News Releases

Firm sponsors speaker for Minnesota Black Women Lawyers Network annual Lena O. Smith luncheon

05.11.11

Lindquist & Vennum was one of three gold-level sponsors for the 2011 Lena O. Smith luncheon. Named for the first black woman admitted to practice law in Minnesota, the luncheon celebrates the accomplishments of African-American women attorneys. This year's event, which took place on April 29, featured keynote speaker Prof. Verna Williams of the Cincinnati College of Law, who spoke about her law review article on law school classmate Michelle Obama.

Born in 1885, Lena O. Smith was Minneapolis resident, attorney and civil rights advocate. She moved with her family to Minnesota in 1906.  Her house at 3905 5th Avenue South, Minneapolis still stands and is a registered national historic landmark.  Smith enrolled in Northwestern College of Law, one of five law schools that became William Mitchell College of Law.  In 1921 (90 years ago), with a class of 16 she opened her own firm and became the first black woman to practice law in Minnesota.

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