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Cindy Telstad
Cindy Telstad

Outstanding Service to the Profession: Cindy Telstad

To Cindy Telstad, an important part of being an attorney is giving back to both the legal and non-legal communities. The 1985 graduate of Hamline University School of Law has given countless hours of time and energy to a variety of causes throughout her career.

For her, the time she has spent in these endeavors has been more than worth any time or talents she has expended.

“I’ve been involved with local nonprofits (in Winona where her firm, Streater & Murphy is located) since the ’90s as well as the bar association and the legal ethics system.

“The service has always provided a return that’s far greater than what I’ve put in.”

Telstad’s service has ranged from committee member to chair of several groups. In 2020 she was elected chair of the Minnesota Board on Judicial Standards after six year as a board member. In the past she has been a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s board of governors and assembly, and has chaired the Real Property Section and its Title Standards Committee, in addition to many other volunteer positions.

It might seem a burden to give that much personal time to others, especially as an attorney who already hardly keeps to a 40-hour week, but Telstad said it hasn’t been that difficult to balance through the years.

Telstad has seen many changes in the way the Bar delivers programming in the last 35 years. It is harder to find young attorney willing to volunteer for committees and to pitch in, she said. She tries to set an example and encourage more participation.

“I tell young attorneys that, based on my experience, the rewards make it so worth it,” she said.

Telstad is looking forward to a busy 2021, although she is taking a step back from some of her more time-consuming leadership positions, but plans to keep volunteering. In addition to her work-related activities, she’s involved in a variety of Winona nonprofits and will remain on the Title Standards Committee and the Board on Judicial Standards.

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

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