The Legal Connector

Vol. 3, No. 1                                                                                   January 2016

From Ellie's Desk
Dear Reader:

On Monday the 19th (MLK Day), I had lunch with several folks who, like me, are part of a downtown Minneapolis service club. The purpose of the meeting?

To discuss creation of the club's very first diversity and inclusion committee.

The club, now 30 years old, has never before focused on the need for such a committee. Given that the club--like most other service clubs in Minnesota--is predominately white and male, certainly now's the time to begin real work toward greater diversity and inclusivity.

Someone in the group commented on how fitting it was that on all of the days in the year, we were meeting on Dr. King's birthday. I couldn't have agreed more.

As we wrapped up the meeting, a person spoke of how there's a difference between "talk" and "action." He wanted the new diversity and inclusion committee to be action oriented. It was heartwarming to hear.

I've sat in on many, many meetings where there was great talk about the existence of a problem or about how to solve a problem. Far more infrequently is there ever creation of a concrete immediate action plan where people walk away with specific tasks to perform. For me personally, that's always quite frustrating since I'm of the ilk to make things happen. I think that's part of my DNA.

For those of you like me, here's to being oriented to action as we start the new year!

Go get 'em!
Goings On:
Here are some happenings within the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota legal and social services landscapes.

Some of What's In This Issue:

Save the date for our upcoming Spring Fundraiser with musical guests Black Market Brass!
© Call for Justice, LLC. Note: The Legal Connector seeks to better inform the Minnesota nonprofit legal and social services communities of relevant developments that might impact their work in helping low-income Minnesotans connect with legal services. This publication may only be reproduced and used for noncommercial, personal and education use. All other rights reserved. To the extent opinions are expressed in the TLC, they are solely opinions of Call for Justice, LLC. In the event we get something wrong or incorrect, let us know and we'll make the appropriate correction. As much as we hate to admit it, we're not perfect.
1. Training: Employment Discrimination

From Legal Services State Support 

Have you ever had a client describe a situation at work, or tell you about being fired, and they want to know if they were discriminated against? If this isn't a case you would typically handle, you may be wondering what to do next...

Join Legal Services State Support for an online webinar training on Employment Discrimination: Identifying and Referring Cases on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 9:00-11:00am. The cost ranges from $10-$40 depending on whether you are a law student or employed at a non profit vs. for profit organization. For more information and to register visit the event's website here.
2. New Pro Bono Clinic for Domestic Abuse Victims
New organization to help victims of Domestic Violence
Starting in February 2016, a pro bono legal clinic providing legal services to the clientele at Women's Advocates, Inc., will commence. The goal is for this to be a once-a-month clinic. The clinic will be provided by a new entity, Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center, PSC. For more information, contact Rachel Schromen at
3. Representing Youth in Foster Care
Children's Law Center CLE for new volunteer attorneys
Children's Law Center's next CLE training will be held on from 8:00am -12:30pm, Friday, February 19, 2016 at Lindquist & Vennum. The topic will be "Representing Youth in Foster Care." This half-day training earns you 3.75 CLE credits and is the perfect fit for anyone's busy schedule! This training program focuses on preparing pro bono lawyers to represent foster children and includes a comprehensive overview of the child protection system in Minnesota, as well as an opportunity to learn from current CLC attorneys, child advocates, and experts.

For more information and to register visit the website here. 
4. 2016 Child Protection Symposium
Sponsored by Children's Law Center and the Child Protection Program at Mitchell/Hamline School of Law
The 2016 Child Protection Summit will be held on Friday, February 26, 2016 - 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
at Mitchell Hamline School of Law.

