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Pat Martin
Pat Martin this month succeeded Cynthia Bremer as managing shareholder of the Ogletree Deakins Minneapolis office. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Attorney’s call brought national firm to Minneapolis

Pat Martin has gone from making a cold call that prompted Ogletree Deakins to open its Minneapolis office to leading the location as office managing shareholder.

Martin picked up the phone after hearing rumors that the firm wanted an office here. Representatives flew to town and met with Martin and Cynthia Bremer, whom he this month succeeded as office managing shareholder. The Ogletree Deakins office opened, as Martin noted, on April Fool’s Day in 2010.

“That was an exciting thing and a call that changed my life,” Martin said.

In 2010, the national employment law firm had 450 lawyers in 38 offices, Martin said. Today it has 55 offices and 950 lawyers. The Minneapolis location has nine lawyers, tripling its opening day total.

Martin appreciates enthusiasm, a trait that may have contributed to teammates voting him the “Best Hustle Award” winner for three of the four years he played college hockey.

Name: Patrick Martin

Title: Office managing shareholder, Ogletree Deakins’ Minneapolis office

Education: B.A., English and political science, Mankato State University; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: Talk about family. I’ve got four kids. A great spouse. I have two daughters in high school. They play hockey for Roseville High School. Or talk about the North Shore or outdoor stuff. Probably more than anything, I like talking hockey. I’m still passionate about it after all these years.

Q: Why did you go to law school?

A: An uncle had a small law practice on the east side of St. Paul on Payne Avenue. I went to the Payne Avenue parade a couple of times as a kid, walked through his office and saw all these books. I got it in the back of my head, I could do this law thing. Being an English major, it was in the back of my head, I might become a lawyer. It’s like, teach or go to law school.

Q: What books are you reading?

A: I’m rereading “Love Medicine” by Louise Erdrich. There’s also a Shackleton book I’m reading about his ship getting stuck in the ice in Antarctica.

Q: What’s your pet peeve?

A: A lack of enthusiasm or a lack of responsiveness. You have to be super responsive to clients. Our clients are also the lawyers in our other offices who ask us about Minnesota stuff. We’ve created a brand within the firm, with our clients, for responsiveness.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: Helping navigate clients through difficult issues. If it’s litigation, trying to find a win, however the client defines a win.

Q: Most challenging?

A: The juggling act when you have 10 to 15 matters going at the same time. You also have marketing things or clients asking questions about stuff out of state with our other lawyers.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: Family stuff. Winter camping in the Boundary Waters. Playing in the pond hockey tournament. We have two rinks on the lake behind us and two to four teams will play on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: As somebody who grew up in the suburbs (Arden Hills), I like doing things in the city, I like working in downtown Minneapolis. If I was taking people somewhere, that might be good places to eat in Minneapolis.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: Thurgood Marshall. Both as a lawyer and a Supreme Court justice.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work?

A: It’s definitely not boring. I find it to be dynamic and interesting. We’re really solving problems.

Q: Favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers?

A: “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Both the book and the movie, the courtroom scenes and the figure that Atticus Finch cut, not just in the courtroom but with his family and kids, how he was influencing folks around him who were watching this trial and what had happened. I’ve had my kids watch it a couple of times, so it’s fun to go back and see it.

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