The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 2                                                                                        February 20, 2015
Thinking About Momentum
Dear Reader,

This marks the fifth issue of The Legal Connector, which we're finding that more people are referring to and commenting on (positively, that is!). We believe it's fast becoming a resource for the nonprofit legal and social services communities. We hope you agree!


And now a few words about momentum. Within the last week, two of the initiatives I'm involved in have hit speed bumps of one kind or another. I think we in the nonprofit legal and social service communities are used to projects progressing at a rather slow pace (there must be buy-in, constituency-building, and general attitude adjustments); for some of us, there's always a bit of frustration around that. Still, the two initiatives of which I speak have a certain momentum to them--the right personalities are involved, the subject matters are timely, and the landscape is ripe. What I fear is that time (endless meetings; bureaucratic delay) has the potential to derail momentum. It's something that all of us need to be aware of.


One way of ensuring for momentum is to have younger, diverse stakeholders involved. Too often we see the same people (of an older age group and the same ethnicity) at the table. Here's my vote for engaging younger folks (including diverse individuals) earlier and more often, so that they too get the fever and learn what it means to persistently press ahead with a good idea.


Just my two cents!  



Goings On:
Here are some happenings within the Twin Cities legal and social services landscapes.
In This Issue:

Numbers to Note:   


The number of civil domestic abuse cases filed statewide in 2013


The number of FTE Legal Aid attorneys in Minnesota in 2013


The number of persons served by the Self-Help Centers at the Hennepin County Family Justice Center and Government Center in 2013


The number of YouTube views of Call for Justice, LLC legal resource training videos in 2014

1. Cancer Legal Line
For Those Experiencing Cancer-Related Health Emergencies

We recently attended a presentation by Lindy Yokanovich, Executive Director of the Cancer Legal Line, which works to help with the legal needs of Minnesotans who are experiencing a cancer-related health crisis or emergency. Often, those crises involve a completely unexpected need to deal with estate issues and other issues centered around health insurance and medical providers.  


For those who haven't heard about the CLL, check out their website at  


Additionally, here's a power point that Lindy recently presented to the Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged subcommittee of the Minnesota State Bar Association: View Here. One of the wonderful aspects of this program is that it will provide full representation to persons with incomes of up to 300% FPG. Additionally, they will provide telephone advice regardless of income.

2. Legal Help for Small Businesses
An Introduction to LegalCORPS

Did you know that LegalCORPS provides pro bono legal services to small businesses in a number of ways: (1) they offer regular drop in advice clinics at the Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Libraries (click here for a schedule); (2) they will give brief advice in collaboration with SCORE (a service corps of retired executives -- at multiple locations throughout the state and (3) full pro bono representation to businesses based on the following eligibility guidelines: individuals must fall within 200% of federal poverty level; nonprofits must make $750,000 or less in gross annual revenue. LegalCORPS will also assist low-income entrepreneurs, applying annual household guidelines for the business owners (most of whom are self-employed or are starting a business). 


If you have questions, feel free to contact LegalCORPS at or by phone at 612-206-0780.

We'd like to give a shout out to TLC reader Gina DeConcini from the Oppenheimer law firm for suggesting that we highlight LegalCORPS. Thanks Gina!
3. I-CAN! Module: Joint Divorce WITH Children
The Latest from the Minnesota Courts Self-Help Center

Effective February 3, there's a new Joint Divorce WITH Children module as part of the state's I-CAN! online form system. Additionally, the new module includes language/questions in the program and on the forms that are compatible with same-sex marriage.  


For more information about the new module, visit

4. Your February "Tech Tip"  
Legal Services State Support Talks about "Fact Sheets"
Each month, Legal Services State Support (the electronic arm of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition) puts out "Tech Tips" on various aspects of their website, related services, and other useful tech tools for the community. This month's "Tip" relates to the 2015 Fact Sheets found on -- fact sheets that are perfect for attorneys and the public alike! As a collaboration between the Education for Justice Program (E4J) of MMLA and State Support, offers fact sheets on a variety of legal issues, all of which are written in language that is easy to understand, and are available for download and distribution.

To learn more about how to access these Fact Sheets, we encourage you to visit:

People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.

Minnesota Judicial Branch Annual Report

The 2013 Report to the Community

Did you know that Minnesota Judicial Branch publishes an annual report?  


It's filled with all kinds of interesting information--like the number of case filings per judicial district and community outreach metrics. Here's the link to the 2013 Annual Report (issued last March); we'll get you the link to 2014 report when it's issued.  

2015 Federal Poverty Guidelines 

Courtesy of MassLegalServices

As many programs that we list incorporate the Federal Poverty Guidelines into their intake restrictions, we thought we would share the latest guidelines with you! Courtesy of MassLegalServices, you can find income tables stratified by various FPG percentages and income measurements here:  

In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our March issue, please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm at by March 10.


Ellen (Ellie) Krug
Executive Director
- Made Possible by C4J Donors -

Foundation Support:
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Minnesota State Bar Foundation, Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation, Ramsey County Bar Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation.

Law Firms:

Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, P.A., Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Barry, Slade & Wheaton, LLC, Bassford Remele, A Professional Association, Best & Flanagan LLP, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Cooper & Reid, LLC, Cousineau McGuire, Chartered, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Fish & Richardson P.C., Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, Gray Plant Mooty, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Larson King, LLP, Lind, Jensen, Sullivan & Peterson, P.A., Lindquist & Vennum LLP, Maslon LLP, Mansfield, Tanick & Cohen, P.A., Merchant & Gould, Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., Stinson, Leonard Street LLP, Unger Law Office, Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

Businesses & Organizations:
Bestwestern Normandy Inn & Suites, Boston Scientific, Brending Electrolysis, Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.

Friends of Justice:

Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Dan Burton, Vicki and Richard Carlson, Emily Cooper, David Couillard, John Daly, Gina DeConcini, Martha Delaney, Paul Dieseth, Liz and Brian Dillon, Phyllis Doman, Jerrad Fenske, Charles Ferrell (In honor of Richard Kyle), Al and Ellen Fisher, Donna and Paul Floyd, Donald and Arvonne Fraser (In honor of Hon. Tom Fraser), Sara Galligan, Beth Garland, Elise Ginsburg, Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Fouthma Haji-Taki, Rebecca Hallette, Joy Hamilton, Frank and Jayne Harris, Bradley Hart, Catharine Haukedahl, Amy Walsh Kern, Anita Kozan (In memory of Ruth Evelyn Iverson Kozan), Ellen Krug, Mark Krug, Richard Kyle, Jr. and Elizabeth Wittenberg, Brian and Erin Lindholm, John Medeiros, Pete Michaud and Tom Wilson, Caitlin Miles, Alan Miller, Kathy Moran, Ari Murphy, Jean Nead, Crystal Ng, Kathy Nielsen, Melissa Otto, Gary Pederson, Kelly Phillips, David Piper, David Potter, Jill Prohofsky, Paul Quast, Linda Raines, Christine Rehm, Thea Reilkoff, Liz Reppe, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong and Pam Michaud, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham and Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams, and Jay Wolkenbrod.