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ivan is active in his community and currently serves on the boards of Equal Justice Works and Minnesota Public Radio.  He has been named one of “America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel” by the National Law Journal and is a member of the Council of the American Law Institute.  He has received, among other honors, the Trailblazer Award from the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association; the Justice-in-Action Award from the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund; and the Spirit of Excellence Award from the American Bar Association.

Ivan received a B.C.L. with first class honors from Oxford University, where he was a Fulbright Scholar; a J.D. (with distinction) from Stanford Law School, where he was president of the Stanford Law Review; and an S.B. in chemical engineering and S.M. in chemical engineering practice from MIT, where he was chairman of the MIT student newspaper and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He is a registered patent attorney.

The full text of keynote speaker Ivan Fong’s speech can be found here.


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