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In-House Counsel: Paula Beck

Paula Beck took an interest in affordable housing in law school and turned it into one of her specialties in general counsel roles for the state of Minnesota and Sherman Associates.
Today as general counsel for Minneapolis-based Sherman Associates, Beck leads a staff of four. She worked at the company from 2004 to 2009 before joining Minnesota Housing for six years. The range of legal challenges that private developers face brought her back. “There’s such a variety of things we’ve done — it never gets boring, ever,” she said.
Last year Beck oversaw legal and financing issues involving historic buildings, market-rate and affordable housing, restaurants and retail projects in Minneapolis, Coon Rapids and Westminster, Colorado. She helped open a Trader Joe’s, secured leases for two Starbucks and managed legal aspects of the transformation of historic Thresher Square in Minneapolis into a Hilton Canopy.
Though Sherman Associates works primarily in the Twin Cities, a few projects in Duluth have been among Beck’s favorites. After engineering complicated financial deals in 2006 to renovate senior housing and develop a luxury hotel and condominiums, she recently assisted in the restoration of the historic NorShor Theatre in downtown Duluth.
Beck likes having a job where she can “accomplish some good” through developing affordable housing when possible and where the results of her work are evident. “I can look across the street or down the street from my office and see buildings I helped build,” she said.

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