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Emily E. Niles
Emily E. Niles

2022 Up & Coming Attorneys: Emily E. Niles

Robins Kaplan LLP

On the way to becoming a neuroscientist, Emily Niles decided pursuing a law degree would be more rewarding.

Working after college as a neuropsychology technician, Niles grew frustrated with evaluating patients’ cognitive issues but not being able to give them a solution.

“I wanted a career where I would continue to be challenged intellectually, that would have a connection to science, and would give me the opportunity to help people solve problems and navigate challenges,” she said.

Niles determined becoming an attorney would be more fulfilling. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas School of Law, Niles began litigating intellectual property and technology issues as an associate attorney at Robins Kaplan LLP. Her work includes patent, trade secrets, breach of contract, copyright infringement and other business disputes with technical twists.

“My practice is focused on high-stakes litigation at the intersection of science, technology, and the law, and the trial work is what I enjoy the most,” she said.

Being a trial attorney requires putting together the “pieces of the puzzle,” Niles said, combined with managing the uncertainty of evidence and witness testimony. “Working within that uncertainty to tell the best story for our clients is something that I find exciting and rewarding,” she said.

Niles’ most recent trial win came in the 2021 trial of Tholen v. Assist America. She helped Twin Cities plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Tholen win a $27.8 million jury verdict after Assist America declined to give him an emergency medical evacuation after a severe leg injury in Mexico that led later to an amputation.

Niles has always taken on pro bono work both to develop skills and give back to her community. She has taken on cases ranging from custody disputes where she represented single mothers who had suffered abuse to assisting LGBTQ clients with name changes to immigration cases.

In addition, she also serves on the University of St. Thomas School of Law alumni board. “It is important for me to give back to my community through pro bono work,” she said.

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