University of St. Thomas School of Law Professor Nekima Levy-Pounds is the 2014 recipient of the Hennepin County Bar Association Diversity Award.

Nekima Levy-Pounds

Nekima Levy-Pounds

The award recognizes Levy-Pounds’ “outstanding commitment toward increasing diversity in the legal profession,” according to the HCBA. The award is given annually to an individual who displays substantial and long-term contributions to the furtherance of diversity and inclusion, civil rights, civil liberties and human rights in the legal profession.

As professor and founding director of the Community Justice Project, the School of Law’s award-winning civil rights legal clinic, Levy-Pounds fosters and inspires up-and-coming lawyers to work to improve the lives of members of underserved communities and youths in the Twin Cities. Challenging laws and policies that hold back communities of color, she has carved her place in the local civil rights movement.

She is co-chair of Everybody In, chair of the Minnesota Advisory Commission to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, member of the board of directors for Catholic Charities of Minnesota, member of the board of directors for The Minneapolis Foundation, chair of Brotherhood Inc., fellow of the American Bar Foundation, member of the Senate File 2725 Work Group, past adviser to Senator Al Franken, member of the FBI Civil Rights Advisory Group, and contributing writer to MinnPost, the Star Tribune and Twin Cities Daily Planet.

Levy-Pounds recently was named one of the most influential young minority law professors in the country by media and research company Lawyers of Color. She landed on that company’s “50 Under 50” list for 2014, which recognizes law professors of color who are making “bold contributions to the legal canon and the community at large.”

She will be recognized at the HCBA annual meeting on May 20.