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Lara Page’s past projects include the redevelopment of the Pillsbury A Mill on Minneapolis’ riverfront and the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul. (File photo: Bill Klotz)
Lara Page’s past projects include the redevelopment of the Pillsbury A Mill on Minneapolis’ riverfront and the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul. (File photo: Bill Klotz)

Breaking the Ice: Combining private investment, public incentives in rewarding practice

Lara Page

Title: Partner, Stinson Leonard Street

Education: B.S.B., marketing, Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota; J.D., Hofstra University School of Law

Lara Page enjoys forging public and private partnerships to advance affordable housing, renewable energy, construction and other projects as a partner and attorney in the tax credit finance incentive group at Stinson Leonard Street.Page’s past projects include the redevelopment of the Pillsbury A Mill on Minneapolis’ riverfront and the former Schmidt Brewery in St. Paul.

“I still do a lot of affordable housing work in the Twin Cities and otherwise,” Page said. “Now I also do New Market Tax Credits, renewable energy and historic tax credits. A lot of my practice over the last few years has expanded into solar projects within Minnesota and across the country.”

Page recently has been representing a developer on an affordable project planned for a small town. Another project involved working with a developer on tax equity financing of a biomass power facility in California.

“You’re helping drive private funding toward things that are undoubtedly positive for a community, so that’s hugely rewarding,” Page said

Page, a Lincoln, Nebraska, native, worked for two years at a New York City firm before moving to Minnesota with her husband in 2011.

What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

Just say, “Hello.” I’m a friendly person by nature. I’m from Nebraska. I like talking to people and I enjoy the camaraderie and the collaboration that my area builds. Some of my closest friends professionally are people I’ve met working on deals.

What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

I just started “Truman,” David McCullough’s extremely long biography.

What is a pet peeve of yours?

Poor manners. Most people in the Twin Cities are kind and nice people. But you never know what kind of day someone’s having so I think it’s always just best to be polite.

What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

I love my team, the people I work with. We’re in different offices but we’re all extremely close. I feel very lucky to have the group I have at this firm. I love putting together a project, the pieces of it. I love helping structure a transaction. One thing I’ve gotten to do over the years more and more is help my clients as their strategic advisor too. We plan out not what one transaction is going to look like but we help them build their long-term objectives for their business.

Least favorite?

Probably the hours, you do work long hours. But to be honest when you have a good team it’s less bad.

What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

Spending time with family. But I also play fantasy football, and that’s a league I’ve had with my girlfriends for years and that’s actually really special to me.

If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

I would take them to a Husker football game.

Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most — and why?

David Kelly. He’s a partner here. He’s been my mentor and a really big figure in my life. He’s just taught me a ton. I admire him greatly and he’s one the best attorneys that I’ve ever worked with.

What’s a misconception people have about working as an attorney or judge?

The biggest misconception about attorneys is that we’re all combative and just looking for a fight. That’s totally not the way it is for many transactional attorneys. A lot of us take great pride in being part of a project and building something. We are not all courtroom attorneys and that’s not to knock courtroom attorneys at all. We are not all in it for the fight.

What if any is your favorite depiction of the law, the legal professional in popular culture?

“Boston Legal.” That’s a great show. I just think it’s hilarious. James Spader, he’s fantastic.

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