A Critical Look at Parent and Child Representation: Can Improved Representation Impact Reentry and Other Outcomes for Families in Minnesota's Child Protection System? Come to learn from local and national experts in the field about how improvements to parent and child representation in the system are linked to positive outcomes for children and families.  This event is open to the public, but we believe it will be especially pertinent for judges, attorneys, elected officials and policy makers. 
Cost: $25.00.  Lunch is included. Application will be made for 6.5 standard CLE credits.
5. MSBA "I Bank of Justice" Program
Banks doing good
The Minnesota State Bar Association administers an "I Bank on Justice" Prime Partner program which recognizes banks that support access to justice for low income Minnesotans by paying higher interest on IOLTA (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts) than is legally required. Currently, Prime Partner banks pay a net interest rate of 0.5%. 

Since the recession began in 2006, and with the continuation of historically low interest rates, Minnesota has experienced a catastrophic plunge in IOLTA revenue, from over $3 million annually to under $302,000. The loss of IOLTA revenue translates into millions less in funding for civil legal services and pro bono programs, which in turn means fewer resources to address the legal issues of Minnesota's growing population of low income and disadvantaged people. Paying 0.5% in IOLTA account interest will translate into tens of thousands in additional funding towards meeting the legal needs of legal services' clients. The banks that currently participate as Prime Partners are Stonebridge Bank, Community Bank, Riverland Bank and Unity Bank North. More information about this program can be found here.

Attorneys: Please consider Prime Partner banks as you make your banking decisions. 
6. C4J's Upcoming 211 Training on Tribal Courts and Indian Law
You're Invited!
Next week (January 28 1:30-3 or January 29 1-2:30) Call for Justice, LLC will conduct its 27th training session for United Way 211. This session's topic will be "Tribal Courts and Indian Law" and will provide a 10,000' view of Minnesota's tribal court system and key aspects of Indian law. Our presenter will be Ron Walters from the Indian Child Welfare Act Law Center (ICWA) (thank you Ron!). The training will be the same both days (we can't pull all of the 211 folks off the phones at the same time); you are welcome to attend. It's free! Contact Kristin Giant at to sign-up.
7. Remember "#WeAreLegalAid"
Success Stories Abound
We continue to tip our collective hat to Lindsay Davis at the MSBA for maintaining a great website, "We Are Legal Aid," which reports on Legal Aid (as that phrase is broadly defined) success stories in keeping folks in their homes or protected from abusers or with continued access to government benefits. If you haven't yet checked out the website, we urge you to do so at If you have a nonprofit legal services-related success story, please tag the story with #wearelegalaid or share the story directly with Lindsay at 
People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.
C4J Spring Fundraiser - Save the Date!
Mark your calendars for April 14th, 2016 from 6:00-8:30pm for our 3rd Annual Spring Fundraiser at the Illusion Theater! This year's event, "A Night with Black Market Brass" will feature one of the most exciting up-and-coming musical acts in the twin cities! More information will follow shortly -- but we promise you won't want to miss this incredible night of music, fundraising, and celebration.
LSAC Issues Annual Report
In November, the Legal Services Advisory Committee (LSAC) issued its annual report for Minnesota's legal services-related (as that phrase is broadly defined) recipients of state funding. The report is full of wonderful data about the great work that nonprofit legal providers are doing in Minnesota; included is that stat that in 2014, LSAC grantees achieved a $32 million dollar benefit for clients in the form of either protecting existing benefits or by obtaining new benefits for Minnesotans in legal need. The report (8 pages long) is well worth reviewing. You can see the report here.  
Looking for a Great Addition to Your Team?
C4J has come across the resume of Robert Rafn, a great communications professional with extensive experience in print and digital graphics, strong writing skills, recent digital marketing training, and who has an intense desire to work for a nonprofit. Known as a strategic big picture thinker, a proactive problem solver, and a clear and mindful communicator, Rob is extremely experienced in writing copy, organizing events, and graphic design. For more information, contact Rob at   
Good luck Kristin!
It is with sadness that we say goodbye to the current C4J Program Manager, Kristin Giant, who is relocating out of state. We wish you well Kristin!
Welcome Brettina!
We're pleased to announce the hire of Brettina Davis as C4J's next Program Manager. Brettina has a BA in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and extensive experience in social media marketing. Most recently, she's served as the media and outreach coordinator for the Twin Cities Coalition for Justice for Jamar. We're thrilled to have Brettina (she goes by "B") join the C4J team!

