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April 2018 Newsletter

President's Message

Happy Spring! (calendar-wise, not weather-wise) We've been busy attending out in the community and planning events for our members. We had a very successful social last week and a great time getting to know each other at Far East Restaurant. HABA board members attended the Ramsey County Judges' Dinner and the investiture of the Honorable Kristy Yang in Milwaukee County Wisconsin.  We have much more to come! Make sure you stay tuned to our newsletter for events on our radar and come help represent HABA! I couldn't be more happy about how active this board has been in the community on behalf of the members of HABA. As always, if we can improve what we do for you, please do not hesitate to reply to this newsletter or contact us. 

- Fue Lo Thao

Spring Social

We had a great time at HABA's spring social held at Far East Restaurant on March 28, 2018.  Thanks to all who attended!  Looking forward to catching up with our HABA community at an upcoming event.

HABA President Fue Lo Thao making opening remarks at the social.

HABA Attorneys & Community Members

Enjoying some pho together after the social.


The Hmong American Bar Association (HABA) invites the community to submit applications to be considered for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation course scholarship. Strong LSAT scores can lead to law school scholarships, highly competitive law school applications, and a greater likelihood of acceptance into law school. Additionally, HABA is committed to diversifying the legal field by aiding law school hopefuls at the earliest stages of their legal career. This scholarship is intended to remove the financial barrier of a LSAT preparation course for a potential law student who cannot afford to pay for the course. The scholarship will be a direct payment from HABA to a LSAT preparation course provider on behalf of the scholarship recipient.

Applications due by May 30, 2018, 12 Midnight Central Time, submitted by email to, subject line: ”HABA LSAT PREP COURSE SCHOLARSHIP”.
View HABA LSAT Prep Course Scholarship Application

Elder Law 101 Series

As announced during our February CLE, which was co-sponsored by the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Elder Law Section, they will begin a series of "Elder Law 101" CLEs.  The first CLE is coming up on April 17, 2018.  
Hamline University Mock Trial is hosting the 2018 Collegiate National Championship Tournament at the Hennepin County Government Center April 20-22, 2018. 
Should you have any questions, please email  
What: This tournament will host the top 48-50 collegiate teams from across the nation to determine the 2018 National Champion. These are the best of the best in Collegiate Mock Trial. These teams have advanced from the Regional Tournaments and Open Regional Championship Series. 
When: April 20-22, 2018
Where: Hennepin County Government Center-Downtown Minneapolis
Need: 100 judges per round 
Round Times: (these times include the judges meeting beforehand and max length of the trial)
     -Round 1: Friday, April 20, 2018: 5:45 PM - 9:30 PM (ALSO NEED HELP HERE)
     -Round 2: Saturday, April 21, 2018: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM
     -Round 3: Saturday, April 21, 2018: 2:00 PM - 5:30 PM
     -Round 4: Sunday, April 22, 2018: 8:30 AM - 12:00 PM (NEED THE MOST HELP HERE)
**We are currently planning a 3-4 credit CLE before the round on Friday.  If you judge 2 or more rounds you will be able to attend this CLE for FREE.  If you judge 1 round, it will cost $100.00. More information will be emailed to those judges who sign up**
**Law Students can get MJF Credit for their volunteer hours**
Click to Volunteer

Echoes of War: The Combat Veteran in Criminal Court

A complementary CLE sponsored by the Criminal Defense Services, Inc (CDSI).  CDSI is also seeking to add more criminal defense attorneys to its panel.  See job posting section for more information.

2018 Minnesota Women Lawyers Conference

April 27, 2018

7:30 a.m. Registration; Continental Breakfast
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Conference Program

The 2018 MWL Conference will be held at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Minneapolis (1300 Nicollet Mall) and will feature a full day of CLE programming, geared towards the diverse practice areas and experience levels represented by MWL's membership. 


