Phil Duran (’00) Elected Minnesota State Bar Association President
JULY 2, 2013—Phil Duran (’00) took office yesterday as the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) president for the 2013-14 bar year.
In welcoming Duran as president, MSBA Executive Director Tim Groshens said, "Phil Duran has been a very active member of the Association for over a decade. As an advocate for various issues during that time, I have seen him engage numerous bar committees and leaders, giving him a breadth of understanding of the organization that has made him a very effective officer."
Duran, who served as MSBA secretary in 2010-11, treasurer in 2011-12 and president-elect in 2012-13, is legal director at OutFront Minnesota, the state's largest GLBT advocacy organization. Duran is the first MSBA president from the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community and the first president from "Generation X."
Duran said he looks forward to serving as MSBA president at a time when the dynamics of the profession are changing. "Law school enrollments are down, while law school student loan debt is up," said Duran. "The profession is also encountering new competition from online services which mimic, but not adequately substitute for, actual legal advice. We are also concerned about increasing attacks on our financially stretched judicial system. The MSBA has an important role to play in shaping the future of the legal community."
In addition to serving as president of the MSBA, Duran will continue to represent the organization on Gov. Dayton's Task Force on the Prevention of School Bullying. He also chairs the Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity subcommittee of the Minnesota Judicial Council’s Committee for Equality and Justice. He is a staff attorney for the Management Assistance Program for Nonprofits, where he helps start-up organizations with incorporation, tax, and other issues. Previously he worked with Patient Resource Consultants in Michigan as a client advocate.
Duran's extensive advocacy experience also includes work for the MSBA's 2010 endorsement of a marriage-equality resolution, the Minnesota AIDS Project, and the Chicago office of Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. He has served on the board of the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association and the Minneapolis Civil Rights Commission. In 1997, he received a Community Service Award from the Human Rights Campaign for his work in his native Michigan.
Duran received a B.A. with Honors in History from Michigan State University in 1989 and his J.D. magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2000.
Duran will be joined on the MSBA board by Michael Unger (’81), who is taking office as secretary and is on track to become president for the 2015-16 bar year. Richard Kyle will serve as MSBA president for the 2014-15 bar year.
With more than 16,000 members, the MSBA is the state's largest and most influential voluntary organization of attorneys, providing continuing legal education and public service opportunities for lawyers, and assistance to the legal system.