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MWL Leadership & Volunteer Opportunities

Minnesota Women Lawyers (MWL) is an association of 1,200 attorneys, judges, law students, legal employers and others who are dedicated to advancing the success of women attorneys and striving for a just society. Since its inception in 1972, MWL has provided opportunities for members to develop as leaders, network with other attorneys, and have an impact on their communities, and foster greater satisfaction within the profession. MWL continues to address the changing needs of women in the legal profession through initiatives that are guided by our mission and values.

Please join us in our collective work to advance our mission by getting actively involved with Minnesota Women Lawyers, and in the broader community.  



Get Involved with MWL


Through active involvement, MWL members not only help to advance our mission, but also have the opportunity to develop professional skills, gain leadership experience, and build relationships with other attorneys and leaders from across the profession. 


Consider getting involved as a member of an MWL Committee or Affinity Group


  • Support one of MWL's many initiatives that advance the success of women attorneys, such as the Judicial Initiative, the Gender Data Project, the Board Leadership Initiative or the Pay Equity Project.
  • Join us to coordinate MWL's annual programming, whether a stand-alone CLE seminar or MWL's Annual Conference. 
  • Help MWL recognize our member's achievements, both big and small, by Celebrating Success.
  • Nominate an individual or a legal employer for one of MWL's Annual Awards.  
  • Join the Development Committee to determine how MWL can best support its members and to further build relationships across the legal community.
  • Participate in an upcoming community project like Girl Scout Law Day, or volunteer with the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center or other similar organizations.
  • Put your writing and editing skills to use by helping MWL to publish it's quarterly journal With Equal Right.
  • Share your professional expertise and experience by speaking at an upcoming program. 
  • Use your design skills to help create marketing materials to further communicate MWL's work. 
  • Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with attorneys from across the profession through one of MWL's 11 Affinity Groups.  From practice-specific groups like the Public, Alternative Legal Careers and In-House Affinity Groups, to the MWL Book Club, Legal Athletes and Legal Wine Lovers, MWL provides something for everyone.
  • Do you have a great idea for a NEW Affinity Group?  Reach out to Debra Pexa and let's discuss!  (Starting something new is easier than you think!)


What else?  Participate as an active member of one of MWL's Four Regional Chapters.  Join an MWL Networking Circle or participate in the Student to Attorney Mentor Program.  


Help "Fund MWL's Future" by getting involved with the MWL Foundation.




If you are interested in getting involved with one of these opportunities or something else, simply contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa ( to discuss further.  MWL can add you to a Committee or Affinity Group listserv, connect you with a specific group's leadership, and provide details about upcoming meetings or gatherings. 


Your involvement is welcome today, and at any time throughout the year!

Interested in reaching out to an MWL leader directly?  Go to the About/Leader tab above and navigate to the "MWL Leadership" drop-down.  Or click HERE.




MWL is also pleased to connect our members with other volunteer opportunities within the broader community.
To add a volunteer opportunity to this page, please feel free to contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa (

Volunteer With The Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC.

Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC (“DALAC”), was co-founded in 2016 by MWL members Rachel T. Schromen and Evon M. Spangler.  It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides pro bono legal advocacy to victims and survivors of domestic abuse at the shelters it collaborates with in Minnesota.  As of 2017, DALAC collaborates with three shelters - Women’s Advocates, Inc. in St. Paul, MN; Home Free in Plymouth, MN; and Headwaters Intervention Center, Inc. in Park Rapids, MN.  Through the organization, volunteer attorneys provide legal advice at legal clinics at all three shelters as well as in-court representation of Order for Protections (OFPs) and eviction expungements for the Twin Cities shelters’ residents. 


DALAC is seeking additional volunteer attorneys to provide in-court representation to clients in need of Order for Protection and/or eviction expungements in the Twin Cities metro area.  Training is provided, as well as support as needed throughout the representation.  This is an ideal opportunity for attorneys who are passionate about ending the cycle of domestic violence, as well as attorneys who wish to obtain court experience.


Attorneys must be licensed in Minnesota and in good standing.  DALAC provides malpractice insurance for its volunteer attorneys.  If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Rachel T. Schromen at or 651-571-2515.  Volunteer attorneys may receive CLE credit for their volunteer hours as allowed under the ethics rules.

Volunteer With Cornerstone 

Cornerstone has a wide range of ways that volunteers can engage with us to support our work with families and individuals who have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking.


Our group activities are great for groups of any size and can involve direct client contact or not.  We also offer free and abundant parking at our Bloomington site. Volunteer activities for individuals can involve direct client contact or not, depending on the role. Attorney volunteers are needed both in a pro bono capacity and in helping to educate our clients on a broader scale. Examples of these opportunities include:


CHILDCARE PROVIDER: Play, create art, read books, and tend to infants while their parents attend support groups. Shifts are 1.5 hours on weekday evenings and Thursdays during the day.

MAINTENANCE/GARDENING: Share your skills or trade to help maintain the emergency shelter and transitional housing units. Assist with landscaping needs to keep our grounds welcoming for clients. No experience is required.


