Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

North Star Lawyer Season

A message from MSBA President Mike Unger

Three years ago, my predecessor, Bob Enger, announced the creation of the North Star Lawyers program to recognize those MSBA members who provide essential volunteer legal services to Minnesota’s low income residents. This program celebrates the work of members who meet or exceed 50 hours of pro bono service in a calendar year, as set forth in Rule 6.1(a), (b)(1) and (b)(2) of our state’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

“The response over the first three years of the program has been huge – over 740 MSBA members were certified as North Star Lawyers for 2012 with an increase to 967 last year. North Star Lawyers provided over 108,500 total volunteer hours of pro bono service with an estimated value of $21,700,000 during 2014. The MSBA recognized North Star Lawyers with advertisements last spring in the Bench & Bar of Minnesota and Star Tribune listing the names of each participating member, in addition to press releases to news outlets statewide and a special electronic logo suitable for website, email or other usage.

“We know there are many more of you who have provided pro bono service this year and want to make sure you are included in this year’s effort to recognize pro bono legal service. We’d love to see more than 1,100 North Star Layers for 2015. Now is the time for all MSBA members who meet the program requirements to certify their 2015 pro bono service, including members who previously participated in the program. Please don’t delay—the deadline for submitting your information is February 29, 2016. Full program information and the certification form can be found on the North Star Lawyers website at

“If you have questions about the North Star Lawyers program, please contact Steve Marchese, Pro Bono Development Director for the MSBA, at or (612) 278-6308.”

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