Minnesota Lawyer Honors Hughes for Outstanding Service to the Legal Profession
Minnesota Lawyer has recognized the firm's Director of Pro Bono Theresa Hughes with the 2022 Attorney of the Year award in the category of Outstanding Service to the Profession. Hughes has been recognized for her lifelong commitment to providing legal services to those in need and ensuring that everyone has equal access to justice.
Throughout her career, Hughes has been dedicated to pro bono work, serving as director of Stinson's pro bono program for over 20 years. The program, under her leadership, consistently exceeded its pro bono goals, donating 22,405 hours in 2021 alone. Hughes also expanded the scope of the program to include representation of nonprofits, low-income entrepreneurs, immigrants, and advocacy for human and civil rights. In 2021, nearly 60% of pro bono hours were dedicated to criminal defense, post-conviction, and expungement cases, as well as representation of immigrants and human rights advocates."
Hughes has also played a critical role in the success of the Deinard Legal Clinic, the first health law partnership in the nation. The clinic, a collaboration between Stinson and the Community University Health Care Center, was established in 1993 to provide free legal services to patients of all ages, races, colors, ethnicities, and languages.
"Theresa has been a driving force behind the success of the Deinard Legal Clinic, leading the charge towards wraparound, client-centered care and leaving no stone unturned in our efforts to support CUHCC's patients," Senior Pro Bono Manager Katie Cronin said. "From public benefits to housing matters, expungement to family law and so much more, she has been deeply involved and committed to making a difference in the lives of those who turn to us for help."
In addition to her work with the Deinard Legal Clinic, Hughes has expanded Stinson's work with The Advocates for Human Rights throughout the firm's footprint. Stinson attorneys and paralegals assist with policy work and research for the UN Commission on Human Rights and also accept a large number of direct representation cases each year from The Advocates, which provides free legal advice and representation to clients from all over the world who are seeking protection due to their race, religion, ethnicity, social group membership, or political opinion.
“As she approaches the end of her storied career, Theresa leaves behind an indelible mark on our firm, the legal profession and the community at large," Managing Partner Allison Murdock said. "It is fitting that Theresa's contributions have been recognized with this honor as a testament to the tremendous impact she has had on so many.”
In addition to Hughes, Partner Adine Momoh is also recognized by the publication as an Attorney of the Year for Outstanding Service to the Profession. Momoh was recognized for initiating a national pro bono challenge to improve access to justice and to remove systemic racial and socioeconomic disparities in our country and creating a multi-part training program for attorneys to support these efforts. Hughes and Momoh will be recognized at the 2022 Attorney of the Year event Wednesday, February 15.