EVENT SUPPORT: Support our development department by assisting at special events geared toward raising awareness and support for Cornerstone’s programs. Tasks may include pre-event support, room set up, staffing information tables, or photographing the event. Most events are during the evening or on weekends.


SHELTER ADVOCATE: Answer calls to our 24-Hour helpline and provide assistance and support to the women and families in our shelter.


ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT: Provide assistance to Cornerstone’s programs. This is a project-based volunteer opportunity.



                      -Legal name changes;

                      -Input on Pro Se divorce cases; 

                      -Input on Pro Se OFP/HRO hearings


Attorney Volunteers (not acting as attorneys):

  • Practice Sheets- there are a number of family law areas where we are not able to provide legal advice, however "practice sheets" or tips on do's/dont's for participants.  

Find out how you can help out by contacting Cornerstone today:



1000 East 80th Street

Bloomington, MN 55420


Be the Change in a Child's Life- Become a Mentor

Mentoring a child has been described as an excellent way to make a difference in their life while improving our community. If you agree, consider Kids ‘n Kinship, our local friendship-mentoring organization. Kids ‘n Kinship has been matching individuals, couples and families with youth in Dakota County for over 43 years and is seeking mentors for nearly 62 children ages 5-16 in Apple Valley, Burnsville, Eagan, Farmington, Lakeville and Rosemount. There is a particular need for men willing to be positive role models for the 41 boys on our wait list. Mentors spend time on a weekly basis with the youth, doing activities they both enjoy. The program provides ongoing support and training as well as seasonal activities and tickets to events.

All interested individuals, couples and families are invited to attend an upcoming new volunteer information session. To take the first step to become a mentor or obtain information about mentoring, please visit our website:, or call us at 952-892-6368.

Legal Advice Volunteer- Our Saviour's Housing

Our Saviour's Housing serves adults experiencing homelessness through our emergency shelter and long-term housing programs. Our mission is to be a community of hope providing shelter, support, and a chance to start over. Many of our residents experience legal difficulties as a cause or effect of their poverty. We know that those without access to counsel often get caught in a system that makes it harder to access housing and employment. You can help break the cycle.

Our Saviour's Community Services
2315 Chicago Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone: 612/871-5900
Fax: 612/871-0017

The volunteer will provide short counsel sessions to advise our residents about their options and rights in areas such as:
• Child support
• Landlord/tenant issues
• Criminal record expungements
• Social Security, Worker's Compensation, and other disability benefits

The volunteer will not be required to provide representation or further services. The purpose is simply to help our residents learn how to start navigating the legal system.

Volunteers are requested to visit every other week for approximately two hours (preferably on a weekday afternoon or evening).

For more information contact Colleen O'Connor Toberman at 612/872-4193 x25 or

Children's Law Center- Be the expert who makes a difference in a foster care youth's life.

Children's Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) has been advocating for foster children through direct legal representation and systemic reform for 17 years. When children are taken from abusive or neglectful parents, they are forced into a confusing and complicated legal system. They need advocates to listen to them, to advocate for what they want, and to explain the many changes that happen in their lives. CLC lawyers provide stability, hope, and opportunity for abused and neglected youth.

Committed to making children's voices heard, CLC's mission "is to promote the rights and interests of Minnesota's children, especially children of color and children with disabilities, in the judicial, child welfare, health care, and education systems.”

CLC works to stabilize and protect foster and at-risk youth. Along with a team of 300 volunteer attorneys, CLC ensures that foster children receive the services to which they are entitled, including those related to shelter, clothing, educational stability, physical and mental health care, adoption searches, sibling contact agreements and much more. In the past year alone, CLC's caseload has increased 31%.

CLC provides each child client with a trained volunteer attorney who is supported by CLC staff and a social worker. This enables young foster children to understand their options, empowers them to voice their opinions, and provides them with an advocate to explain what is happening throughout the course of their representation.

Children's Law Center
450 N. Syndicate Street, Suite 315
St. Paul, MN 55104
Phone: 651/644-4438

Tubman Legal Services

Tubman is a multiservice agency with almost 40 years of experience. Tubman offers a full complement of services including safe shelter, legal services, mental and chemical health counseling, youth programming, elder care resources and community education. Tubman Legal Services provides pro bono legal representation, advice, and advocacy to low-income clients in the Twin Cities metro area.

To volunteer, contact Shiloh Bute, Tubman Staff Attorney, at (612) 870-2418 or Or contact Keri Diem, Tubman Legal Services Coordinator, at (612) 870-2435 or

Family Law Pro Bono Project. Represent clients in a range of family law matters from motion hearings to divorce, in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington Counties. Tubman screens clients for income eligibility and compelling need for representation. If desired, a volunteer law student or paralegal can prepare a preliminary case file and otherwise assist you.

Tubman is currently looking for attorneys to serve in one or all of their programs. View a flier with more information HERE.

Apply to volunteer HERE


Minnesota Women Lawyers
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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