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"I am MWL" Initiative


In an effort to celebrate MWL's diverse membership, MWL President Kendra Brodin has launched the "I am MWL" initiative. Over the coming year, members will share their "MWL story" by describing their involvement with the association and what value MWL has provided to them, both professionally and personally.   


All MWL members are invited to participate. Participants will be featured weekly in MWL Happenings and on this webpage. Submission requests include: your photo, 2-3 sentences sharing your MWL story, and a link to your professional bio or website. If you are interested in being profiled or would like to suggest another member to be profiled, please contact MWL Executive Director Debra Pexa (

MWL: Meet Kendra Brodin from Passi Road on Vimeo.

Profile: April 25, 2018
Molly Hough
MWL RISE: New Lawyers Affinity Group Co-Chair

hover textI joined MWL as a first year law student and quickly started attending events. As a second year law student, I was the MWL student liaison for the University of St. Thomas. Currently, I am serving as the co-chair of Rise, the new lawyers affinity group for those in their first through fifth years of practice. Excited for all that is to come in this new group! 

Profile: April 16, 2018
Karen Opp
MWL Programming Committee Co-Chair, and MWL In-House Affinity Group Co-Chair

hover textKaren has been a member of MWL since she relocated back to Minnesota from New York City in 2002. At that time, she joined the professional development committee (now the programming committee) and is currently co-chair of the programming committee and is also a co-leader in the launch of the new In-House Affinity Group. Karen started her career at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in New York and is currently Deputy General Counsel at Korn Ferry in Minneapolis. 

Profile: April 2, 2018
Katie Baker
MWL Programs and Projects Coordinator

hover textI am the newest member of the MWL team as the Program and Project Coordinator. Most recently I worked for Starkey Hearing Technologies in Customer Service and Operations roles. Before Starkey I worked with World Without Genocide, a non-profit aiming to end genocide and human rights abuses worldwide, as their Advocacy and Exhibit Associate. My time at World gave me a taste of non-profit work, and I have been trying to find my way back ever since. I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing organization, and can’t wait to see what the future holds for MWL.

Profile: February 27, 2018
Amy Boyle
2017-18 MWL Equity Committee Co-Chair

hover textMy first job was in a male-dominated field and law firm. MWL was a way for the women attorneys in my firm to bond and connect with other women in the legal community. Always looking forward to MWL events and re-connecting with the women I have met through MWL, I started to find more ways to get involved with the organization even after I left that first job. Over the past few of years, I have been a co-chair of the Equity Committee focusing on the Judicial Initiative, served on the Endorsements Taskforce, and represented my law firm in the Partner Leadership Council. MWL been as a great way to connect with female attorneys in the community and help advance other women in the legal profession. It has also provided me with countless networking, leadership, and professional development opportunities that I would not have had otherwise. I am MWL.  

Profile: February 27, 2018
Sara Schwebs
2017-18 MWL Foundation and Advisory Board Member

hover textI joined MWL shortly after law school, which means that I have been a member for a LONG time! As a member, I have served in a number of roles including president. I am currently on the Advisory Board and on the board of the Foundation.

MWL has been there for me through many changes in my career, from practicing, taking time off with my kids, to working in the nonprofit sector, to my current non-traditional role.

At all of these stages, I have found opportunities through MWL which were incredibly valuable. Through the organization, I have served in leadership roles, enjoyed relationships with incredible women, and attended countless excellent events that I would not have had access to otherwise. 

Profile: February 21, 2018

Elizabeth Patton
2017-18 MWL Equity Committee Co-Chair

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Liz is a litigator with Fox Rothschild and a co-chair of MWL’s Equity Committee.  For a number of years, she has spearheaded the Equity Committee’s board/committee service event, which has ranged from panel discussions about board/committee service to non-profit board/committee fairs.  This year, Liz and the Equity Committee have partnered with the YWCA Minneapolis to host a panel discussion about serving on for-profit/compensated boards.

Profile: February 12, 2018

Sarah Rohne
2017-18 MWL Board Member, and MWL Equity Committee Co-Chair

hover textI first joined MWL as a law student more than 15 years ago. Over the years MWL has been instrumental in my professional growth. Whether it be mentoring relationships, professional networking, or signature event attendance, I always find enjoyment alongside my MWL circle of friends. And very importantly, MWL has been a constant resource in my career development offering leadership opportunities both formally and informally, which have provided me abundant skills and self-knowledge. I am involved in several professional and community organizations, and I enjoy MWL the most because of its forward thinking and community focused mission striving for diverse success in our profession. I am MWL.  

Profile: January 30, 2018
Sarah Demers
2017-18 MWL Solo & Small Firm Practitioner Affinity Group Co-Chair

hover textI became involved with MWL when I joined the Solo/Small Affinity Group. The Solo/Small Group is amazing, everyone is supportive and helpful. The group has been an invaluable tool during my first years of practicing law. Now, I am co-chair of that group and I love it. My favorite part of MWL is meeting other women attorneys at events. I always feel energized when I leave - being surrounded by so many bright, driven women motivates me to challenge myself and strive to do my best.

