The Twin Cities metro is a great place to live! The metro has recently been ranked in the top 10 of several categories:
*6th most creative city in the nation.
*Best place to raise a family due to the fact that good public schools and affordable real estate are both available.
*Most healthy and fit metro for the 3rd year in a row based on a variety of data including smoking rates, exercise, obesity rates, chronic health problems, access to health care, availability of parks, recreational facilities, walking and bike trails, and farmer’s markets.
*Twin cities residents are some of the healthiest, most rested, and calm people in the country leading the metro to be ranked the 6th youngest metropolis.
*Twin Cities residents feel safer walking alone at night than residents of any other large metro.
…And many more! Click here for more rankings.
Mr. Peter Reyes, Jr.
On February 25, 2013, the 2nd Annual Dean’s Multicultural Luncheon was held. Guests included UST faculty, staff, alumni, students, as well as leaders in the legal community who are committed to furthering diversity in the legal profession. Dean Robert Vischer welcomed the guests by speaking about the importance of diversity at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and introduced the keynote speaker, Peter M. Reyes, Jr.
Mr. Reyes is a native of Minnesota, and is currently President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) and a senior in-house patent attorney at Cargill. He began by speaking about his personal commitment to diversity throughout his legal profession. Mr. Reyes is the grandson of migrant workers, born and raised in St. Paul, MN, and was the first in his family to graduate from college. He mentioned the hardships he encountered due to a lack of mentors within his family, as he often felt that he did not have anyone to turn to for advice when he was going through law school, and how this experience has shaped his various leadership roles.
As President of the HNBA, Mr. Reyes has been committed to furthering diversity in leadership in general, thus preparing the legal profession to welcome future diverse leaders, apart from himself. He spoke about his personal experiences in going to legal conferences and feeling overwhelmed by the lack of diversity present. He noted that people are drawn toward others that are similar to themselves, and how this leads to a need for diverse leadership in order to promote inclusiveness.
Mr. Reyes also spoke about the need that law firms have for diverse attorneys. Corporations are demanding that the firms they hire accurately represent their corporation as well as their customers; as diversity increases in America, the demand for diverse attorneys has also increased. People of color make up a large portion of the American population, and clients want to hire attorneys that they feel they can relate to. The luncheon ended with a call to action for students, alumni, and members of the community to help increase the amount of diversity in the legal profession. Whether it’s through mentoring, participating in bar association activities, or just having a conversation with someone at a conference, we all have the ability to help lead the profession toward a more diverse future.
Post by: Beatriz Espinoza (2L), Office of Diversity Intern
With talking pieces in hand, Dr. Artika Tyner and CJP students presented about restorative justice at the Restoration Counseling and Community Services. They shared about the power of restorative justice to transform communities and foster new connections. What is Restorative Justice? Restorative justice focuses on the interrelatedness of the human experience and offers an alternative framework for resolving conflict and the resulting harm. Restorative justice seeks to address the question of how to “make things right.” For example in the criminal context, the process of “making things right” includes: identifying the harm suffered by the victim, holding the offender accountable for the harm, and restoring interpersonal relationships within the community. It offers all key stakeholders an opportunity to repair the harm suffered as a result of the criminal offense and create a social contract to build a harmonious community and strengthen the social fabric of the community. This restorative process may occur in a victim impact panel, sentencing circle, or community conference.
Kudos to CJP students for sharing their research on restorative justice!
For more information about restorative justice, please read Dr. Tyner’s articles:
A New Addition to the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practitioner’s Toolkit: The Exploration of Restorative Justice and Practical Implementation
Restorative Justice: A Dream of Restoration and Transformation