MSBADiversity Committee
MSBA home pageMSBA committees
committee homepage
Statement of Principle
Meeting Schedule and Agendas
Previous CLEs
Minority Clerkship program
Class Action Program
Prior MSBA Diversity Initiatives
Contact Us
Next Meeting: March 19, 2014 at 12:00 noon

Diversity Statement of Principle

We at the Minnesota State Bar Association are committed to the promotion of diversity in the workplace generally and in the legal profession in particular. One of our immediate goals is to raise awareness of this need among Minnesota lawyers. We hope to do this by encouraging Minnesota businesses to express their commitment to the goal of diversity by adopting the enclosed Statement of Principle. The Statement of Principle informs the lawyers and the law firms with which you conduct your legal business that you expect them to work actively to promote diversity within their workplace, particularly with regard to women, persons of color or with disabilities, and gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons. By taking this simple but important step, you and many other business leaders will send a clear message to Minnesota's legal employers that their clients and potential clients will consider their lawyers' commitment to diversity when making decisions to hire law firms.

Like many other good ideas, this one is not original. Similar actions have been taken by a substantial number of the nation's largest businesses with respect to the law firms they hire. Some Minnesota-based firms that adopted a similar statement include Ceridian Corporation, ChemRex, Inc., The St. Paul Companies, Inc., 3M, and General Mills. We are asking you to do what many of your competitors and peers have already done - to use your economic leverage and business leadership to promote diversity in the workplaces of some of those companies with which you conduct your business.

We encourage you to review the enclosed Statement of Principle. If you have any questions about it, please direct them to Tram Thai of the MSBA. To demonstrate your commitment to this initiative, we ask you to adopt the Statement of Principle by signing it and returning it to the MSBA offices (Attn: Tram Thai, 600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 380, Minneapolis, MN 55402. Fax: 612-333-4927). We will publish and disseminate to Minnesota's law firms the list of Minnesota businesses that have adopted the Statement of Principle. We also hope, of course, that you will send the proposed letter to the managing partner(s) of the firm or firms that currently represent you.

Thank you for your commitment and prompt attention to this important matter.

Sincerely yours,

Kent A. Gernander
2000-2001 MSBA President

Diversity in the Workplace: A Statement of Principle

As representatives of a Minnesota business, we wish to express to Minnesota lawyers and law firms our commitment to the goal of diversity in the workplace.

Our company conducts business throughout Minnesota and beyond. We value the perspectives and varied experiences that we believe may only be found in a diverse work environment. As a result, we value diversity as a strategic business asset. We believe that promoting diversity is critical to the success of our business, and hope lawyers feel the same way about theirs.

We hope and expect that law firms which represent us will work actively to promote diversity within their workplaces. In making future decisions to hire lawyers and law firms, we intend to place significant weight on the law firm’s commitment and progress in this area.

List of Minnesota businesses who have adopted the Statement of Principle:

Ceridian Corporation
ChemRex, Inc.
C.H. Robinson Company
General Mills
Genmar Holdings, Inc.
Great Plains
Hamline University
Home Federal Savings Bank
Honeywell, Inc.
Land O'Lakes, Inc.
Miller-Dwan Medical Center
NRG Energy
Order of Saint Benedict, Inc.
The St. Paul Companies, Inc.
TSI Incorporated
UCare Minnesota
US Bank
Wells Fargo Bank

- Last Updated 7/9/04 -