The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 8                                                                           September 2015

Hello, Goodbye
Dear Reader, 
This month I take inspiration (and some measure of comfort) from the Beatles' tune, "Hello, Goodbye."
"Hello" as in please help me welcome Kristin Giant, C4J's new Program Manager, who started on September 1.
"Goodbye" since I very reluctantly said "farewell" to Emily Lindholm, who's moved on to take a development position with Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services. 
Please, don't anyone do the math, but we just marked 50 percent attrition in C4J's staff. Of course, that's not difficult to do when you have just a two person nonprofit!
Many of you have worked directly with Emily and know how talented she is on many fronts--with graphics and design; as a coordinator of many moving parts; and as my right hand who was always cheery and supportive. Even more, I'll miss how Emily kept organized--something that constantly proves to be one of my personal challenges. 
I had a bit of extreme luck in connecting with Kristin, a 2014 University of St. Thomas Law grad who takes social consciousness and a desire to work for social justice to new levels. I'm looking to how Kristin can help take C4J to the next level--however that comes to be. Certainly, she'll instantly expand our outreach capabilities and as well she offers wonderful flexibility by being an additional lawyer on staff.
All I can say is "stay tuned."
Em, please know that I'm very thankful for all that you did in the twenty-six months you were a part of C4J! I wish you the very best for your future!
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. An Innovative Strategy to Increase Legal Aid Funding

MSBA's Prime Partners Give Extra Bank Interest 

Did you know that the MSBA has a Prime Partners  program for banks that voluntarily pay a higher interest rate on IOLTA bank accounts (Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts)? The extra money directly funds civil legal aid organizations in Minnesota. For any lawyer or law firm maintaining an IOLTA account at a Prime Partner bank, it's like making an ongoing donation to civil legal aid organizations without any cost!

For TLC readers who are associated with firms that maintain IOLTA accounts, please help support Prime Partner banks, including Stonebridge Bank in Minneapolis and Shakopee. Stonebridge Bank has been a leader in the Prime Partners program; since September 2014 when Stonebridge agreed to be a Prime Partner, it has contributed more than $30,000 in extra revenue that's become available for legal aid grants.

Supporting Prime Partner banks is easy-they can help you transfer existing IOLTA accounts, or business or personal accounts, for that matter. Contact information for each bank is available on the Prime Partners website. Thank you for considering this!
2. A Bit Late But........
Read the MSBA Task Force Reports
Earlier in the summer we reported on two MSBA Task Forces--the Future of Legal Education Task Force and the Future of the Legal Profession Task Force. However, we didn't tell readers how they could actually see what the Task Forces have recommended
Both Task Forces issued reports at the MSBA's Annual Assembly in June. Each report contains critical recommendations, so we suggest that you download the reports and review them to get a sense of where the Minnesota legal community is headed. The reports can be downloaded here (Legal Education) and here (Legal Profession).
3. Lindquist and VLN Create Poverty Training Program
Every Human Should See this Poverty Training Video!
Last fall, Target Corporation hosted a seminar, "Breaking Poverty Barriers to Equal Justice," led by Donna Beegle, Ph.D, a national spokesperson on the disparities created by poverty in the United States. Lindquist & Vennum and the Volunteer Lawyers Network sponsored the event, which was videotaped.

Now, L&V and VLN have created a Training Guide based on the seminar. The Guide (free to nonprofits), features 5 video modules of various durations, and includes an introduction by Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Lillehaug and various segments of Dr. Beegle's presentation. The program also includes a downloadable guidebook and attorney/client checklist. The guide can be viewed on the L&V website. Thank you L&V and VLN! You rock for doing this!
4. Coming: A C4J Toolkit on Targeted Legal Referrals
Everything We Know Digested Down to 4 Pages!
For several months, we've been working on an easy-to-understand/use Legal Resources Toolkit for the general public. We're happy to report the Toolkit will be complete by October 1st.
The Toolkit will encapsulate some of our best recommendations for legal referrals, including turning to United Way 211 for both legal and social service referrals (dial "2-1-1") and reminding persons in legal need that unless addressed quickly, legal "problems" often turn into legal "emergencies." Stay tuned for more on the C4J Toolkit!

