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Attorneys of the Year: J. Patrick Plunkett

recognition-for-outstanding-serviceNot all the lawyers in Minnesota are named Plunkett, it just seems that way sometimes.

J. Patrick Plunkett is one of 25 past and present lawyers from his extended family, starting with his grandfather and great uncle.

He started his career as a messenger at the firm that was Moore Costello and Hart, and had been there 40 years when it closed in August 2012. He moved to Larkin Hoffman with several others from the firm.

Plunkett’s great contribution to the profession is the more than 100 lectures and CLEs he’s presented on topics involving corporations and individuals. He started teaching as a result of a casual conversation at a Vikings game.  A fellow football fan said he was looking for someone to teach corporate law, and Plunkett volunteered. He was all of 26 years old.

Plunkett keeps his ear to the ground to discover unmet needs. For example, “In 2014 there wasn’t anything on church law so I did one,” he said.  “I write all of them myself, I still refer to them.”

Plunkett lives by advice he received from his father — the best lawyers know what they don’t know. “I teach to learn the material.  That’s why I still do it.   I do it for selfish reasons—I’ll do a seminar on something I think I should know,” he said.

But Plunkett also is proud of something 360 degrees from the practice of law, and that is his needlepoint, for which he won a blue ribbon at the Minnesota State Fair.   He started stitching to keep his hands busy so he could quit smoking,  continued with needlepoint and crewel until his eyes got too weak for it, and now he’s at his workbench with a piece of wood and a planer.

For all the wisdom and knowledge Plunkett has passed to lawyers, he should receive another blue ribbon, but will have to settle for the Outstanding Service to the Profession award.

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