Donor Spotlight: Kristen Larson

Kristen LarsonAn experienced consumer financial services attorney at Ballard Spahr LLP, Kristen Larson also serves as Board President of LegalCORPS, a nonprofit pro bono organization that provides free assistance in non-litigation business law matters to low-income owners of small businesses, small nonprofit organizations and low-income innovators in Minnesota through the services of volunteer attorneys. Over the years, Kristen had provided pro bono services through LegalCORPS, Volunteer Lawyers Network, MSBA’s Wills for Heroes Program, MN legal Advice Online, and Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota. She has been an MSBA Northstar Attorney since 2015.

Having spent seven years working in the Ramsey County court system, Kristen observed firsthand the benefits pro bono organizations and volunteer attorneys bring to the legal system. For those attorneys who are unable to donate their time, Kristen urges them to financially contribute to these organizations.

As it stands, federal and state money is not enough to fully fund the operations of civil legal aid organizations. Contributions to these organizations help maintain their doors open to people.

Also, without these pro bono programs, lawyers cannot achieve their 50-hour pro bono commitment each year under Rule 6.1 of the Minnesota Rules of Professional Responsibility. The Rule provides that “a lawyer should voluntarily contribute financial support to organizations that provide legal services to persons of limited means.” To further support civil legal aid, Kristen provides financial contributions to LegalCORPS, Volunteer Lawyers Network, MSBA’s Wills for Heroes Program, and Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid.

For Kristen, the checkbox for pro bono and financial donations on the Minnesota Rules of Professional Conduct is more than just a formality. It is the duty of all lawyers.