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Attorneys of the Year: Susan J. Link

mn-aoty19-final-4-45-copySince 2007, Susan Link has logged more than 43,000 miles and supervised the creation of more than 14,000 wills as program director for Minnesota Wills for Heroes, a program of the Minnesota State Bar Association. Wills for Heroes provides free estate planning instruments — wills, health care directives, powers of attorney — to first responders and public safety personnel.

Link is a fixture at Twin Cities-area Wills for Heroes events, held on the first and third Monday each month, and she has spent countless weekends traveling to Greater Minnesota events.

“We’ve been to every corner of the state — Hallock [in the far northwest], Preston [in the far southeast], and everywhere in between,” she said.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. This October, the Minneapolis Fire Department presented Link and Minnesota Wills for Heroes founder Andrea Bischoff with its Meritorious Service Award; in December, the Hennepin County Sheriff Department gave Link and Bischoff its Distinguished Service Award.

Link is reluctant to take credit for Minnesota Wills for Heroes’ reach. “It takes a village to run this program,” she said. Link and Bischoff, her Maslon LLP colleague, rely on an enthusiastic volunteer network for help, especially in outstate Minnesota.

“Wherever we go in the state, we train local lawyers,” said Link.

Link has a day job, of course, as head of Minneapolis-based Maslon LLP’s estate planning group. After hours, she’s a devoted mentor to younger lawyers. Watching early Wills for Heroes volunteers mature into formidable attorneys has been a highlight.

“I’ll always have coffee with a law student,” she said.

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