Associate Attorney, Blethen, Gage & Krause
Jessica Frein is only two years out of law school, but her boss can already tell Frein’s going to be a successful lawyer.
Michael Karp, managing partner of Blethen, Gage & Krause in Mankato, recruited Frein from Hamline University Law School. Frein grew up in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and was drawn to work in a smaller university town that was only an hour-and-a-half drive from her parents’ home in Nebraska.
A variety of experiences drew Frein to the law. She wanted to help her inventor father with small-business issues when no law firm would take him on. Now-retired Iowa Court of Appeals Judge Robert Mahan taught Frein in a family law class at Iowa State University and then took her on as an intern.
Frein watched oral arguments and basically followed Mahan around. “I sat in the library and he taught me how to research through the books, like tracking down citations,” Frein said.
While at Hamline, Frein clerked for two years at the Minnesota League of Cities. “I got the most fantastic experience from that office,” she said. “The real estate and land use files really put me on the transactional side.”
Because she works for a small firm, Frein must have a breadth of knowledge. She advises residential, commercial and industrial landowners, helps individuals manage financial assets, and families develop business succession and estate plans.
She also advises business clients on a variety of issues, works on commercial lease negotiations, purchase and development transactions, advises on corporate governance, entity maintenance, restructuring and recapitalization, and more. She’s involved in numerous professional and community organizations, as well. Karp describes her as ambitious and well-organized.
“She has the ability to dig into the research before she comes with the good questions, so we’re not pointing her in a specific direction. We’re more guiding her in terms of her own research and work skills,” he said. “I think that she is one of those fortunate and gifted persons that has found an occupation that she truly enjoys.”