MWL is honored to welcome morning keynote speaker Michele Coleman Mayes, Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary for the New York Public Library and past Chair of the ABA Commission on Women in the Profession from 2014-2017.  The 2018 MWL Conference will also incorporate MWL's 46th Annual Meeting as a luncheon program.  To conclude the day MWL is pleased to present an interactive workshop led by Toni Halleen, COO and Co-Owner of Schaefer Halleen, entitled: “Say Yes to Diversity! What Improv can Teach Us About Embracing the ‘Big Tent’”.  

HABA Members qualify for the AFFINITY BAR REGISTRATION DISCOUNT: All Minnesota Affinity Bar Members are welcome to register for the 2018 MWL Conference at the MWL Member rate. (Registrants: simply choose the MWL member rate, and then list your affinity bar on the registration form.)

2018 MWL Conference Website

Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota Biennial Gala

The Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota's 2018 Gala! This year's Gala is Friday, June 1, 2018 at the Minneapolis Marriott City Center.  ILCM anticipates over 500 guests from a wide variety of backgrounds and professions and the sponsorship benefits are substantial.
The evening's highlights include a lively cocktail reception, a silent auction, a delicious dinner, an inspiring program, annual awards, and lively entertainment. ILCM's annual gala is well regarded among fundraising events as a great evening to come together, have fun, and stand strongly together to protect, defend and celebrate New Minnesotans. Proceeds from the event will help provide legal services, education and advocacy for immigrants and refugees in our community and raise awareness of the challenges they face today.
View Immigrant Law Center Gala Letter & Sponsorship Opportunities

Job Postings

  • Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid has several positions open.  View them at 
    • Robins Kaplan Fellowship Attorney - funded by the Robins Kaplan law firm and placed with Legal Aid's Immigration Law Project in downtown Minneapolis
    • Tax and Consumer Attorney
    • Minnesota Disability Law Center Staff Attorney
    • Bilingual Family Law Attorney
  • Several Minnesota counties are accepting applications for Assistant Public Defender and other positions.  See job postings by clicking here.
  • Adjunct Faculty Positions, Mitchell | Hamline School of Law.  Adjunct faculty to teach the Lawyering: Advice and Persuasion skills course starting in August 2018 and ending in April 2019.  Mitchell Hamline is looking for both writing and representation professors to teach classes in their day, evening, and partial online programs.  Members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.  Application deadline is May 1, 2018.  Please view posting by clicking here.
  • State of Minnesota is accepting applications for the following positions:
    • Contracts Attorney - Agency Policy Specialist (Job ID: 21596)
    • Contracts Attorney - State Program Administrator Coordinator (Job ID 21593)
  • Criminal Defense Services, Inc. (CDSI) is seeking applications for panel attorneys.  We are a nonprofit serving clients in Ramsey County, Minnesota.  Our attorneys provide representation at a reduced rate to people who do not qualify for the public defender but cannot afford private attorney rates.  CDSI attorneys are compensated a flat fee for their services based on the type of case handled.  Working with CDSI is a great way to give back to the community, gain courtroom experience, develop a solid reputation with Ramsey County justice partners, and supplement an existing practice.  Candidates must be licensed in Minnesota.  For more information, please check out  If interested, please email Shauna Verheyen for an application at  Attorneys from diverse backgrounds encouraged to apply. 

2018 Schedule of HABA Events




Community Outreach Event - details coming!


HABA Board Meeting


HABA Board Meeting


Summer Picnic - SAVE THE DATE!
Saturday, June 2, 2018

11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Island Lake, Shelter #2
3611 North Victoria Street
Shoreview, MN  55126

See our flyer below!


HABA Board Meeting


CLE: Business Compliance Topic to be announced.


HABA Board Meeting



CLE:  Topic to be announced.


HABA Board Meeting


Fall Social & HABA Elections

HABA officers and board positions are up for term years 2019 and 2020.  Come help lead HABA into 2020!


HABA Board Meeting


CLE: Family Law topic to be announced.


