Legal Rights Center
Attorney Andrew Gordon has been a boon to the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis since joining it four years ago.
Just ask LRC executive director Michael Friedman, who touts Gordon for his administrative skills and dedication as a staff lawyer.
“Within our nonprofit firm, Gordon’s service is distinctive for the leadership roles taken upon becoming associate director in 2012,” Friedman said. “Specifically, Gordon has created a consistent and systematic approach to supervising non-attorney staff who must plan community legal education opportunities as well as lead awareness of community programming that may be helpful to the client.
Gordon’s approach has improved the LRC’s use of student attorneys, designing a formal orientation period that has proven more effective for them than previous one-to-one mentoring and shadowing, added Friedman.
Gordon has also helped the LRC, on its limited budget, upgrade its office operations to be more efficient, Friedman said.
Meanwhile, colleagues know Gordon as a thorough, strong constitutional advocate for his clients.
“Due to his persistence and diligence – and track record – our community intake staff tends to direct his way the cases in which there is a large discrepancy between what the client is accused of and what they believe really happened.” Friedman said.
Annually, the LRC serves about 550 to 750 people on criminal cases and refers another 1,000 people to other attorneys and legal organizations.
Gordon, who is from Jamaica, has an affinity for LRC immigrant clients. “I am an immigrant, so I know what they are going through,” he said.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2008, Gordon was in a finalist for an attorney position with the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office until the county instituted a hiring freeze.
Gordon found a job with the Committee of Public Counsel Services in Boston. But when his work visa neared expiration, Gordon returned to Minnesota to live with a friend while he applied for his green card.
Subsequently, Gordon began extensive volunteering for LRC. He got his green card in late 2009 and opened up his own law firm while he also looked for a full-time job.
In 2010, the LRC, which knew his legal work, hired Gordon to fill a fellowship position. “I was in the right place at the right time,” he said.