Partner; Blethen, Gage & Krause
For Kevin Velasquez, being a lawyer is about helping people solve problems and meet their goals, whether it’s estate litigation, business disputes or family law. He represents plaintiffs and defendants in a diverse array of matters, building the best case possible with his analytical aptitude and ability to see all sides of an issue.
“I take my advocacy skills and help them figure out where they want to end up and help them get there in a cost-effective manner,” says Velasquez, a partner at Blethen, Gage & Krause in Mankato. “I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping solve their problems. Everyone’s problem is their most important problem, so that’s the biggest thing I do in my job.”
A math major who intended to become an actuary, Velasquez discovered a new career path while shadowing an in-house lawyer. During a meeting on employment law matters, the participants’ approach to problem-solving the issues intrigued him. After working for an insurance company, the Iowa native decided to go to law school at University of Iowa.
Since Blethen, Gage & Krause recruited Velasquez to Mankato, he has tackled a wide range of employment matters for both sides, including harassment, discrimination, wrongful discharge, whistleblower retaliation and other high-stakes matters. He also successfully appealed cases in both state and federal court.
On top of finding the work rewarding, Velasquez learned that being a lawyer is a great outlet for his competitive side. He also gets deep satisfaction from helping people work through their issues. “One thing that pulled me in the direction of law was that in the actuary field, you solve the same problems over and over again,” Velasquez says. “When I’m helping people with their problems, every single issue that comes up is different, and you learn new things all of the time.”
Velasquez believes strongly in work-life balance, spending time with his family and giving back to the community. He takes on leadership positions for many organizations in the Mankato area, while doing diverse pro bono work for the LegalCorps in Mankato, the Federal Bar Association’s Pro Se Project and many others.