Profile: January 23, 2018
Emerald Gratz
2017-18 MWL Board Member

hover textI joined MWL in 2002 as a 1L in law school, excited to engage with women lawyers in the local legal community and start making connections for my future career. During the past 16 years, I have fully engaged in the organization and everything it has to offer, including participation in several different affinity groups, committees, and task forces.  My commitment to MWL has paid dividends, providing me with amazing professional connections, mentors, and friends. One of the many things I love about MWL is the ability to build shared connections and relationships with so many women lawyers who are doing exactly what I am doing every day: trying to build a successful career while balancing my life outside of work. I cannot imagine my career without MWL as a constant presence in my schedule. I am MWL.

Profile: January 17, 2018
Terry Trogdon
2017-18 MWL Advisory Board Member

hover textI was introduced and launched into MWL when I got a call in 2007 asking if I would help start a chapter in Duluth. With the help of MWL leadership, we gathered the names of women lawyers practicing in Northeast Minnesota. I helped arrange a lunch for these women and we determined that there was a high level of interest in a new chapter which still has an active membership. I served as the first chapter president, then on the advisory board, then on the board of directors and then again on the advisory board. I continue to serve on the advisory board and as the MWL liaison to the MSBA. My work with MWL has been invaluable and rewarding as I have met new people, weighed in on important issues, and learned so much about challenges for women in the profession. Has the time, effort, and money been worth it? Totally!

Profile: January 8, 2018
Megan Arriola
2017-18 MWL Law Student Liaison 

hover textI joined MWL through my position on the University of St. Thomas Law School's Women Law Student Association. WLSA has a board member liaison position with MWL to ensure that our students are aware and kept up to date on the goings-on of one of the most popular and reputable networking organizations in the Twin Cities. I graduate from UST Law in May of 2018, and I intend to use my law degree to better represent the interests of women in the justice system. Serving as the MWL liaison this year has provided me with a model example of what it looks like when women get together to lead and serve their community. I am so thankful for this organization welcoming me in!

Profile: December 14, 2017
Rebecca Chaffee
2017-18 MWL Master Lawyers Co-Chair

hover textI am Rebecca Chaffee, a family law attorney and Partner at Best & Flanagan LLP. I am one of the co-chairs of the MWL Master Women Lawyers Affinity Group, which is a group for MWL's more experienced members (Admitted to the bar at least 10+ years or 35+ years old). The goal of the MWL Master Lawyers Affinity Group is to provide an opportunity for more senior members to meet, support and network with one another, and discuss experiences shared by women who have attained leadership positions within the legal profession. 

Profile: December 4, 2017
Alona Rindal
2017-18 MWL Board Member

hover textI joined MWL as a 2L in Law School to get to know women lawyers in the Twin Cities in hopes that they could help me figure out my career path!  Having grown up in Minsk, Belarus, I had no connections in the Twin Cities legal community…until I became a MWL member! I was fortunate to have Trudy Halla as my first MWL mentor: her personal and professional story inspired me to reach for the stars and never give up! Through MWL, I have met numerous women leaders who - I firmly believe – helped me become who I am today professionally: successful attorney at U.S. Bank, leading a team of strong women (and a man) whom I get to mentor and coach every day, as well as introduce them to the great community of MWL! I Am MWL!!!    

Profile: November 21, 2017
Angela Browning
2017-18 MWL Networking Committee Co-Chair

hover textI joined MWL when I relocated to Minnesota in 2013. MWL provided me with the critical life-line I needed to get entrenched in the local legal community.  Almost immediately, I became involved and was invited to help spearhead the Networking Committee as one of its first co-chairs. Through my involvement in MWL, I have made wonderful friends who I get to work alongside with to further the role and impact of women lawyers in the Minnesota legal community and beyond!

Profile: November 7, 2017
Timia Flanagan
2017-18 MWL Foundation Board Member

hover textI went to law school in Brazil and later again in New York after immigrating to the US.   I joined MWL when I relocated to Minnesota in 2007 for a new job.  MWL helped me to create a network of colleagues and friends in Minnesota. Right from the beginning, I was able to get involved in several projects, make new friends, and contribute to our legal community.  MWL helped me make Minnesota my home!

Profile: October 12, 2017
Shannon Harmon
2017-18 MWL President-Elect

hover textAs a public sector attorney in downtown St. Paul, MWL has ensured that I don’t limit my professional life to those within walking distance of Mears Park. Since joining MWL as a law student in about 2004, I have actively engaged with the organization in a variety of roles, including as a board member, taskforce member, committee co-chair, Foundation president, and an attendee at various events such as the knitting group, book club, and Wahl Lecture. From teaching me practical skills like how to lead effective meetings to allowing me unique opportunities to help start a foundation or a knitting group, the women of MWL have provided me with confidence, encouragement, and sanctuary. 

Profile: September 28, 2017

Kendra Brodin
2017-18 MWL President

hover text"My 'alternative' career has included small firm practice, non-profit management, coaching and consulting, law school career services, recruiting, and large firm business and professional development. As a lawyer with a varied, non-traditional path, one of the greatest gifts I’ve received through my involvement with MWL is the opportunity to connect with so many amazing and interesting women attorneys that I never would have otherwise met. They have become mentors, colleagues, and – best of all – friends."  

Learn more about Kendra.


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

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