Veena Iyer appointed as judge to Minnesota’s Second Judicial District

New York: Veena Iyer, executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota (ILCM), has been appointed by Governor Walz as one of two new judges to the Second Judicial District, which covers Ramsey County. She and Jennifer Verdeja fill the vacancies created upon the elevation to the Minnesota Court of Appeals of the Honorable JaPaul Harris and the retirement of the Honorable Elena Ostby, the governor announced. “This is truly bittersweet,” Iyer said of her appointment in a statement. “I will miss ILCM, a community like no other in its tenacity, resilience, creativity, empathy, and compassion,” she said. “However, I am honored that Governor Walz has entrusted me to serve the residents of Ramsey County and to ensure justice for all. As the child of immigrants, it has been the honor of a lifetime to serve as the executive director of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, and I am proud of all we have done together to support immigrant and refugee families across Minnesota and North Dakota.” She will remain at ILCM for several weeks to complete her transition before joining the bench. In the press release announcing the appointment, Walz said she was “honored to appoint Veena Iyer to the Ramsey County bench. Her diverse practice background and understanding of the impact that our justice system has on the many communities it serves gives me the confidence that she will be a fair and balanced judge.” At ICLM, Iyer leads a staff of about 30 and hundreds of volunteers to provide legal representation, educational outreach, and advocacy for low-income immigrant and refugee communities. She began her career as an Equal Justice Works fellow and staff attorney at Legal Aid Chicago. She was a shareholder in the labor and employment practice at the Minneapolis-based Nilan Johnson Lewis law firm. Previously, Iyer was the president of the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association and a board member of Minnesota Women Lawyers.

Image courtesy of ilcm.org

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