The Legal Connector

Vol. 2, No. 3                                                                                           March 19, 2015
The Collaborative Attitude
Dear Reader,


We've recently experienced an uptick in the number of organizations and individuals reaching out to Call for Justice, LLC for potential collaborations and joint projects. In my book, this is quite wonderful; after all, C4J is very small (just two people) and it would be fairly impossible for us to accomplish much if we had to go at things alone.


All of this has me thinking about what I call "the collaborative attitude." As I've navigated the nonprofit world during the last three years, I've encountered organizations that are extremely open to collaborating on one thing or another. On the other hand, I've also met organizations that seem far less willing to join forces, which of course is alright. Still, I know that donors love to see collaborations, so I wonder how non-collaborators will fare.


Because I'm never the smartest person in the room, it's always great to brainstorm with others. I love the process of give and take and that light bulb moment when things click. It's that clicking that helps to fulfill our mission--helping low-income Minnesotans connect with civil legal resources.


It's thus my hope that I always exude a collaborative attitude! Please feel free to reach out to us; we're here as a community resource for everyone!



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

1. MN Government Benefits Programs: Summarized
MN CLE Issues a Summary Guide to Minnesota Government Benefits Programs

Laura Melnick from Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services has authored a new Summary Guide on government benefit programs for Minnesota Continuing Legal Education, Inc. The Summary Guide to Minnesota Government Benefits Programs details the purpose, eligibility, grant amounts/payments, and time limits (among other things) relative to MFIP (Minnesota Family Investment Program), General Assistance, Unemployment Insurance and Social Security Supplemental Income and Disability programs, as well as other programs.  


This is a very easy to use and readable guide. MN CLE will make the guide available for a fee. Contact MN CLE at 651-227-8266 to order a copy. 

2. Step Up to Help STEP-UP! 
STEP-UP Seeks Partnering Organizations for Summer Internships

The STEP-UP Achieve Summer 2015 Internships campaign is well underway and excited to partner with legal employers, for-profit employers and nonprofit employers!  With a regional skilled worker shortage looming in the near future, we collectively have a tremendous opportunity to tap the thousands of talented Minneapolis youth who are eager to "step up" and into internships that will shape their futures and change their lives.  


For those unfamiliar, STEP-UP Achieve places inner city high school students with employers during the summer as a way of exposing them to various career possibilities. It's a wonderful program that helps both the student and the employer.


Please make a pledge to commit to hiring an intern for the first time, or increase the number of positions you will offer this summer. Check out STEP-UP's Summer 2015 Employer Toolkit and then get started by filling out the job description form today!


If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to Adrienne Liska:

Phone: 612-455-1536



3. Something to Get on Your Radar 
The National Health Law Program Advocates for Low-Income and Marginalized Persons
One of the many positive outcomes of my trip to the ABA's midyear conference last month was sitting in on a presentation by the executive director of NHeLP, the National Health Law Program. I was totally unfamiliar with NHeLP, which "protects and advances the health rights of low income and underserved individuals." The program bills itself as "the oldest nonprofit of its kind."


Among other things, NHeLP is actively involved in defending the 2010 Affordable Care Act and shaping its implementation in ways that meet the needs of low-income and diverse communities. Additionally, the program works to protect Medicaid and CHIP access for children and adolescents and the health care rights of persons of color, women (including reproductive health issues and making contraceptive equity a reality), immigrant communities and other underserved populations. NHeLP routinely goes to court in support of its advocacy.


The program has a monthly e-newsletter, Health Advocate. You can learn more about NHeLP in general via their website

4. C4J's Latest 211 Training Paper & Video 
Understanding 911 and a Primer on Minnesota Criminal Expungement
Our January 2015 211 training was a "twofer": First, a representative of 911 Emergency Communications in Ramsey County spoke about 911's call priorities and system for dispatching emergency services. That was followed by a presentation on the new Minnesota expungement law by Andrea Palumbo of the Council on Crime & Justice.

Check out the training paper at; we always videotape the 211 trainings and thus, a video of the January training (along with other training videos) can be found at
5. C4J's Legal Liaison Program Heads to Alexandria 
On the Road Again!
Some may know that we've expanded our Legal Liaison Program to greater Minnesota. Last month we trained on state-wide legal resources in Rochester in collaboration with Legal Assistance of Olmstead County and State Support for the Legal Services Coalition. Next month, on April 23, we'll be in Alexandria and collaborating with Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota.

If you know of any social service agency, church, or other community organization in the "Alexandria metropolitan area" which you think might benefit from our training, please pass along our request that they contact Emily at to get more information and/or a formal invite.
People, Places & Things
News about personnel shifts, events, and other items of interest.

Staff Transition at Bridge for Youth 

Kristan Clow Takes New Position at Hope 4 Youth in Anoka

Youth & Community Outreach Manager, Kristan Clow, has recently left The Bridge for Youth for a position at Hope 4 Youth in Anoka ( We wish her well in her new position!

For those who may not be familiar with the services offered at The Bridge for Youth (a C4J Legal Liaison organization), this Minneapolis-based nonprofit has been around since 1970's with the mission to help kids in crisis. In addition to sheltering youth in need between 10-17 years of age, The Bridge offers the following services: 24-hour hotline, crisis shelter and counseling, youth, parent, and family counseling, transitional programs, and ongoing support services.  

In Closing
If you have an announcement or legal update that you'd like to submit for possible inclusion in our April issue, please contact Program Manager Emily Lindholm at by April 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, Halleland Habicht PA, Halunen & Associates, Henson & Efron, P.A., Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, Kennedy & Graven, Chartered, Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd., Larson King, LLP, Law Office of Jerry A. Burg, 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 LLP, 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, Carpenter, Evert and Associates, Ltd., Court Videographer Services, Inc., Greater Twin Cities United Way, Michaud, Cooley, Erickson & Associates, Inc., Minnesota Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company .

Friends of Justice:

Ginny A. Bell, Les Bendtsen, Elizabeth A. Brenner, Dan Burton, Vicki and Richard Carlson, Regina M. Chu, 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.