Colleague Corner

Meet Irene Kao: ‘I find value in helping people who help others’

IRENE KAO is the intergovernmental relations counsel at the League of Minnesota Cities, where she advocates on behalf of cities at the state Legislature and serves as legal counsel for the lobbying department. The League of Minnesota Cities is a membership organization serving over 830 cities through advocacy, education, and risk management. For more information, […]

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Meet Ryan McCarthy: ‘You have to be able to adapt’

RYAN McCARTHY is the chair of the New Lawyers Section of the MSBA, a member of the MSBA Executive Committee and Council, and an associate at the law firm of Bowman and Brooke, LLP.  Prior to joining the firm, Ryan served as an assistant county attorney with the Dakota County Attorney’s Office, prosecuting felony person […]

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Meet Karin Ciano: ‘I stepped out of “traditional”—and never regretted it.’

Why did you go to law school? I was a smart-ass kid in South Jersey. Grown-ups kept saying I should be a lawyer, so to meet some actual lawyers I joined the high school mock trial team. The lawyers taught me magic words, like: “The prejudicial effect outweighs the probative value.” After looking up probative […]

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Meet Dan Adkins: ‘Defending that which appears indefensible’

DAN ADKINS, a 1994 graduate of the George Mason University School of Law, worked as a litigator with the Defender Association of Philadelphia, among other stops, before opening his own firm in 2008. That firm has evolved into North Star Criminal Defense, where Dan presently represents folks charged with crimes (dozens of jury trials in […]

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Meet Emily Cooper: ‘I get to help people every day’

Emily K. Cooper (Cooper Law LLC) is a 1996 honors graduate from the University of Minnesota Law School. In her 22 years of practice she has worked with clients and companies at all levels. She has practiced in the area of civil litigation and family law at a major law firm in Ohio and spent […]

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Meet Tom Leighton: ‘An entirely new legal environment’

TOM LEIGHTON is vice president of content acquisition and judicial relations at Thomson Reuters Legal in Eagan, Minnesota. He started at West Publishing in 1989 as a headnote editor and has had a series of interesting and challenging roles in the succeeding 28 years as the company has evolved. He and his wife Jeanette have […]

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Meet Amanda Heinrichs-Milburn: ‘I saw a need for an outstate voice’

You currently serve on the MSBA Outstate Section council. Tell us about your involvement on the council and any projects or initiatives you’re working on. I saw that there was a need for an outstate voice at St. Thomas, so I founded a student group, the Outstate Practice Cooperative, during my first year at St. […]

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Meet Liz Kramer: ‘I really love to win’

Why did you decide to go to law school? Originally I dreamed of a career in politics. When I was working at a think tank in Washington, D.C. after college, one of my mentors convinced me that law school would open up lots of potential paths for me (beyond just politics). He was right. I […]

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Meet Thomas Winters: ‘I fell in love with the community’

THOMAS P. WINTERS is a general practitioner at Ramstad, Skoyles & Winters in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where his practice is focused mostly on estate planning and probate. A 2009 graduate of William Mitchell College of Law, he and his wife, Erin Winters, have a one-year-old son and another child on the way.  Tell us about […]

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Meet Lisa Kallemeyn: ‘Tech has made all the difference’

LISA KALLEMEYN has been exclusively practicing family law and ADR for more than 23 years. She is a fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the International Academy of Family Lawyers, and the American Bar Foundation. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis and Judicare of Anoka County […]

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