MSR staffer one of two Legal Rights Center honorees


James L. Stroud, Jr. and Willa Gelvick were named Volunteers of the Year by the Legal Rights Center (LRC). The

awards were presented at the LRC’s annual holiday gathering on December 16.

Stroud is a contributing writer/photographer and account executive with the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR). He has provided investigation services for the LRC as a volunteer since September 2010. Willa Gelvick is an attorney who began assisting with LRC cases in February 2011.

LRC’s Executive Director-Michael Friedman says the following about Stroud and Gelvick:

“With LRC staff investigators needed to handle multiple roles such as legal education and advocacy, the availability and professionalism of Mr. Stroud has been of enormous value to the LRC’s entire operation, where he has adapted his journalist’s skills for interviewing witnesses and finding critical information through public channels.

“Ms. Gelvick has distinguished herself as a tireless advocate who excels in trial preparation, especially in cases in which police appear to be hiding evidence favorable to the defendant.  Her persistence allows LRC staff attorneys to have time for greater numbers of clients.”

The Legal Rights Center is a nonprofit law firm that was created in 1970 by leaders of the community organization The Way, in partnership with the American Indian Movement and supported by law firms. The LRC’s purpose is to ensure that communities of color receive quality attorney service and are treated respectfully within the criminal justice system.

In addition to representing clients in cases in which racial animus may be driving the charges, or for which false testimony by police or others demands an acquittal, the center helps community members solve underlying issues that are putting them at risk for conviction and jail.

For more information about the Legal Rights Center, call 612-337-0030.

This information was provided by the Legal Rights Center.


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