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About MSBA

Minnesota State Bar Association

Championing Justice, Equality, and Professionalism

Our Diversity Enriches Us, Our Inclusion Empowers Us

Founded in 1883, the Minnesota State Bar Association is the oldest professional association for attorneys in Minnesota. For licensed attorneys in Minnesota, membership is voluntary. Membership is open to any attorney licensed to practice law in any state. Membership is also available to law students, paralegals, and law management associates.

Accommodations: The MSBA is committed to creating an inclusive environment in which all members can participate fully. Please contact us if there are reasonable accommodations that would allow you to participate more fully within the Minnesota State Bar Association.


What We're Doing

  • MSBA at BLE: Rule 7A hearing

    MSBA members Eric Cooperstein and Fred Finch represented the MSBA at a public hearing held by the Board of Law Examiners (BLE) on January 16. The Supreme Court had directed the BLE to review its interpretation of the Rule 7A requirement that a lawyer seeking admission without examination under the rule must establish that for 60 of 84 months immediately preceding the application, the lawyer was "(e)ngaged, as principal occupation, in the lawful practice of law." The MSBA, which had submitted comments on the issue, spoke in opposition to a minimum practice requirement of 120 hours per month. Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, the Hennepin County Bar Association, and Minnesota Women Lawyers also appeared at the hearing. All opposed the 120-hour requirement. At the conclusion of the hearing, BLE Chair Douglas Peterson indicated that the BLE did not have a specific timetable for concluding its deliberations on Rule 7A.



Our Leaders

SoniaMiller-Van Oort

President

Sonia Miller-Van Oort
Sapientia Law Group PLLC

Paul Godfrey

President-Elect

Paul Godfrey
Law Office of Paul Godfrey

What I do: I work for Farmers Insurance as the managing attorney for the Law Offices of Paul W. Godfrey. I manage 12 lawyers in our office who provide representation for Farmers and its insureds throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin.    

My Volunteer Work:
Ramsey County Bar Association Committees
MSBA Civil Litigation Section
MSBA Secretary
MSBA Treasurer
MSBA President-Elect

Advice to New Members: If you want to become a leader, get involved in Bar activities. You will need to collaborate with people over whom you have no authority, find solutions to new and different problems, and adapt to a multitude of perspectives.

TomNelson

Treasurer

Tom Nelson
Stinson Leonard Street LLP

DyanEbert

Secretary

Dyan Ebert
Quinlivan & Hughes PA

What I do: I practice in the area of employment law, with an emphasis on public employment litigation. My clients are located throughout Minnesota and the matters I handle range from administrative actions to state and federal district court cases. 

My Volunteer Work: 
Local bar associations
Regional bar associations
Practice specific associations
MSBA Secretary

Advice to New Members: Join a Section to utilize resources relating to the substantive area of law you practice, give back to your community by volunteering as an attorney coach or judge through the Mock Trial program, or take on a pro bono case in conjunction with the Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee.