This smart, accomplished young attorney is driven by a strong sense of self and conviction of purpose. Adine S. Momoh holds herself to a high standard of professional excellence and is fearless in the face of new challenges and opportunities. A talented trial attorney practicing complex business and commercial litigation at Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Momoh is a trusted counselor to her clients in matters spanning securities litigation, banking litigation, estates and trusts litigation, creditors’ rights and bankruptcy. A leader among her peers, Momoh’s zest for the practice of law and conscientious attention to detail make her an asset to colleagues, clients, bar associations and the community.
Momoh is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from Sierra Leone in the 1970s. They instilled in Momoh and her two older brothers the importance of education, the value of hard work and the belief that they could become anything they wished to be. “They also taught me the importance of being humble and giving back to the community,” Momoh said. “I knew I wanted to be an attorney from the time I was 6 years old. I am fortunate to have come from a supportive family who told me I could achieve whatever I set out to do.”
From high school, Momoh charted her professional path by seeking the advice of teachers and professors, who eventually became mentors. She graduated from Concordia Academy as valedictorian, from the University of St. Thomas summa cum laude and from William Mitchell College magna cum laude. She worked as a summer associate at Stinson Leonard Street (then Leonard, Street and Deinard) and clerked for the Honorable Jeanne J. Graham of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota at the judge’s request.
“Adine arrived at the firm possessing the characteristics we look for from our top associates – intellect, drive, compassion and an entrepreneurial sensibility,” said David Crosby, co-chair of Stinson Leonard Street’s business litigation division. “She accelerated her growth by routinely seeking more responsibility for client matters and having great success managing those matters.”
Momoh’s successful written and oral advocacy efforts are driven by her enthusiasm to perfect her craft. “I’m not a shy person. If I’m in a meeting with a client or colleague and there are questions that need to be asked, I will ask. I always want to be challenged, and I’m not afraid to handle any sort of case, especially if it gets me into the courtroom.”
Momoh’s assertiveness and competence have inspired the confidence of her colleagues and opened early opportunities to substantive experience. “I’m very fortunate to work at a supportive firm and, while in practice less than seven years, to have already first chaired a trial here in the Twin Cities, second chaired a two-week arbitration in Chicago twice, deposed lay and expert witnesses on various matters and argued motions in several state and federal cases.”
Momoh is a unique trial attorney in that she also has transactional experience through her bankruptcy practice. She notes that in one case, “I had to take depositions and represent a client’s interests in a day-long 363 bankruptcy asset sale all in the same week. It was a complex transaction, but I was able to work with one of my partners in the bankruptcy group, and together we achieved a successful result for the client.”
Momoh is also a perceptive listener with finely honed observation skills, which aid her in identifying verbal and nonverbal cues from judges and other participants in the courtroom. “During oral argument, it is more effective to be flexible and engage in a conversation, rather than being scripted,” Momoh said.
Momoh has often been recognized by her peers for her professional excellence and service to the community. In 2014, she received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s first ever Outstanding New Lawyer of the Year Award. She currently serves as the secretary of the Hennepin County Bar Association and is on track to be both the youngest and first black woman to serve as the HCBA’s president in its centennial year, 2018-19. Momoh serves on the board of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation, and she handles appellate criminal matters pro bono through her role as a special assistant state public defender with the Office of the Minnesota Appellate Public Defender.
Momoh is also a passionate advocate for diversity in the law. In 2013, she was named a fellow of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, a national leadership development program designed to increase diversity in the legal profession. Momoh actively serves Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, where she works to attract and retain attorneys of color in the Twin Cities. She also serves on the board of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers and her firm’s diversity and inclusion committee.
Considering her relative youth, Crosby said, “It’s impressive how well known Adine is in the legal community. You can’t walk more than a block with Adine without a judge or lawyer stopping her to say hello.”
Adine S. Momoh is proof that the next generation of lawyers can achieve great success and still enjoy work/life balance, however it is defined. Recently married, she says she carves out time to rest and enjoy a social life. She is also an artist who paints in oils. She is grateful for the support of her husband and family, who help make it possible for her to excel in her many personal interests and professional responsibilities. It is that verve for life and the law that drives Momoh, a woman who strives for excellence in all she does.