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News Item
Minnesota Lawyer Recognizes First Judicial District Judge Richelle Wahi for Diversity and Inclusion

Posted: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

First Judicial District Judge Richelle Wahi is one of the recipients of the fourth annual Minnesota Lawyer Diversity & Inclusion Awards for 2020, which will be presented virtually on November 5, 2020, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The Minnesota Lawyer Diversity & Inclusion Awards honor those in the legal profession who go above and beyond in their efforts to create a more diverse and inclusionary community. Specific criteria include:

  • Significant impact on diversity and inclusion in the legal community
  • Leadership in diversity initiatives within the firm or community
  • Participating in newsworthy events in the legal community
  • Legal professionals implementing new and innovative techniques to solve the issues of today’s society and workplace
  • In-house counsel implementing significant diversity and inclusion initiatives within their organization
  • Commendable cases in which diversity and inclusion have played a major role are also considered

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Judge Wahi said. “Incised above the entrance to the United States Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C., is the phrase, ‘Equal Justice Under Law.’ But far too many of our diverse populations believe this fundamental legal tenet is more elusive today than ever.  Disparities continue to exist that must be addressed through honest conversation, careful listening, increased education, self-reflection, and, most importantly, action. I am grateful to have helped advance efforts to eliminate bias from court operations and to promote equal access and justice in the courts. We can and must always do better. I will work diligently to ensure that we do.”
 
Judge Wahi was appointed to the bench in Dakota County on Feb. 26, 2016, by Governor Mark Dayton. She was formerly a partner at Lindquist & Vennum LLP, and a conciliation court referee in Dakota County. She also worked as an attorney at Moss & Barnett and Henson & Efron. She is active in many judicial committees, including the statewide Judicial Branch Committee for Equality and Justice and the statewide Early Case Management Committee. Judge Wahi is also a frequent speaker in the justice community, and has written for several law-related publications. She has been recognized as a Minnesota Rising Star, and she also received a North Star Lawyer recognition for pro bono service. Judge Wahi received her Bachelor of Arts, Magna Cum Laude, from the College of St. Catherine, and her Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude, from William Mitchell College of Law.