A Council seminar will offer guidance to attorneys — particularly people of color as well as women — to better position themselves for legal-services contracts with the Council.
The event is sponsored by the Council’s Office of General Counsel and Office of Equal Opportunity. Details will be published on the Council’s website in the next several weeks. We will ask participants to pre-register, but the seminar will be free. Then later this year, the Council’s Office of General Counsel will arrange informational interviews with the participants and interested law firms.
When: Friday, July 26
8:30 a.m. Registration and networking
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Seminar
Where: Metropolitan Council offices, Room 1A, 390 N. Robert St., St. Paul | Map and directions
RSVP: Trina Harris, Trina.Harris@metc.state.mn.us
About the seminar
“The Council has utilized many women attorneys in its legal services contracts, but we want to make sure that we are reaching out to minority firms and attorneys to afford them opportunities to provide legal services as well,” said Ann Bloodhart, General Counsel.
“At the seminar, we’ll talk about the type of legal services we’re looking for, the legal requirements, and professional standards for government work,” said Bloodhart. “The post-event informational interviews will give participants an opportunity to talk about their firms and themselves, and what they have to offer.” The Council intends to apply for continuing education credit.
The Council contracts with law firms for services including employment law and litigation, general litigation, bond issues, and environmental law. Lawyers frequently perform outside investigation and arbitration work for the Council as well. “We hope this seminar will help open up opportunities, and better position firms to find work, with us or with other governmental organizations.”
The outreach effort shares similar objectives with the Council’s small-business programs. At the seminar, Cyrenthia Jordan, the Council’s Equal Opportunity director, will explain the Metropolitan Council Underutilized Business Program — “MCUB,” for short.
“MCUB can be a route to obtaining work from the Council,” Jordan said. “Although there are some conditions involved, it may be an option for some law firms.” Under the program, the Council contracts with small, Minnesota-based businesses that are defined in law as owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
“Whether or not a firm is awarded a contract with the Council,” said Bloodhart, “the event can be a learning opportunity — for them and for us.”