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Find out what your bar leadership has to say about issues affecting the profession and society.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear . . .

In June of this year, the MSBA Assembly adopted a recommendation to form a task force to consider whether we should support development of a new, non-attorney category of licensed legal service providers. This is an idea that has generated a good deal of apprehension among our members, many of whom are feeling economic pressure […]

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Mo’ Bono Publico

This past summer Minneapolis played host to a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Legal Services Corporation of America. They help fund Legal Aid programs throughout our country, and form the backbone of our nation’s pro bono resources. The LSC president eloquently reminds us that both the first sentence of our Constitution (“We […]

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Improving Our Values Proposition

When I first began attending national conferences of bar leaders, I was surprised to learn that many, if not most, states have a mandatory bar association. If we followed that model here, we would have thousands of additional members. We could lower our dues, expand our member services, or opt for a little of both. […]

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Cases of Controversy

“Trying to be relevant to the challenging issues of the day is one way that our organization can offer greater value to our members. Simply ‘playing it safe’ does not.” In my first column I addressed the importance of the bar’s role in advocating for the profession. Before that article went to press, I was […]

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Lawyers Making a Difference

My first MSBA experience was serving as a volunteer on something called the Court Rules committee, about 25 years ago. As a young plaintiff personal injury lawyer at the time, I was thrilled to participate in an association that could make a difference in formulating the court rules that so affected both my professional life […]

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A Time of Opportunity and Change

In his new book Glass Half Full: The Decline and Rebirth of the Legal Profession (Oxford University Press 2015)—an excerpt of which appears in this issue of Bench & Bar—Benjamin H. Barton outlines the enormous challenges facing the legal profession. Law schools are churning out too many graduates with dim job prospects. Law firms’ fee […]

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Bridging the Bar’s Generation Gap

Is the Minnesota State Bar Association prepared for the rise of the “millennial generation” in the legal workplace? This year millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are projected to surpass baby boomers as the largest generation in the US workforce, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In contrast to aging baby boomers, […]

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Member Profiles: If We Don’t Measure…

Periodically at the Fix Studio where I work out, cyclists perform a 30-minute “threshold test” to measure average power output.  It is the best predictor of athletic endurance performance.  All that’s required is to bike as hard as you can possibly go for 30 minutes.  It’s a painful test dreaded by all participants.  The reason […]

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Social Skills Practice

One of the privileges of being MSBA President is the opportunity to travel across the state visiting district bar associations at their annual meetings.  It’s a great way to meet members and learn about the issues facing district bars.  These meetings are a lot of fun too.  My recent visit to the 12th District’s winter […]

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Legislative Challenges & Opportunities

The upcoming 2015 legislative session, which began on January 6, brings unique challenges and opportunities for the MSBA.  The Capitol building is under construction and the Republican takeover in the House means we will have to navigate a closely divided legislature, work with new leadership and committee chairs, and build relationships with 26 new House […]

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