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Information Technology Team
Information Technology Team, Minnesota Attorney General's Office

2020 Unsung Legal Heroes: Information Technology Team, Minnesota Attorney General’s Office

In mid-March, when Gov. Tim Walz declared a peacetime emergency in Minnesota due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office’s technology team faced a daunting task. At the time — partially due to budget reasons — only 18% of the office staff of 340 was configured for the remote access needed to work at home, said Richard Finch, the office’s IT manager.

The team worked round the clock to increase the number of licenses and tokens and troubleshoot with employees, to ensure that they had the equipment needed to work from home by the time the governor’s stay-at-home order went into effect.

As a result, by the time Walz’s first stay-at-home order took  effect on March 25, the capacity of the AG staff to work from home jumped from 18% to 91% in just two weeks.

The work included developing a new, cloud-based help desk; implementing Office 365 Teams for the first time; adopting a new mass-notification tool for staff; processing more than 100 requests to check out hardware; adding WebEx capabilities; and more.

IT manager Finch answered the questions below.

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

For me and for a lot of IT folks, the biggest reward is helping staff with their technology needs, finding solutions to solve issues.  Also, learning new technologies; my group really thrives on keeping up with technology, which is ever-changing.

What inspires you and motivates you to achieve your goals?

What inspires me is working with a very talented group of people who really work together well, show great teamwork and are always willing to go the extra mile to meet the goals and deadlines of a project.

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

To always treat people in the way you want to be treated, which is something that really matters in the service industry.

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