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

Attorney – Personal Injury Defense

Fourteen-Lawyer Twin Cities firm is seeking an attorney with 7-20 years litigation experience for its national personal injury defense practice. Please contact hiring attorney at: ddonna@donnalaw.com.

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DATWA’s Reach Grows

8th Circuit rules Minnesota’s Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act has multi-state reach The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit recently expanded the reach of the Minnesota Drug and Alcohol Testing in the Workplace Act1 (DATWA) by ruling that the Act can apply to the employees of Minnesota-based employers working in […]

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A Change of Venue for Trade Secret Disputes: How the Defend Trade Secrets Act will impact Minnesota law

In May President Obama signed the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act. And though it shares much in common with existing state law, Minnesota attorneys must reckon with the changes it brings—chief among them a shift to original jurisdiction in the federal courts and a new set of complications involving trade secrets and whistleblowing claims. The […]

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A Profession on Edge: Introduction

In 1999, the MSBA published For The Record: 150 Years of Law and Lawyers in Minnesota, a compendium of historical essays, yarns and figures charting the Minnesota legal profession’s growth from the appointment of its first judges in 1849 to the state’s surpassing of the 20,000-lawyer threshold in 1999. The publication of this comprehensive volume […]

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Jobs in the Law: A Profession hits “Pause”

The past 15 years have witnessed the onset of a technological and commercial revolution in the delivery of legal services that is inflaming cost-containment pressures from clients, transforming the reach of legal technology into everyday practice, and refiguring in basic ways the number and nature of lawyering jobs available. The last point is perhaps the […]

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Law School: Caveat Emptor

In 2014, Minnesota licensed a total of 752 new lawyers,1 most or all of them presumably eager to join the 25,272 lawyers already licensed in the state. Unhappily, Minnesota’s legal profession did not (because it could not) greet them with open arms. Instead, according to ABA data, Minnesota’s net total lawyer population decreased by 750 […]

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Getting Paid: Is Time Running Out on the Hourly Rate?

Years ago, I was visiting a friend and fellow lawyer who practiced in Wisconsin at the time. “Isn’t law great?” he asked. “What other business can you think of where you get to decide how much money you want to make, and then convert that to an hourly rate which everybody then agrees to pay?” […]

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BigLaw: The World of the Megafirm

When my father joined St. Paul’s venerable Oppenheimer firm in 1937, it was already a “big” firm of seven lawyers. Like many others, he practiced his whole career at the same firm. When I came out of law school in 1968, Oppenheimer was one of the large firms in the Twin Cities, and has been […]

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RealLaw: How the Rest of Us Practice

BigLaw attracts a lot of attention these days, but it’s the rest of us that the average American envisions when he or she thinks about lawyers and what lawyers do. Apart from the fact that we have no choice but to adapt to the ever-increasing barrage of changes in technology and communications media that affect […]

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On Edge: The Future of the Profession

As I wrap up this special issue, I offer fair warning that the following is a personal plea from me to each of you who has been interested enough to read this far. It is a plea that you revisit the very concept of “profession” as it applies to what we do—the legal profession—and that […]

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