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Dale Zilhart

2019 Unsung Legal Heroes: Dale Zilhart

Dale Zilhart did so well on his LSATs that his boss encouraged him to enroll in law school. So he did. But he didn’t love it.

“I really didn’t have a burning desire to be a lawyer. It was like, why am I here?” he recalled. “It wasn’t what I wanted to do.”

What Zilhart wanted to do was what he already was doing — and still does today. Zilhart has been a paralegal at Milavetz Gallop & Milavetz since 1992. His career in the field actually stretches back a decade before that.

Zilhart has made himself indispensable to his firm. He is the guy who helps a crash victim sort out how to get a rental, and who later helps them secure a property settlement so a new car can be purchased. He is the one who calmly helps prepare the arbitration package for that client whose medical benefits suddenly got dropped.

Zilhart said he doesn’t think what he does is all that extraordinary, and he was surprised to learn he’d been tapped as an Unsung Hero for 2019. “I was shocked, actually,” he said. “I’ve been doing this a long time.”

Still, he can fondly remember how, years ago, his kids would ask him what he did at work. He could answer that he’d helped a guy that day reclaim his lost wages. Or that he’d helped a lady secure settlement money a er she was hurt in an accident.

“I still take a lot of pride in doing this and knowing that it’s a service, that I am helping people sometimes at their lowest points,” Zilhart said. “That means a lot to me.”

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About Kevin Featherly

Kevin Featherly, who joined BridgeTower Media in mid-2016, is a journalist and former freelance writer who has covered politics, law, business, technology and popular culture for publications and websites in the Twin Cities and nationally since the mid-1990s.

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