Two CSD Employees Inducted into U.S. Supreme Court Bar
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association: Two CSD Attorneys Inducted Into U.S. Supreme Court Bar
On Wednesday, December 11, CSD’s Chief Legal Officer, Maria Wilson and Legal Director, Jessica Kennedy, will be sworn in and admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court with eight other deaf and hard of hearing attorneys.
“Being inducted into the Supreme Court Bar is an incredible honor as an attorney and I am grateful to stand alongside other deaf and hard of hearing attorneys as part of this experience,” explained Maria. “It’s important to have this representation in the legal field because positive visibility is an important part of continuing our progress as a community.”
This group of ten inductees are all members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association (DHBBA) – a nonprofit organization of deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, and deafblind attorneys, judges, law school graduates, law students, and legal professionals. The professional group was formed in 2014 to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas, build relationships, and provide informal mentorship.
This will be the third time in the history of their group that the DHBBA has participated in the swearing-in ceremony. Attorneys who are admitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Bar can argue cases in front of the Supreme Court – the highest court in the United States.
“DHHBA is honored to present its members for admittance to the Supreme Court Bar, as a demonstrated commitment to increasing representation of deaf and hard of hearing attorneys in the legal field. Deaf and hard of hearing attorneys often have to navigate through barriers to succeed in their careers, and having them stand up in front of the greatest court of the land to be admitted is a significant and symbolic gesture for our members,” stated Rachel Arfa, DHHBA President.
CSD is extremely proud of Maria and Jessica for achieving this honor, and we are fortunate to have such talented individuals on our team.
“Advancing positive perceptions is equally important to remove barriers to communication access,” stated Jessica. “While equity is still a struggle, one day soon Deaf and hard of hearing will realize an equal playing field with our counter-parts. We’re honored to be recognized, in front of the highest court of the country, as some of the few with an opportunity to foster that social change.”
Jessica recently joined #TeamCSD in 2019 after serving at organizations like MNsure and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Maria has been providing legal counsel to CSD since 2013, and was recently promoted to Chief Legal Officer in August, 2019.
Read more about the induction below!