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Shannon Stoneking
Shannon Stoneking

2020 Unsung Legal Heroes: Shannon Stoneking

Shannon Stoneking has been Dakota County Law Library’s manager since 2013. Her inspiration to become a law librarian came from another Unsung Legal Heroes honoree. “Mary Freyberg’s enthusiasm for helping people is what inspired me to become a law librarian,” Stoneking says.

While Stoneking was still a law clerk in the 1st Judicial District, Freyberg often encouraged her to pursue a career in law librarianship. Freyberg died last year, but Stoneking tries to carry on her legacy — by helping everyone she can to find the right resources for their legal questions.

“She was such a strong advocate for everyone she encountered, especially anyone who set foot in the Scott County law library,” Stoneking says. “I hope I can continue to help others with that same passion.”

What do you find the most rewarding or love best about working in the legal profession?

Two things: Working within a community of people who share a deep passion for helping people and trying to figure out how to best assist the people who really need it. It’s a pleasure to share ideas and discuss access to justice issues with people who care so much.

What’s the best piece of advice that you ever received?

That would be from my mom: She would frequently say, “Always do your best.” It wasn’t meant as an acceptance of things as they are. She believed, and still does, that you can always challenge yourself to do better and to learn from your experiences.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Probably my passion for philosophy and philosophical discussions. I’m not really that great with the small talk; I’d rather be engaged in something deeper with someone that requires a little bit of reflection and hopefully we can both gain greater insights from exchanging ideas.

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