Karthik Nadesan knew his year as president of the Minority Bar would be busy, but he didn't realize it would be quite this busy.
Nonetheless, Nadesan said he is pleased with the progress the group has made and is eager to see some changes announced at the organization's annual banquet tonight.
When he took office last year, Nadesan planned to create a directory of minority attorneys so people who want a lawyer who shares their language, culture, race or ethnic background could find someone easily.
"What we've done is build the infrastructure of the directory, and that will go online at the banquet," Nadesan said. "Lawyers will log in and put in their information. Anyone looking for a referral in what type of language they speak or what racial group they're looking for can find attorneys in that area."
Once completed, the directory will be available at www.umbalaw.org.
"It will be ready for the public when it goes on, but it won't be as useful a tool until later on until more attorneys start signing on," he said.
Nadesan also is happy with the outcome of his goal to increase mentoring for those seeking careers in law.
"We had a big mentoring seminar in January with students from (Brigham Young University) and the (University of Utah), and the minority law student groups coming to the Bar and Justice Center. We had presentations by judges and lawyers on how to succeed in law school, how to get clerkships and internships, how to succeed in those, and how to improve their interviewing and resume skills," Nadesan said.
The event was attended by about 150 young people.
Another activity was organized to spark interest from high school students and college undergraduates handled in conjunction with the U. Law School and the law firm of Holland & Hart. The Oct. 13 event was designed to show students what they need to do to get into law school.
And there has been an increase in the amount of funding for scholarships to law school students.
One scholarship winner from the U., Aaron Garza, will receive a scholarship of $3,750. Another winner from BYU, Yoon Kim, will receive the same amount. Tadd Dietz will get a scholarship to attend the U. totaling $2,500. Another BYU student, Glen Thomas, also will get $2,500.
An additional $2,500 scholarship will go to U. law student Pamela Beatse, who has won a scholarship sponsored by Gilbert Martinez, a federal administrative law judge. It is intended to help a minority student who has overcome adversity.
Scholarship funding has come from the law firm at which Nadesan works Snell & Wilmer as well as the Diversity Foundation and other law firms: Van Cott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy; Holme Roberts & Owens; and Parsons Behle & Latimer.
Nadesan hopes other law firms also will make commitments to donate to the scholarship efforts.
Other awards also will be conferred. These include the Honoree of the Year Award, which is going to Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon; the Lawyer of the Year Award to Gus Chin; the Pete Suazo Community Service Award to Stanley Ellington; and the Jimi Mitsunaga Excellence in Criminal Law Award to Narda Beas-Nordell.
Nadesan is about to pass the leadership torch to incoming president Simon Cantarero, an attorney at Holland & Hart. Nadesan said heading the Minority Bar was rewarding, but it does take time.
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