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Veena Iyer Assumes Role as District Judge in Minnesota


May 15 :
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz selected Veena Iyer, an Indian American and the executive director of the Immigrant Law Centre of Minnesota (ILCM), to the position of district judge in the state's second judicial district, which includes Ramsey County. The governor's office said that Iyer will be chambered in St. Paul, Ramsey County, and will be replacing JaPaul J. Harris.

The appointment of Veena Iyer to the court of Ramsey County is an honour, Walz stated. "I have faith in her ability to be a fair and balanced judge because of her varied practice background and her knowledge of how our justice system affects the many communities it serves."

Her appointment was "truly bittersweet," Iyer said, reflecting her strong feelings of loyalty to ILCM and its welcoming atmosphere. The ILCM community is unparalleled in its compassion, sensitivity, creativity, resilience, and persistence, and I will miss it. Nevertheless, it is a privilege that Governor Walz has placed his confidence in me to assist the people of Ramsey County and to guarantee fairness for everyone.

It has been an incredible privilege to serve as the executive director of the Immigrant Law Centre of Minnesota. As the child of immigrants, I am proud of the work that we have accomplished together to support immigrant and refugee families in Minnesota and North Dakota.

With this appointment comes a new chapter in Iyer's career; she will be leaving her position at ILCM in a few weeks to take on her duties as a judge.

Among Iyer's prior roles are those of Equal Justice Works fellow at Legal Aid Chicago and shareholder at Nilan Johnson Lewis. While at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Iyer clerked for Natalie Hudson; while at the Fourth Judicial District, she was with Susan Burke; and at the US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, she was with Matthew Kennelly.

She is actively involved in her community and has held leadership positions with Minnesota Women Lawyers and the Minnesota Asian Pacific American Bar Association.

Iyer is a member of several boards and commissions, including the Augsburg University Regents and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis' Community Advisory Board. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from Chicago and a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School.