HABA Board Meeting


Annual Banquet - SAVE THE DATE!
Friday, November 30, 2018


HABA Board Meeting


HABA Board Meeting


Spotlight Tshwjxeeb Feature

Name:  Mai Neng Moua
Law School:  William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law)
Year Graduated:  2007
Current Position & Firm:  Owner and Managing Attorney of Mai N Moua Law Office
Five Fun Facts People May Not Know About Mai Neng:
  1. Was selected as an Attorney of the Year in 2017 by Minnesota Lawyer.
  2. Didn't decide to go solo until 2014.
  3. Loves chocolate but not the dark one.
  4. Loves the outdoor especially canoeing/kayaking and camping.
  5. Hates dressing up.
Why did you choose to go to law school?  What influenced you to become an attorney? 

I hated growing up in an era with so much racism and hatred.  It's really sad that it never really went away. I knew that to be able to fight injustice, I had to have a better understanding of the law.  I thought that if I became a lawyer, I would be more equip to help my family, friends, community, and myself. 

What advice would you give to someone thinking about law school?  To a new graduate?

If this is something that you want to do, don't let others deter you from accomplishing your dreams.  It is not an easy journey but be focus and keep at it.  If there is a will, there is a way.  As for new graduates, you still have a lot of work ahead of you.  Never stop learning.  Others are entrusting you with their life, do not take it lightly.  Do everything you can but do not compromise your integrity because your reputation will be with you after your clients are long gone.

Tell us about a mentor or someone who helped you to where you are today.

My old boss, Michael Davis, has been my mentor the summer before I started law school until now.  I wouldn't be the lawyer that I am today without his expertise, guidance, and support.  I know he was harder on me than any other employee he has ever had but he also knew that I needed the tough love.  To this day, I can always call him if I need help with any legal issues or if I just want to chat about life.

What areas of law do you practice?  If not practicing, how did your JD help you?   What do you enjoy most about your career?  What do you enjoy least?

I primarily practice immigration law.  I enjoy being able to help unite families, keep loved ones in the country, assist employers with work authorization for their employees, and help those who are victims of a crime or are afraid to return home.  It is always great when we are successful with our cases.  The worst feeling is when we lose a case and it results in the removal of someone from the US.  Some cases hit me harder than others.  I had a case where the judge refused to allow my client out on bond despite jumping through all the hoops to provide him with the documentation that he wanted.  He argued that my client was a danger to the community because he was arrested for criminal sexual conduct.  A female customer alleged that he inappropriately touched her.  He was never charged.  However, he was deemed a danger to the community and was detained for the duration of his case. After months of detention, he gave up fighting and opted to accept the removal order.

What are you most proud of?  Or tell us about an accomplishment as a practicing attorney?

I think every case has an impact on me.  Some bigger than others.  My largest accomplishment was my work on the Cambodian removal cases.  For many years, Cambodia was not accepting deportees so many folks were either not fighting their case and just accepting the removal order OR fought their case and lost but was released on an order of supervision.  I initially thought I would take a case, file a stay of removal, and if we don't win then that would be the end of it.  The family refused to let me quit.  I filed motions after motions, requests after requests, and we didn't stop until we got the case stayed, reopen, and was back in court for a merit hearing.  Despite successfully arguing our case, the government appealed and we had to deal with a response to the Board of Immigration Appeals.  The BIA has come down in our favor but the government has asked the Board to reconsider its decision.  We are still awaiting that decision but got the government to withdraw the appeal on a different case.  The success that we have had with these cases are currently being used in cases for other communities.   
Thank you Mai Neng for being our spotlight Tshwjxeeb Feature attorney for the month of April.  We look forward to highlighting more of our Hmong legal community members.  Our goal is to feature the diversity of our Hmong legal community, from non-practicing attorneys to recent law graduates, to experienced practitioners.  Please continue to share your ideas and referrals!
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