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Judah Druck
Maslon partner Judah Druck will receive the 2023 Arthur T. Pfefer Memorial Award from the Twin Cities Cardozo Society in June. (Submitted photo)

Breaking the Ice: Community work earns lawyer an award

Maslon partner Judah Druck appreciates that he will receive the 2023 Arthur T. Pfefer Memorial Award from the Twin Cities Cardozo Society.

But he would do what he does in the community — including working pro bono for the Advocates for Human Rights and serving as president of Congregation Darchei Noam — regardless.

“I’d be happy doing everything I do without any sort of recognition,” Druck said. “Just being part of this community is important enough. Having said that, it is nice.”

The community, Druck said, welcomed and supported him as a newcomer to Minnesota. He connected with Maslon through a partner he met at the synagogue.

Druck specializes in insurance coverage litigation, helping policyholders submit claims, dispute denied claims or litigate if need be.

The Pfefer award goes to a Jewish law student or attorney age 35 or younger who exhibits ambition and determination, realizes academic or professional success and has a strong commitment to the Jewish and general community.

Druck will receive the award in June at the annual dinner for the Cardozo Society, an affinity group for Jewish attorneys, judges and law students. It is sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater St. Paul and the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Pfefer, who was raised in St. Paul, earned a law degree at the University of Minnesota in 1967 and was hired by the Maslon firm. But the U.S. Army captain was killed in action in July 1969 in Vietnam before he could begin his legal career.

Name: Judah Druck

Title: Partner, Maslon

Education: B.A., philosophy, Brandeis University; J.D. Cornell Law School

Q: Best way to start a conversation with you?

A: I’m pretty open-ended. Just come up to me and say hi, and that’s probably good enough to get things going.

Q: Why law school?

A: Part of it’s parental guilt, obviously. I knew that I wanted to do something more beyond my undergrad degree. I looked into law school. I like the format and the style. The LSAT came pretty naturally to me, so it seemed like an obvious choice for next steps.

Q: What are you reading?

A: I’m reading “As I Lay Dying” by Faulkner, but I’m afraid that’s going to come across as too pretentious. I’m also reading a “Star Wars” comic book run that I’m very intrigued by, by Greg Pak.

Q: Pet peeve?

A: I hate being late to things. I’d rather show a half hour early than five minutes late.

Q: Best part of your work?

A: The complex and the creative textual analysis that comes with an insurance coverage analysis and dispute.

Q: Most challenging?

A: Work-life balance, particularly in the post-COVID, work-from-home or hybrid environments and keeping those barriers up.

Q: Favorite activity away from work?

A: I’m a huge baseball fan. I follow the Yankees religiously.

Q: Where would you take someone visiting your hometown?

A: I grew up in Englewood, New Jersey, right over the George Washington Bridge from New York City. I would take you to Zabar’s on the Upper West Side, for the best smoked salmon and bagels that you’ve ever had.

Q: Legal figure you most admire?

A: Louis Brandeis. First Jew on the Supreme Court. An excellent writer. His decisions still hold up.

Q: Misconception that others have about your work?

A: I’ve been a partner now for a few years. I think the misconception is you’ve made it once you become partner. And I think what I’ve found is that while it’s certainly a major career accolade, the grind still continues as much as before except now your taxes are a little bit more difficult to do.

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

A: “Legally Blonde,” the best legal film of all time. Reese Witherspoon is excellent. It’s funny, but also there’s the more serious side of not only law school but being in the courtroom and all the pitfalls there. That’s my comfort movie if I ever watch a legal film.

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