The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 9                                                                           October 2015

Fresh Perspective
This month, we'll hear from my colleague, Kristin Giant, who joined Call for Justice, LLC in early September and who's hit the ground running with fresh perspective. Take it away, Kristin! 

Hello Readers:

My first month on the C4J team has been full of new faces, new projects, and new ideas. My black book has grown ten-fold, my day planner has increased twenty-fold, and my acronym bank has sprouted exponentially!  After only one short month, I have begun to recognize that C4J is just one element of the incredible legal nonprofit machine working to close the justice gap in the Twin Cities. I have been consistently astounded by the people I've met and their level of professionalism, intelligence, and commitment to justice in our fair Twin Cities. Thanks for the warm welcome!     

Additionally, I've been so excited to analyze some data for C4J and begin understanding the full impact of our services throughout the community and beyond. Between our 211 training, our Greater MN outreach, our own call data and our LLP program, we hear so much great feedback about how gaining knowledge of resources
empowers people to take charge of their own future. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this great team and to work in this incredible community.


kristin giant 
University of St. Thomas School of Law, Class of 2014 
Call for Justice, LLC Program Manager  
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:
© 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 be reproduced and used for noncommercial, personal and education use only. 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. Legal Liaison The Bridge for Youth Launches 400-SAFE

Anyone Working with Youth Need This Number! 

In early September, The Bridge for Youth (BFY), which participates in C4J's metro Legal Liaison Program, launched a 24-hour hotline for teens and families. The crisis hotline, 612-400-SAFE, is staffed around the clock by professional staff and volunteers who are trained to de-escalate a crises, provide emotional support, and connect youth and families with critical resources. Pew Research reports that in 2015, a typical teen sends 30 texts per day; the BFY's new program connects with teens in a way in which they feel safe and comfortable. For more information, contact Ali Kier, Youth Response Center Supervisor at the BFY (; 612-230-6666.)

The Bridge for Youth is seeking volunteers to help staff the crisis line at its Youth Response Center in Minneapolis.  Click here for more information.
2. Calling for Updates!
Tell Us if Cheat Sheet Revisions are Needed
C4J is in the process of updating its widely-acclaimed Legal Resources Cheat Sheet and we'd love to hear if your program information in the Cheat Sheet needs a tweak or two! Alternately, please tell us about any nonprofit legal resources that we've overlooked and should be listed on the Cheat Sheet. We want to be as complete and accurate as possible. Contact Kristin Giant at or call 612-333-4000. Thanks!

3. 10th Judicial District to Launch Monthly Legal Advice Clinic
Sponsored by CMLS and the 10th District
Beginning in November, there will be a new monthly legal clinic at the Isanti Government Center in Cambridge. The clinic, sponsored by Central Minnesota Legal Services and the 10th Judicial District, will have volunteer attorneys providing free brief advice on civil legal issues (divorce, custody, child support, landlord/tenant and conciliation court).

Frequency and time: 2nd Monday of every month from 1-4:00. Pre-registration suggested but not required. For questions or to register, contact Jessica Mastellar at CMLS, 320-257-4873 or 1-800-622-7773.

4. Don't Miss Pro Bono Week Activities
Get Involved and Get CLE Credit!
Capping Pro Bono Week (October 25-31) will be a lunch program, Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice:  A Snapshot , which features video excerpts of Dr. Donna Beegle, a national expert on communicating across barriers.  For 23 years, Dr. Beegle has worked with educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, and other organizations across the nation that want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty.  A panel of practitioners will discuss the excerpts and apply them to their own experiences working with low-income clients.  Justice David Lillehaug of the Minnesota Supreme Court will facilitate the discussion.

Lindquist & Vennum and the Volunteer Lawyers Network were instrumental in bringing Dr. Beegle's program to Minneapolis and then creating this video training series .

The event will be held on Tuesday, October 27th from 11:45 AM-1:30 PM at the Dorsey & Whitney law firm in downtown Minneapolis.  Lunch will be provided. 1.5 elimination of bias CLE credits have been applied for.  The cost is $25 for registrations by 10/23/15, $35 thereafter.  (Teleconferencing will be available at no charge.) Please click here for registration information.
Following the session, legal aid providers will offer training on-site at Dorsey & Whitney in the following areas: criminal expungements (Volunteer Lawyers Network), legal advice online (Legal Services State Support), working with children in poverty (Children's Law Center of Minnesota) and special education (Disability Law Center).  (There is no charge to attend any of these trainings.)  For a full description and registration information for the trainings, see .
5. Do You Know an "Out" Attorney in Outstate?
Tell them to apply for a $5K MLBA Fellowship!
The Minnesota Lavender Bar Association (MLBA), the largest professional association of LGBTQ lawyers in Minnesota, is working to increase LGBTQ attorney visibility and service in Greater Minnesota. Toward that end, the MLBA has created a $5,000 "Greater Minnesota Fellowship" that it will award to an "out" LGBTQ attorney practicing in outstate. The only qualifications are that the awardee be licensed and practicing in Greater Minnesota, be in good professional standing, and have a willingness to conduct outreach to serve LGBTQ clients and allies. Details can be found here.  Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested in applying for the Fellowship; the deadline is 10/31/15.

People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.
Judge Regina Chu Honored by ABOTA
We recently learned that on August 27, the American Board of Trial Advocates presented its 2015 Trial Judge of the Year Award to Hennepin County District Court Judge Regina Chu. In their comments, ABOTA members described Judge Chu as professional, patient, courteous, respectful and fair. Judge Chu was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Governor Jesse Ventura.

Congratulations Judge Chu for this well-deserved award!

3rd Annual IDKT Event  

Once again, C4J will coordinate "I Didn't Know That!" (re: Relatively Unknown Legal Resources), which in the past 2 years has been a huge hit with social service agencies and nonprofit legal providers. This year, in addition to highlighting various legal resources,  we're doing something a bit different--we'll also talk through scenarios involving various legal needs (landlord/tenant; criminal expungement, etc.). We hope you can join us!

The event will be held Thursday, November 12, 2015 9:00am-12:00pm at the Minnesota Continuing Legal Education Offices and is FREE! RSVP to Kristin at or call 612-333-4000.

Article by Judge Kevin S. Burke 

An article by Judge Kevin S. Burke on the important and timely topic of public trust building in the courts was published in The Star Tribune on October 2nd. The article can be found here, and is a must read. The article calls for Judges across the nation to work to reinvigorate trust in the process of law

Congrats to 2015 Bar Applicants! 

Lastly, I'd like to take a moment to congratulate all of the July 2015 Minnesota Bar applicants who got word on passing the exam. In particular, I want to say "way to go" to my long-time mentee Martha White-Price and to our very own Kristin Giant! Hooray!


In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our October issue, please contact Program Manager Kristin Giant at by October 4. We look forward to updating you again in the early Fall! 


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):
Lisa Lamm Bachman, Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Mark Bloomquist, Elizabeth A. Brenner, Dan Burton, Vicki & Richard Carlson, Regina M. Chu, Hanna T. Coleman, Emily Cooper, David Couillard, John Daly, 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, Jim Long, 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, Brent Routman, Joseph Satter, Laura Strong & Pam Michaud, John L. Sullivan, Vanessa Tennyson, Dennis Tharp, Jamila Tharp, Tom Tinkham & Jacquelyn "Jacq" Hauser, Mike Unger, Mary Vasaly, Ella Washington, Paul Wehrwein, Jodi Williams and Jay Wolkenbrod.