MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Law firm Dorsey and Whitney has been helping the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office prosecute cases for more 40 years, but ended their relationship on Wednesday.
The program had allowed the firm’s attorneys to provide legal services for misdemeanor prosecutions.
However, they say research shows that misdemeanor prosecutions disproportionately impact the black community, which was the main reason the firm decided to end their involvement with the city.
This move is one of many changes the company is making in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
“Law firms, including ours, need to reevaluate their approach and not rest on the status quo,” said Managing Partner Bill Stoeri. “It is simply time to devote more resources to assisting those who are the victims of prejudice.”
Looking to the future, Dorsey and Whitney will place a greater emphasis on pro bono work to help rebuild communities.
The firm is not alone in changing their relationship to city authorities since Floyd’s death. On May 27, University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel announced the school would cut some ties with the Minneapolis Police Department. Almost a week later, Minneapolis Public Schools also voted to terminate their relationship with the department. Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, could follow suit; the board will vote on changing their relationship Wednesday evening.