Legal services, like most other parts of society, were drastically changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Court systems and the way we provide services needed to change in order to meet the needs of vulnerable clients in the legal system. This year, we at Tubman have chosen our annual volunteer attorney award winners for the way they approached those changes and the incredible services they provided for our clients during the pandemic. Although we singled out these individuals for their exemplary work, they are not alone and we thank everyone who supported Tubman and our clients.
David Olson, Family Law Attorney of the Year
David Olson has been chosen as our family law volunteer attorney of the year. David is a solo practitioner who has been volunteering with Tubman for nearly 30 years. In recent years, he has been volunteering in our Self-Represented Legal Clinics (SRLC’s), assisting pro se clients divorce and custody issues. During the pandemic, David has held more SLRC’s than any other volunteer and has approached the change to a remote format with patience and humility. He is both a coordinator and client favorite for his kindness, great communication, and willingness to help in any way needed. We are incredibly fortunate to benefit from his expertise. Thank you for your commitment to Tubman and our clients!
Elie Biel, Safety Project Attorney of the Year
Elie is an associate at Faegre, Drinker, Biddle & Reath, one of the Safety Project’s strongest supporters. Elie attended the Safety Project training just over one year ago and in that short time as a volunteer he has made his presence felt. Elie took his first case shortly after the training, but it was when the pandemic started that Elie began taking cases in earnest. Over the course of 2020, he has taken on five more Safety Project clients, including an appeals case that is currently active. Elie also volunteered to take several other cases that had already found Safety Project representation, letting us know that he is available and eager to support our program. In our experience working together, it is clear that Elie provides thoughtful and thorough representation for clients, seeking understanding of their lives and doing extra work to ensure they receive the best possible legal outcome. Thank you Elie for facing uncertainty with conviction!
Cooper Law, Firm of the Year
Cooper Law has been chosen as our law firm of the year. The unmet civil legal needs of low income and vulnerable residents have increased as the economy has worsened. Regular avenues for obtaining help are out of reach or overwhelmed by the pandemic. In the first weeks of the pandemic, Cooper Law stepped up and partnered up with Tubman to provide their own legal clinic over ZOOM where as many as three attorneys were available to meet and work through cases with self-represented litigants. They have provided assistance for dozens of clients so far and we are grateful for their support in a time of great need and uncertainty. Thank you Cooper Law!
Cameron Fox, Intern of the Year
Cameron Fox has been chosen as our intern of the year. Cameron is a second year law student at the University of Minnesota and has been a law clerk with Tubman’s legal program since June 2020. After completing a summer clerkship we were thrilled when Cameron agreed to continue volunteering for the fall semester. Despite working remotely in the midst of a pandemic, Cameron was quick to learn our programs and processes. He has displayed great team work and flexibility by assisting with client intakes, document drafting, research, student practice, advocacy, and Order for Protection writing. He greets challenges with patience and a positive attitude, brings humor to the team dynamic, and displays great compassion when working with clients. We are fortunate to have him as a team member and know he has a bright legal future. Thank you Cameron!
Volunteer attorneys have been part of Tubman's legal services for over 30 years. We also thank and recognize the yearly milestones of the attorneys who have donated their time. Thank you all!
Emma Denny, Sarah Hoffman, Timothy Lees, Steve Lokensgard, Tessa Mansfield, Jenna Monson, Kendal O'Keefe, Iris Ramos, Eric Richard, Joel Van Nurden, Micaela Wattenbarger
Caroline Bell Beckman, Emily K. Cooper, J. Rob Hill, Andrew Tyler
Caryn Boisen, Karen Kugler, Lisa Meier, Scott Rodman, Vanessa Rybicka, Eric Sherman, Linda Wray, George Zaske
Jayne Barnard McCoy (20)
Jennifer Jameson (20)
Kathy S. Kimmel (20)
Robert (Bob) A. Howard (30)
Karen Ives (35)
Laurel Learmonth (40)
Cheryl Speeter Margoles (40)
Tonda Mattie (40)
Thank you to EVERYONE for your ongoing support, time, and commitment to Tubman!