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Christine Eid negotiates sales, purchases, leases and other real estate agreements at Stinson Leonard Street. (File photo: Bill Klotz)

Breaking the Ice: Real estate practice brings tangible results

Name: Christine Eid

Title: Partner, Stinson Leonard Street

Education: B.A., psychology, University of Minnesota; J.D., William Mitchell College of Law

Seeing development projects take shape or checking out a client’s new store are a big part of what Stinson Leonard Street partner Christine Eid likes about her real estate practice.

“It’s something tangible,” Eid said of the results of her work negotiating sales, purchases, leases and other agreements. “In an era of technology it’s nice to drive to a site or drive to one of your projects and see sometimes a before and after especially in development projects.”

One that stands out is the Treasure Island Center, the 540,000-square-foot development that now occupies the former Macy’s building downtown St. Paul. It combines office, retail and sports uses. It serves as the Minnesota Wild’s practice home with a rooftop ice rink for the team as well as college and community hockey games.

“It took a concrete building and turned it into an amazing development,” Eid said. “It’s pretty miraculous almost.”

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

A. I like talking to people, so just introduce yourself. I love running, so that’s a perfect icebreaker.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. I wanted to help people. Prior to law school both of my grandparents went into assisted living. Someone from our family was with my grandparents pretty much at any time during the weekday. Most people didn’t have regular visitors. I felt like these people need a voice. I thought that I wanted go to law school to practice elder law. I took an elder law class and did not like it at all. I thought, “Oh, my gosh, what have I done?” Luckily, I did find real estate fascinating, so things worked out.

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

A. I used to read pretty regularly for pleasure. But since having my daughter over a year ago, I’m reading a lot of children’s books to her. I make time for a daily devotional, but besides that all I’m reading are legal documents. I love podcasts. I listen to so many: “Invisibilia,” “Fresh Air,” “Serial.”

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. With what I do in the negotiation process there are some people who talk over me and other people. That’s just part of their style of negotiating. I think it happens more often not with women, so a man talking over a woman. But not always. Sometimes it’s like, “I think we have an agreement here. You just need to stop talking so I can tell you that.”

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A. I always say that I am privileged to be in a profession where I can continuously learn. I love being a trusted adviser to my clients. I love having intellectual stimulation in particular with leasing. It’s highly complex because every provision relates to the other provision.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. Two favorite activities: Running and hanging out with my daughter.

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

A. I grew up in Richfield, so I would take them Wood Lake Nature Center. Even though it’s surrounded by highways, you can barely hear the sound of cars. It’s just incredibly peaceful.

Q. What’s a misconception people have about working as an attorney?

A. The misconception in the media maybe is that attorneys are dishonest. But the attorneys that I interact with on a regular basis are completely the opposite. They’re very honorable and hold themselves to a very high ethical standard.

Q. What if any is your favorite depiction of the law, the legal professional in popular culture (books, films, TV)?

A. My favorite show of all time is “Damages.” It’s a smartly written and produced show. Patty Hewes (Glenn Close), the main character, is a villain but she’s such a strong female character that you can’t help but like her and want to see her keep going and stay strong.

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