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

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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Lessons from Recent Judicial Elections

Now that the election season is behind us it’s time to examine the results and what they portend for future judicial elections in Minnesota.  At first glance it would appear that Minnesota once again avoided the unseemly partisan politics affecting states just across our borders.  No Minnesota Supreme Court justice was ousted over a controversial […]

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Tomorrow’s Bar Associations

The best-selling author and legal commentator, Richard Susskind, begins his latest book, Tomorrow’s Lawyers, by discussing hockey great, Wayne Gretzky, who famously advised to “skate where the puck’s going, not where it’s been.” Susskind similarly advises lawyers thinking about their futures to plan for a legal market as it will be and not as it […]

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Not Your Mother’s Pro Bono

The MSBA has long been committed to reducing barriers to the justice system for all Minnesotans.  For many years volunteer lawyers have played an important role in helping our state’s neediest seek justice through our civil legal system.  Doing pro bono work, however, is changing in the age of Google, Twitter, and the iPhone.  Fortunately […]

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