While our blog is focused primarily on client-centered answers and information, we do have a little news to share now and again.

Every year, the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) honors members who provide 50 hours of pro bono work for the underprivileged. These attorneys donate their time to the community to help those who cannot pay for legal services on their own. In 2015, Jill Anderson, a senior associate at Brown Family Law, gave her time to the less fortunate and received this award from the MSBA.

Proud That an Outstanding Member of Our Team Has Been Recognized

As a 2015 North Star Lawyer, Anderson will be featured in the May 5, 2016, print copy of the Star Tribune along with the other honorees, who are listed alphabetically by the county where they work. In addition, she will also be listed in the Spring 2016 of Bench & Bar, and she has the opportunity for further recognition from the MSBA.

More About the MSBA

Founded in 1883, the MSBA is the oldest professional organization for lawyers in the state. Any licensed attorney can join the association, and membership is voluntary. Law management associates, paralegals and law students can also join.

As active members of the community, the MSBA participates in several programs across Minnesota, including Wills for Heroes and the High School Mock Trial Program. They advocate for legislation that furthers the cause of justice in the state and encourages support for the court system. In cooperation with other agencies, the MSBA works to provide quality legal services to all residents of the state.

Understanding Pro Bono Work

The term “pro bono” means “for the public good,” and it is a condensed term for pro bono publico. The term signifies free legal services, generally for those who cannot otherwise afford to pay. The American Bar Association encourages attorneys across the nation to commit to pro bono work during law school and to continue the practice throughout their careers. The ABA goes so far as to call pro bono work a professional responsibility.

Attorney Cynthia Brown recently spoke at a legal seminar offered to the judicial law clerks in Minnesota’s Tenth Judicial District. Brown presented a summary of the recent amendments to Minnesota’s custody and parenting time statutes.

In May of 2015, Governor Mark Dayton signed into law a revises set of standards applicable to custody and parenting time disputes. The new law replaces a 40-year-old framework with a more refined view of the needs of children.

Brown offered the law clerks some legislative history, along with her thoughts on how the new “best interest” factors compare to the former. She said, “It’s enjoyable to get out and visit with court personnel outside of the courtroom.”

In addition to the new “best interest” analysis, Brown summarized the application framework that judges must take into account in issuing their decision. “It’s important to understand that as of August 1, 2015, there is no longer a presumption for, or against, joint physical custody,” Brown said.

Judicial law clerks are law school graduates who assist judges with decision-making and opinion writing. The Tenth Judicial District serves Anoka, Sherburne, Wright, Washington, Isanti, Pine, Chisago and Kanabec County.

We are pleased to announce that the editorial board of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Legal News Digest and Practice Blawg has named our Minnesota Divorce and Family Law Blog one of the Top 25 Minnesota Blawgs for 2011.

What’s a blawg? Well…a blog where the lo is the law.

They write:

Here’s another example of a well thought out and nicely designed site. Minnesota Divorce & Family Law Blog co-authors Jason Brown and Jill Anderson make the site easy to navigate at a quick glance. They do a tremendous job of tagging each post. They also include podcasts which give the site a personal touch. We encourage others to follow their lead…what they offer shows a wealth of experience and easily lands them on our Top 25 list.

Thanks to the Association, and congrats to our fellow award winners. Good stuff.

Our Divorce and Family Blog launched in April, 2008. Over 200,000 visitors since. We will continue to innovate as online technology and social media evolve. We hope you find this resource helpful and invite you to contact the firm if you have any questions.