Welcome B!
In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our February issue, please contact our incoming Program Manager Brettina Davis at  by February 4. We look forward to updating you again soonl! 


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


Foundation Support:
The Dorsey & Whitney Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, Gray Plant Mooty Foundation, Hennepin County Bar Foundation, Leonard, Street and Deinard Foundation, Otto Bremer Foundation, Ramsey County Bar Foundation and The Saint Paul Foundation.


Law Firm Support:
Aafedt, Forde, Gray, Monson & Hager, P.A., Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A., Barry & Helwig, LLC, Bassford Remele, A Professional Association, Best & Flanagan LLP, Briggs and Morgan, Professional Association, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Collins, Buckley, Sauntry & Haugh, PLLP, Cooper & Reid, LLC, Cousineau McGuire, Chartered, Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Eric Richard Law Office, Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Fish & Richardson P.C., Foley & Mansfield, PLLP, Fredrikson & Byron, PA, Gray Plant Mooty, Halleland Habicht PA, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Jerry A. Burg Law Office, 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., McShane Bankruptcy LLC, Meagher & Geer, P.L.L.P., Merchant & Gould, Moss & Barnett, A Professional Association, Nilan Johnson Lewis PA, Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP, Robins Kaplan LLP, Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner, P.A., Stinson Leonard Street LLP, Unger Law Office, Wallen-Friedman & Floyd, PA and Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.


Business & Community Support:
Best Western Normandy Inn, Boston Scientific, Brending Electrolysis, Carpenter, Evert and Associates, Ltd., Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Michaud, Cooley, Erickson & Associates, Inc., Minnesota CLE and Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company.  


Friends of Justice (Individual Donors):
David Anderson, Lisa Lamm Bachman, Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Joan Bibelhausen, Mark Bloomquist, Elizabeth A. Brenner, Dan Burton, Vicki & Richard Carlson, Regina M. Chu, Hanna T. Coleman, Emily Cooper, Eric Cooperstein, David Couillard, Clara Cypull, Joan Countryman, John Daly, Lindsay Davis, Gina DeConcini, Martha Delaney, Paul Dieseth, Liz & Brian Dillon, Phyllis Doman, Jerrad Fenske, Charles Ferrell (In honor of Richard Kyle), Al & Ellen Fisher, Donna & Paul Floyd, Donald & Arvonne Fraser, Tom Fraser, Sara Galligan, Beth Garland, Elise Ginsburg, Sara Granberg-Rademacker, Fouthma Haji-Taki, Rebecca Hallette, Joy Hamilton, Frank & Jayne Harris, Bradley Hart, Robert J. Hauer, Jr., Catharine Haukedahl, Dick & Peg Kavaney, Amy Walsh Kern, Anita Kozan (In memory of Ruth Evelyn Iverson Kozan), Ellen Krug, Mark Krug, Richard Kyle, Jr. & Elizabeth Wittenberg, Brian & Erin Lindholm, Emily Lindholm, Jim Long, Steve Marchese, Larry McDonough, John Medeiros, Pete Michaud & Tom Wilson, Caitlin Miles, Alan Miller, Kathy Moran, Diana Morrissey, Ari Murphy, Jean Nead, Crystal Ng, Kathy Nielsen, Kelly Olmstead, Melissa Otto, Laurie & Gary Pearcy, Gary Pederson, Kelly Phillips, David Piper, David Potter, Jill Prohofsky, Paul Quast, Linda Raines, Mary Rea, Christine Rehm, Thea Reilkoff, Liz Reppe, Becky Rooney, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong & Pam Michaud, Ellen Sackrison, John L. Sullivan, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham & Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Tiana Towns, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams and Jay Wolkenbrod.