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

Minnesota welcomes a new generation of attorneys

Some 360 jubilant, newly licensed attorneys attended the fall Swearing-In Ceremony in Saint Paul with their families and friends on October 28, 2016. Proud parents, aunts, siblings, and even a daughter requested the Supreme Court to admit their relatives by motion. Margaret Fuller Corneille of the State Board of Law Examiners introduced the rest of the admittees. Justice Natalie Hudson urged the new attorneys to reflect on their accomplishment, value their integrity and reputation above all else, and uphold their professional duty to perform 50 hours of pro bono work each year. MSBA President Robin Wolpert reminded the new admittees that they are entering the legal profession at a time of great upheaval. She urged them to engage with the MSBA to forge a path ahead for the legal profession. A total of 631 graduates took the bar exam in July; 462 passed, a 73.22 percent passage rate.

Meet your new colleagues

Inti Martinez

Law School: Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Public Service Recognition for 50+ hours of pro bono work.

Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras

What are your plans? I will remain living in the Twin Cities, where I started my own full-service civil practice focused on the Latino population. There is a huge need for civil law attorneys for Latinos and Latinas—beyond immigration law. I offer my services on a sliding fee scale, but more inclined to low bono fee arrangements.

What are you most looking forward to about being a licensed attorney? Being free to choose my schedule, my clients, and my fees. Having practiced law for five years in Honduras, I was ready to go back to practice after suffering through law school again.

What do you anticipate to be your greatest challenge as a new attorney? Because I’m a newcomer to Minnesota, I don’t have the connections or the clout that many natives have. So starting my own practice might be challenging as I build a solid base of clients. However, because I foresaw this being a problem, I’ve been attending most networking events of interest since my 1L year. It’s paying off!

Are you an MSBA member? If so, are you a member of any sections? I’m a proud member of the MSBA. The Minnesota bench and bar is very competent, collegial and cordial, relative to the bench and bar in Chicagoland and Western New York (where I’ve lived before). These are some of the sections I belong to: Solo/Small, Legal Tech, Race and Criminal Justice, Business Law, Civil Litigation, Appellate Practice, Consumer Litigation, and Real Property.

Something you may not know about Inti Martinez: Over
160 of my attorney colleagues have been assassinated
in Honduras since 2004—including close relatives and friends. I didn’t want to become a victim of this rampant violence, so I had to flee persecution in 2013. I started from scratch. Leaving a lucrative and seemingly stable legal practice was very difficult, but I think I made the right choice. The best is yet to come in this marvelous nation. The last three to four years have been my “winter” time. Now spring
is here. I’m excited about all the great opportunities Minnesota has to offer!

Will Torhorst

Law School:  University of St. Thomas School of Law;
Sr. Editor, Journal of Law and Public Policy; Negotiations Competition Team; Dean’s Awards in Land Use, Corporate Governance, and Federal Income Tax

Hometown: Lake Geneva, WI

What are your plans? My wife, daughter and I live in Bloomington, and I am an associate with Thiel, Anderson & Kukla, where I expect to practice estate planning, real estate, and business law.

What are you most looking forward to about being a licensed attorney? I am looking forward to meeting with clients, solving problems, and serving the community to the best of my ability.

What do you anticipate to be your greatest challenge as a new attorney? Recognizing when I have done enough to prepare and when to say, that’s enough…!

Are you an MSBA member? If so, are you a member of any sections? Yes!!  I am a member of the following sections: Business Law; Construction Law; Corporate Counsel; Environmental/Natural Resources/Energy; New Lawyers; Probate and Trust Law; Real Property Law; and Solo and Small Firm Law.

Something you may not know about Will Torhorst: My wife and I moved from Wisconsin, purchased a new home, and had our first child during the first four months of my 1L year. Before law school I enjoyed a very rewarding career in the areas of land development, commercial construction, sales, and small business. I am excited to call on these experiences to help create a context, apply the law, and provide effective and well-reasoned legal advice to my clients.

Bethany Thompson

Law School: Mitchell Hamline School of Law (evening program), Cum Laude; two CALI Awards for Excellence

Hometown: Princeton, MN

What are your plans? I plan to continue living in St. Paul with my husband. I currently work as a law clerk for a firm in Eden Prairie, primarily working in the areas of family law and also do some work in eminent domain.

What are you most looking forward to about being a licensed attorney? I am looking forward to representing clients now that I will be a licensed attorney.

Are you an MSBA member? If so, are you a member of any sections? I am an MSBA member and currently a member of the Family Law section.

Something you may not know about Bethany Thompson:
I worked full-time during law school, attending the evening program at Mitchell. I worked for a private school all four years during the school months and used my summers to gain legal experience as a law clerk for a number of different firms. I became engaged to my now-husband during my 3L year and planned my wedding my final semester of law school. We got married in September, following the bar exam.

Daniel Sevcik

Law school: University of Minnesota

Hometown: Cedar Falls, IA

What are your plans? I plan to both live and work in the MSP metro.

What are you most looking forward to about being a licensed attorney? Mostly, I’m looking forward to having the bar exam in the rearview mirror; its permanent passing is only just beginning to set in. But in all seriousness, I’m looking forward to putting to good use the great honor of a law license that is now entrusted to me.  Having a law license means that each and every day I will have a unique opportunity to make an impact in a person’s life.  I think that is what most excites me.

What do you anticipate to be your greatest challenge as a new attorney? Learning how to practice law.  I took many opportunities (clinics, externships, law clerk) in law school to learn the practical aspects of practicing law.  That said, there are many aspects of representing clients from beginning to completion that have likely never entered my mind.  I look forward to learning this, but I believe it is the single greatest challenge that most of us now have to learn.

Are you an MSBA member? If so, are you a member of any sections? Yes, and  I am a member of many sections.

 

You can find special resources for new lawyers at www.mnbar.org/NL

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