The Equality and Justice Award honors an MLBA member who has made significant contributions to advance equality and justice in the legal profession and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LBGT) community through his or her practice and community involvement.
Dolan, an associate who focuses on environmental litigation and defends clients nationally in environmental disputes, was selected for the award because of his work on the Anoka-Hennepin lawsuit, leadership in founding Lawyers United and support for Minnesotans United. In 2010, he was named one of the best LGBT lawyers under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association.
"Chris is an outstanding attorney whose dedication to and passion for equality demonstrate the values of Faegre Baker Daniels," said Kathy Noecker, a member of the firm's executive and diversity and inclusion committees. "We are all very proud of Chris and the great work he has done, and we look forward to seeing his continued impact in the future."
In March 2012, Dolan was part of a legal team representing five students in a federal gender and sexual-orientation harassment lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District. The team helped negotiate a consent decree that included significant new protections designed to prevent harassment of students who are or are perceived to be LGBT and gender non-conforming and a comprehensive, systemic plan to counter and prevent future harassment in district education programs and activities.
Dolan has been significantly involved in fundraising for Minnesotans United for All Families, a group committed to ensuring that allowing all loving and committed couples the freedom to marry is a priority in Minnesota. Through the efforts of Dolan and others at the firm, more than $50,000 was raised for Minnesotans United from individual Faegre Baker Daniels personnel. Dolan also co-founded Lawyers United for All Families as a section of Minnesotans United that mobilized the legal community against the proposed state constitutional amendment that would have defined marriage as a union only between one man and one woman.
Founded in 1996, the Minnesota Lavender Bar Association is a professional organization focused on promoting equality and justice in the legal profession and the LGBT community in Minnesota. The nonprofit works to expand opportunities for LBGT lawyers and law students by providing networking and educational opportunities and advocating for the LGBT community's interests before courts and government agencies.