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News Release

Ramsey County Bar Association to Honor Local Leaders


News Release
Ramsey County Bar Association

For immediate release: Monday, April 22

Ramsey County Bar Association to Honor Local Leaders

In celebration of Law Day, the Ramsey County Bar Association (RCBA) will honor Mary S. Ward, Kashif Rafiq Saroya, and Claire V.J. Joseph with the 2013 Law Day Awards.

The Law Day Awards presentation will take place at RCBA’s annual meeting, Tuesday, May 21 at Hamline University in St. Paul. Mary S. Ward will receive the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award, Mr. Saroya will receive the Liberty Bell Award and Ms. Joseph will receive the Excellence in Diversity Award.

The Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award is given each year to a lawyer who demonstrates substantial length of service to the bar and the community; has outstanding professional performance; has outstanding achievement in service to the citizens of Ramsey County; has leadership in the development of law in our community; and has substantial commitment to preserving and carrying out the vision of our Constitution.

Mary S. Ward is a Wealth Management Advisor at the Private Client Reserve at US Bank. Ms. Ward’s service to the community, the legal profession and the bar association spans more than three decades. Ms. Ward has served on numerous committees and in many leadership positions for the Ramsey County Bar Association and the Minnesota State Bar Association, including serving as president of the RCBA in 2005-2006. Ms. Ward has also been a long-time supporter of the bar foundations and a volunteer for bar association community service and professional mentorship programs. According to Elizabeth Keyes, who nominated Ms. Ward for this award, “Mary is unconditionally generous with both her time and her professionalism.”

The Liberty Bell Award is also given annually, though to a non-lawyer. The award is a token of appreciation from the RCBA to the recipient, who has promoted a better understanding of government to the community; encouraged respect for the law and the courts; stimulated a deeper sense of individual responsibility under the law; contributed to the effective functioning of our institutions of government; and inculcated a better understanding and appreciation of the rule of law.

Kashif Rafiq Saroya is the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Minnesota, the state’s only Muslim civil rights advocacy organization. Mr. Saroya has played a crucial role in connecting Muslim leaders and government officials to build bridges of mutual understanding and encourage dialogue. Mr. Saroya is currently a Project Manager at Ecolab, Inc.

The mission of the RCBA Diversity Committee is to promote diversity and equal opportunities for women, minorities and other members of groups historically underrepresented in the legal profession, in the membership, leadership and activities of the Ramsey County Bar Association. The Excellence in Diversity Award is given to an organization or individual who best exemplifies the mission of the committee and who has a history of encouraging, supporting or promoting diversity and equal opportunities for women, minorities and other members of historically underrepresented groups in the community.

Claire V.J. Joseph is an attorney at Briggs and Morgan. She is being honored with the Excellence in Diversity Award for her work with Minnesotans United for All Families, the coalition that worked to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment that would have limited marriage to opposite sex couples. In the months leading up to the election, Ms. Joseph dedicated her after-work and weekend life to defeating the amendment, speaking with hundreds of voters, donating and raising money for Minnesotans United, and delivering lawn signs. She also used her social networks to encourage others to join her, frequently commenting on her Facebook page about the importance of defeating the amendment and the work still to be done.

The Liberty Bell Award has been a tradition of the RCBA since 1964, and the Distinguished Humanitarian Service Award has been awarded annually since 1987. The Diversity Award was first presented in 2001.


Contact: Brianna Hager 651.222.0846 brianna@ramseybar.org

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