5. Great Court Self Help Center Information 

Helpful resources by judicial district

Minnesota has a great Court Self Help Center system and there is much (legal clinics, phone advice, and general help) going on in each of the state's judicial districts. For a great comprehensive, one stop shop listing of Self Help resources judicial district by judicial district, go to  and click on "Legal Advice Clinics."

6. Remember to Utilize Minnesota Legal Advice Online

Now over a year old! 

It's been more than a year since Minnesota Legal Advice Online ( launched and we're advised that they've handled more than 1000 civil legal questions from Minnesotans. Remember to refer others to MLAO; it's available to Minnesotans age 14 and up with incomes of up to 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines; the program doesn't provide legal advice about bankruptcy or criminal matters.

7. 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.

8. LSNWM Launches New Partnership 

Innovative Medical-Legal Partnership 

Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota (LSNWMN) has announced an exciting partnership with the Northern Dental Access Center which will put an attorney at the Center! The partnership is scheduled to have an attorney present at the Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30am-4:30pm. Representation will be possible at 125% and advice and counsel up to 200%. Thank you, LSNWMN for your continued innovation and your commitment to serve the legal needs of the low income and elderly residents of the 22 counties you serve!

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

AWUM Fundraiser & Collaboration 

A C4J Legal Liaison organization, Asian Women United of Minnesota, will have a fundraiser on Thursday, October 1 at the Women's Club of Minneapolis, located at 410 Oak Grove Street. The event will run from 6 to 9 p.m.; the event is free and open to the public but registration is required at

3rd Annual IDKT Event  

C4J's 3rd Annual "I Didn't Know That" event has been scheduled! Mark your calendars for November 12, 2015 in the North Room at Minnesota CLE from 9am-12pm. Please RSVP by sending an email to Kristin Giant at

A Rockin' CLE and Other Events Calendar
Did you know that Projustice MN has a fantastic CLE calendar for seminars/trainings relevant to the nonprofit legal and social services communities? The calendar is extremely versatile-you can search by date, topic or location. This is all part of the relatively newly revamped ProJustice MN website. You can find the calendar here:
CLC 20th Anniversary Celebration
The Children's Law center of Minnesota invites you to join them in celebrating their 20th Anniversary with a Celebration and Benefit on Thursday, October 8th, 2015. The Event will be held at Windows on Minnesota (on the 50th floor, IDS Center) from 5:00pm-8:00pm. RSVP by October 1, 2015 either by phone (651.644.4438) or by registering online here.
MACDL Seeks New Executive Director
Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (MACDL) is seeking a new part-time executive director. MACDL is a business league non-profit designed to provide support, training and networking opportunities to criminal defense lawyers in Minnesota. It has 300 members who are both private and public defenders and is a chapter of the National Association out of Washington DC (NACDL). For more information please contact Charlie Clippert.
Robins Kaplan and the U Law School Team Up for an Insurance Law Clinic
Robins Kaplan and the University of Minnesota Law School have collaborated on an Insurance Law Clinic to provide pro bono assistance to persons facing insurance denials.  The work includes claim advice, negotiation of disputes, no fault arbitration, and, on occasion, litigation against the entity denying coverage. The types of insurance include auto, homeowners, accident and health, life, disability, etc. Eligibility is measured against the size of the claim and the client's ability to pay, e.g., a $30,000 cancer surgery bill is pretty tough for someone making $60,000 per year.
For information contact Richard B. Allyn at Robins Kaplan (612-349-8571) or  the U. of MN Law School Clinic Administrator's Office ( 612-625-9375) .   

One More "Goodbye" Along with a Huge "Thank You"
The Honorable Tom Fraser has rotated off C4J's board after more than three years of service. Many know that Tom (along with Mike Unger and others) was instrumental in helping to launch C4J. Tom helped to spearhead a huge pre-opening fundraising campaign and as well helped to put together a crack board of directors. On a personal note, Tom's also been one of my personal advisors, something that I so appreciated given that I didn't know the local legal community when I was hired.
Thank you Tom for all that you did for C4J and me! We are so very appreciative!


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, 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.