Bench + Bar of Minnesota

North Star Lawyers certification is open!

Each year the MSBA is proud to recognize members who have contributed at least 50 hours of pro bono work in our communities. More than just a recognition, the North Star Lawyers program provides a way for our community to come together, demonstrating the vital importance of showing up for those vulnerable to injustice. 

North Star has always been a partnership between lawyers and the organizations that make pro bono work possible. We’re also continuing a grant program launched last year: When you certify as a North Star Lawyer, you have the option to enter the organization where you completed your pro bono legal services. If that was through a nonprofit funded by the Minnesota State Bar Foundation (MSBF) or eligible for CLE credit for pro bono, the organization will be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 grant from the MSBF. This grant was awarded to Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services in 2023. 

North Star is about the many generous lawyers who walk alongside clients, meeting them in their time of need. Whether that was in a clinic, by helping with paperwork, mentoring a new pro bono attorney, or through litigation, everyone has important skills to offer. We celebrate MSBA members who commit to pro bono—because even though it isn’t always glamorous or easy, it’s always important. 

To certify as a North Star Lawyer, visit our website at or check with your firm about sending in all your colleagues’ contributions. If you didn’t hit the 50-hour mark in 2023, now is a great time to start for 2024. Visit for a full listing of pro bono organizations or reach out to Access to Justice Director Katy Drahos ( for personal recommendations and connections. 


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