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Andrew Carlson
Andrew Carlson

2020 Attorneys of the Year: Andrew Carlson

When venerable Briggs and Morgan combined with Ohio-based Taft Stettinius & Hollister at the start of 2020, one of its Twin Cities’ partners saw an opportunity to help the newly merged law firms expand their pro bono programs.

Enter Andrew “Andy” Carlson, a veteran Briggs business litigation attorney and chairman for several years of its pro bono practice committee. Named as chairman of the merged law firms’ pro bono committee, Carlson led the group in creating centralized policy and practices for opening case files, tracking attorney hours and coordinating efforts with legal aid providers. The new Taft firm even recently hired a full-time pro bono director.

Colleagues say Carlson’s leadership in pro bono has been instrumental in the law firm merger which has brought together about 140 attorneys from Briggs and 480 from the legacy Taft practice, whose markets include Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Cincinnati.

“Because of his [Carlson’s] leadership, we now have a large committee of attorneys that help create and support this program,” said Steve Ryan, a Taft partner. “His efforts took place in the first six months of the merger and the middle of a pandemic. Then and now, his commitment to legal aid organizations and giving back to the community solidifies him as a leader in the pro bono arena and to the legal profession.”

Ryan added that Carlson continues to serve as a board member for The Fund for Legal Aid and is involved with The Children’s Law Center.

For his part, Carlson said, “The pro bono work I have done has been personally gratifying. I am glad to help people in situations where a lawyer could make a difference.”

A native of Delaware, Carlson graduated from Carleton College in 1990 with a bachelor’s degree in music and English. He earned his law degree cum laude in 1998 from the University of Minnesota.

Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2020 here.

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