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Unsung Legal Heroes and Up & Coming Lawyers

Barbara L. Jones

Barbara L. Jones

From the Editor

Minnesota Lawyer is delighted to introduce this year’s group of Up & Coming Lawyers and Unsung Heroes. This year’s magazine is truly a feel-good-about-the-profession issue.

First, a quick word about the selection process. Anyone and everyone is welcome to submit a nomination. The nominations were reviewed by two panels of three past award winners, one in each category. They voted and the majority ruled.

We want to note that not every award presented today is about winning a case, let alone winning a case for a lot of money. Our mission is to recognize the state’s most talented and dedicated legal support professionals. The categories are accounting, firm administration , IT, law librarian, legal marketing, legal secretary or paralegal.

Nothing about money anywhere in there, unless you include accounting.

Instead, we recognize 21 Unsung Heroes who work in libraries and with prisoners; keep clients satisfied and informed, get the computers running, study medical records, balance the checkbook and, most importantly, plan parties.

The criteria for lawyers is professional accomplishment, leadership, service to the community/profession or achievement as in-house counsel.

Certainly some of those victories are about money. But we’ve got lawyers trying to reform juvenile court, actively contributing to the bar association and other organizations, working with the survivors of domestic violence, tutoring high school kids, putting people in prison or keeping them out and last but definitely not least, deployed in the Middle East.

Charmingly, our heroes and attorneys are quick to give credit to their supporters, thankful for their opportunities, focused on client service, appreciative of their colleagues, and did I mention thankful for their opportunities? They all know they didn’t do it alone. That’s why this is a feel-good-about-the-profession issue.

2015 Unsung Legal Heroes

Jean Anderson
Minnesota State Law Library

Amanda Bakken
Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Patty Brophy
Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Robin Chance
Fish & Richardson

Sara Galligan
Ramsey County Law Library

Suzanne Grossman
Dakota County Law Library

Dan Gruber
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP

Ellen Hanson-ZeVan
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Diane Liebrenz
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

Kerri S. Lorig
Gray Plant Mooty

Roxann Mosey
Gray Plant Mooty

Steve Nardini
Gray Plant Mooty

Maggie Palmisano
Hallberg Law

Dawn Parker
Patterson Thuente IP

Mariel Piilola
Larkin Hoffman

Carolyn Reinardy
First District Public Defender’s Office

Susan Style
Robins Kaplan LLP

Raul Taveras
Fish & Richardson

Annie Tremain
Children’s Law Center of Minnesota

Bradley G. Wicklund
Lommen Abdo Law Firm

Lindy Yokanovich
Cancer Legal Line


2015 Up & Coming Attorneys

Kaisa Adams
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP

Emily A. Ambrose
Blackwell Burke P.A.

Ryan J. Bies
Dougherty, Molenda, Solfest, Hills & Bauer P.A.

Kimberly Brzezinski
Hanft Fride

Jennifer Bullard
Bowman and Brooke LLP

Christopher J. Cadem
Cadem Law Group, PLLC

Brian Clark
Lockridge Grindal Nauen

Anne Cotter
Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Sarah Davis
The Legal Rights Center

Sybil Dunlop
Greene Espel, PLLP

James Gempeler
North Star Criminal Defense

Leora Maccabee Itman
Maslon LLP

Phillip M. Kitzer
Teske, Micko, Katz, Kitzer & Rochel, PLLP

Jessica L. Klander
Bassford Remele

Brett M. Larson
Messerli & Kramer P.A.

Rick Linsk
Lockridge Grindal Nauen

JoLynn M. Markison
Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Riann Meyer
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid

Ryan Miske
Faegre Baker Daniels

Angela Munoz-Kaphing
Robins Kaplan LLP

Joshua T. Natzel
Lindquist & Vennum LLP

Michael D. Reif
Robins Kaplan LLP

Zachary J. Robins
Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A.

Stephen E. Schemenauer
Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Nadege Souvenir
Dorsey & Whitney LLP

Victoria Taylor
Crossroads Legal Services

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu
Office of the US Attorney, District of Minnesota

Adriel Villarreal
Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd.

Photos of award recipients were made at the Como Park Conservatory by staff photographer Bill Klotz.

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