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People & Practices: June 21, 2021

Dulce Foster

Dulce Foster

The Fredrikson & Byron Foundation funded and launched the Small Business Recovery Microgrant Program with administrative support from Neighborhood Development Center (NDC). The program provides financial support to small businesses impacted by damage sustained from civil unrest that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis last year.

“Rebuilding our community started a year ago when lawyers from Fredrikson opened a free legal clinic to assist the business owners affected by social unrest, but there is still much to be done,” said Dulce Foster, Fredrikson & Byron Foundation president. “By offering microgrants to as many small business owners as possible, community members can gain a renewed hope as they revive their businesses.”

The program will run for 18 months or until funds are distributed. Interested small business owners may request an application from NDC by emailing Earlsworth Letang at ELetang@NDC-MN.org.

The Fredrikson & Byron Foundation supports the philanthropic efforts and volunteer work of Fredrikson & Byron’s attorneys and staff in the community. The foundation provides grants to programs that improve the delivery and equal access to legal services, law schools and programs that support lawyer professional development, programs that are aimed at ameliorating the causes and effects of crime, organizations that seek to protect and develop our community’s human capital, and arts, cultural and environmental organizations that improve the quality of life. The foundation gives priority to grant requests from organizations with which Fredrikson attorneys and staff are personally involved and are consistent with the foundation’s core mission.

The Neighborhood Development Center is a nonprofit organization that works in Twin Cities low-income neighborhoods to help emerging entrepreneurs develop successful businesses that serve and revitalize their communities. They also supported members of the Build from Within Alliance which provide similar support in communities across the United States. This multi-year evaluation documents NDC’s impact on NDC-assisted businesses, as well as on the neighborhoods where owners reside and operate businesses.

Fredrikson & Byron is a leading Midwest law firm working to help businesses achieve their goals regionally, nationally and globally. The firm’s 300+ attorneys are based in Minneapolis, with offices in Bismarck; Des Moines; Fargo; Mankato; St. Paul; Saltillo, Mexico; and Shanghai, China.

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Robert Q. Williams

Robert Q. Williams

Attorney Robert Q. Williams has joined Best & Flanagan’s Real Estate practice group.

Williams advises businesses and institutions in all manner of commercial real estate transactions. Before joining Best & Flanagan, Williams was an attorney with Messerli & Kramer. He is a graduate of Hamline University School of Law and Gustavus Adolphus College.

Best & Flanagan is a full-service law firm, providing advice and advocacy to individual and corporate clients in virtually all areas of the law, including litigation and dispute resolution, corporate and tax, nonprofit, estate planning, construction, family law, real estate, labor and employment and public finance.

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The law firm of Maslon LLP announces that it has met the 2020 Pro Bono Institute’s Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge for the sixth year in a row. The Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge is a commitment made by major law firms around the country in which firms must devote 3% of their billable hours or a set number of hours per attorney to the provision of pro bono legal services to low-income and disadvantaged individuals, families, and nonprofit groups. The challenge is administered by the Law Firm Pro Bono Project of the Pro Bono Institute.

A majority of Maslon’s attorneys participated in qualifying pro bono work in 2020, helping the firm exceed the Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge requirement for the sixth consecutive year. In total, Maslon attorneys contributed 4,345 of their hours to pro bono service in 2020. Maslon’s 2020 pro bono service included:

  • Advising property owners impacted by the 2020 Minneapolis unrest on their insurance recovery claims.
  • Representation of a nonprofit in an appeal that set a standard that better protects the privacy rights of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • Continued representation for a nonprofit organization’s fight to protect and preserve the Boundary Waters in Minnesota against a proposed copper-nickel mine.
  • Key participation by Maslon Partner Steve Schleicher, through special appointment by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, as part of the prosecution team for the trial of Derek Chauvin.

“We’re very proud of our firm’s pro bono achievement this past year,” said Julian Zebot, partner and chair of Maslon’s Pro Bono Committee. “We believe such work is our moral and ethical responsibility. It is fundamental to the integrity of the judicial system, and maintains our firm’s long-standing commitment to community service.”

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