In the elimination of bias seminar, “Lawyers Tackle Books about Bias and Diversity”, Sarah Oquist was invited to discuss how the issues raised in Michelle Obama’s book, “Becoming”, relate to bias and diversity in the legal profession. In similar fashion to the book, Sarah used storytelling to share how important it is to share our differences, to be mindful of our biases, and to strive to address discrimination by being a mentor, by being yourself, and by being a “real-time” ally.
Sarah Oquist is a business advisor, executive coach & corporate attorney. She is currently the Chief Operating Officer for Sapientia Law Group. Sarah is also Board Chair for Woodlands National Bank and sits on the board of directors for several other companies. Prior to Sapientia, Sarah served as CEO/Board Chair for a quarter-billion dollar conglomerate. Sarah is passionate about and speaks on various topics including the importance of diversity & inclusion, vulnerable leadership, emotional empowerment, and values-based decision-making.
On February 18, 2019, Sapientia attorney, Jon Strauss, will be leading a panel discussion CLE entitled: Workplace Active Shooters: Lawyers Preparing for and Responding to the Unimaginable. The class will be held during the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms’ Driving Diversity and Leadership Conference in New Orleans. Jon, an experienced commercial litigator who has worked with clients on reconstructing catastrophic scenes where injuries and deaths have occurred, will be chairing a panel that also includes Gregg McCrary, a former FBI agent who now works for the Threat Assessment Group; Maureen Deskin, General Counsel for Ocean Properties, Ltd., the largest privately held hotel company in North America; Christopher Knopik, Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel for the Laser Spine Institute; Paul Logan, principal at the Physical Security Architects; and Ashley Larson, of Sutton Booker P.C., who has experience assisting clients with crisis management and investigations of workplace shootings. Jon hopes this CLE will help lawyers better prepare their clients to take measure to discourage active shooters, train employees for handling a shooter should they appear on the premises, and to address of the aftermath should such a horrible situation occur.
Congratulations to our COO and commercial finance lawyer Sarah Lynn Oquist for being elected chairman of the board of directors for Woodlands National Bank. She’s their first female chair and has served on the board of directors for over three years. She brings a vast amount of experience especially in the areas of strategic planning, governance, risk management and commercial lending. Congrats!
Sapientia attorney Amy Gernon will co-present “Diversity & the Predicament of Good Intentions: Lessons from an Anthropologist” on Thursday, January 31, 2019 at 3:30pm, an event sponsored by Minnesota Women Lawyers. Sapientia Law Group will host a reception after the event. Event space is limited. To register click here
We think we understand diversity and know how to engage with it. But if we don’t take the time to think about diversity in complex ways, we risk unintentionally trafficking in the exact patterns we seek to avoid. Using an anthropological lens, we’ll discuss legal initiatives and case studies to find ways to overcome the predicament of good intentions.
“Our concept is to work as one team…and not be hierarchical in nature…where everyone has a seat at the table… [and] is acknowledged for the unique perspective they bring…it allows us to work…in a more collaborative culture” Sonia Miller-Van Oort explains in an article about Sapientia Law Group setting trends locally and nationally, as described in the recent edition of Attorney at Law magazine. Click for More
Attorney Robin Wolpert was one of 20 individual honorees commended by Minnesota lawyer for contributions to diversity and inclusion efforts within the Minnesota legal community. Learn More
On August 19, 2018, Sapientia lawyers, staff, along with their family and friends, helped fill backpacks for homeless teens and youth in the Twin Cities. We assisted Backpack Project MN in stuffing over 300 backpacks with school supplies, personal hygiene products, sexual health items, flashlights, gifts, gift cards, and water bottles. It was a fun, meaningful time for all of us and the other great volunteers that helped out this wonderful organization. We really appreciated the opportunity to directly assist people who are experiencing homelessness as the backpacks will be provided to local crisis centers.
Attorney Sonia Miller-Van Oort was recently name to America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators® for Minnesota. This recognition identifies the nation’s most exceptional trial attorneys in high value, high stakes legal matters. To be considered for selection, an attorney must have litigated (for either plaintiff or defendant) a matter (1) with at least $2,000,000 in alleged damages at stake or (2) with the fate of a business worth at least $2,000,000 at stake. Of those attorneys who qualify, the top High Stakes Litigators in each state are evaluated and ranked based on the candidate’s professional experience, litigation experience, significant case results, representative high stakes matters, peer reputation, and community impact. Less than one-half percent (0.5%) of active attorneys in the United States are reported to have received this honor. Learn more.
Congratulations to Sonia Miller-Van Oort who was recognized in Minnesota Monthly as one of Minnesota’s Best Lawyers! Learn More
Ryan Vettleson joins the Sapientia team. We are excited to add his energy, drive and commercial litigation experience to our team. Learn More about Ryan.
An event for women leaders in the Twin Cities on Feb 13 at 3:45–6:30pm
Join Drinks Among Friends for refreshments, relationship building and a two panel discussion, “Harassment in the Workplace & Acting as a Culture Creator
As the President of the Minnesota State Bar Association, Sonia Miller-Van Oort recently addressed the incoming law student classes at Mitchell Hamline School of Law and St. Thomas School of Law, congratulating and thanking them for choosing he noble profession of law as their career and inviting them to join and engage with the state bar members.
At a ceremony on July 19, 2017, Sapientia attorney Kenneth Edstrom was awarded the Raeder Larson Public Service Award from the Bankruptcy Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The award is named for Raeder Larson, who was the long-time Assistant Clerk of Court for the Minnesota Bankruptcy Court in the 1970’s-90’s and who was revered for his knowledge, even temper and wisdom. The award has been given every year since 2001. The award is presented “In recognition of outstanding service to the public through the provision of pro bono legal services and dedication to a system of equal justice for all.” Ken’s award was largely based on his representation of two bankruptcy debtors who successfully sought to have their debts to Dakota County under the state’s “Pay to Stay” statute declared dischargeable. The case was argued both in the Bankruptcy Court and later, after the debtors were successful in bankruptcy court, in the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Ken joins Sapientia attorney Jonathan Strauss as a winner of the award. Jon won his Raeder Larson award for his service to the legal community in 2007.
Robin Wolpert receives Attorney of the Year Award. Click Here