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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 Statement on DACA Repeal

    immigration-250x150At its meeting on September 15, the MSBA Assembly adopted the ABA resolution regarding the repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, with some minor modifications. The resolution was brought to the Assembly by the MSBA’s Diversity and Inclusion Council and the Immigration Law Section Council. The text of the statement is available here.

  • Rules of Professional Conduct

    Rules-of-Professional-ConductMSBA members Eric Cooperstein and Fred Finch represented the viewpoint of the MSBA’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) Committee at the recent Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board (LPRB) meeting. The LPRB included the RPC Committee’s proposed amendments to Rule 5.5 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct. The draft amendments were spurred by the Court’s decision in In re Panel File 39302884 N.W.2d 661 (Minn. 2016) and the invitation to suggest how the rule could better reflect the bar’s understanding of the meaning of fields of practice that are “reasonably related” to a lawyer’s practice in a jurisdiction in which the lawyer is licensed. The RPC Committee seeks feedback from MSBA sections and attorneys on the proposed changes. Any comments are due to Nancy Mischel, nmischel@mnbar.org, by September 22.

  • Update on Status of MSBA Rules Petition

    Gavel-documentIn early September of 2016, the MSBA filed a petition for amendments to the MN Rules of Civil Procedure, which would: a) bring a number of the rules into conformity with the federal rules of Civil Procedure, and 2) require the court to allocate 50% of unclaimed cy pres funds in state class action suits to civil legal services. The court referred the petition to its Advisory Committee on the Rules of Civil Procedure. In its report, the Advisory Committee recommended the court adopt a number of the proposed changes that would bring the MRCP into conformity with the Federal Rules, but recommended against adoption of the cy pres provision. Stay tuned for more information on how the court decides to proceed.

Our Leaders

SoniaMiller-Van Oort


Sonia Miller-Van Oort
Sapientia Law Group PLLC

Paul Godfrey


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.



Tom Nelson
Stinson Leonard Street LLP



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.