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Community Outreach

Welcome to the Community Outreach page for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Browse the links below to learn about previous events or call (612) 664-5124 to obtain information on upcoming events.

Message from Chief Judge John R. Tunheim:

The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is committed to planning and hosting programs throughout the year that engage the community on a wide variety of topics and make the Court and legal experience accessible to all. The District of Minnesota is rich with culture and we celebrate our diversity through lectures, guest speakers, educational exhibits and social events.

Previous Outreach Events

In addition to one-time events, the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota also holds various annual events.

Open Doors to Federal Courts

The Open Doors to Federal Courts program is an annual initiative that connects high school students with the federal court system.

Highlights from previous Open Doors events are:

2017   Implicit Bias: Volunteer attorneys went into several social studies classrooms in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Teams of attorneys lead students through mock trials involving one of two fact patterns. Each fact pattern was designed to include challenging legal and social issues, issues of fairness in the court system, and discussions of bias (both implicit and explicit). A new emphasis of the program is training the attorneys who work with the students to help them be most effective in building bridges and discussing issues of access, bias and fairness. Each team not only introduced the students to the possibility of a career in the law, but lead students in discussions of these topics.

2016   "Second Founding"; Sesquicentennial of the Reconstruction Amendments to the Constitution

2015   Thurgood Marshall

2014   Dred and Harriet Scott

2013   Legacy of Courage and Freedom: Dred and Harriet Scott

2012   The First Amendment and Social Media: Student Rights, Wrongs, and Responsibilities

2011   Texting While Driving -- Reality Check: Sometimes There Are No Do-Overs -- Today's Decisions Can Have Legal and Long-Term Consequences

2010   First Amendment and Social Media Program: Students Rights, Wrongs, and Responsibilities -- Students and Administrators Face Off On Their School's FaceLook Fan Page

2009   Texting While Driving -- Reality Check: Sometimes There Are No Do-Overs -- Today's Decisions Can Have Legal and Long-Term Consequences

2008   The Lowdown on Downloading: Whose Property is Intellectual Property on the Internet?

2007   Partners in Justice: An Independent Judiciary, A Fair-Minded Jury

2006   Jury Service: The Faces of Justice

2005   The Role of Courts in Balancing Liberties and Safety

2003   Working for Justice: Careers in the Courts

Minority Judges Receptions

The annual Minority Judges Reception honors our minority judges in the Minnesota State and Federal Courts.

This event is to celebrate the diversity of our judiciary and to commit to furthering EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW, as well as acknowledging our retiring judges. It is extremely important to build and cultivate relationships with our fellow members of the judiciary and local practitioners. This event provides an opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues as well as make new connections with members of our great legal community.

The Minority Judges Receptions are co-sponsored by the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota; Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers; Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association Diversity Committee; Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association; Minnesota American Indian Bar Association; Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association; Lavender Bar Association and Minnesota Women Lawyers.

Additional Resources from the Court

For additional information on the District of Minnesota's outreach programs, please contact Rebeccah Parks at or (612) 664-5124.