Bench + Bar of Minnesota

MSBA 2023-24: New leadership, new horizons

2023 MSBA Board of Governors

By Paul Floyd

Change is inevitable, and as we embark on a new bar year, the MSBA Board of Governors has undergone a transformation, introducing seven new persons and perspectives to its leadership. Let’s take a closer look at the dynamic professionals who are driving the MSBA’s mission forward and shaping the legal landscape of Minnesota. 

As president of the MSBA, I envision myself as a bridge builder, connecting the wisdom and experience of the Baby Boomer generation with the innovative ideas and values of the next generation within the bar association. My mission is to guide us from the confines of the past and steer toward a future for the bar that is vibrant, forward-thinking, and relevant to the ever-changing legal landscape. By fostering collaboration, embracing change, and championing our core values, this year’s MSBA officers and the chair of the MSBA New Lawyers Section form a dedicated executive team, ready to take on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. 

Sam Edmunds, our president-elect, brings a wealth of bar and legal experience and vision to the role. Joining him are Tom Pack, treasurer, and Kenya Bodden, secretary, both of whom embody the mission of the MSBA of championing justice, equality, and professionalism, as well as having a wealth of bar association experience. Finally, Colin Hargreaves, chair of the New Lawyers Section, rounds out the leadership team that will guide the Board of Governors and the Assembly toward the bar association’s next generation.

An inclusive Board of Governors

Following the recent December 2022 MSBA Bylaw amendments, the Board of Governors has expanded to accommodate a broader range of voices and perspectives, growing from 16 to 20 members. The board now includes an additional representative from the New Lawyers Section, two more members from under-represented communities, and two additional at-large members. This evolution reflects the MSBA’s commitment to inclusivity and diverse representation.

This year’s Board of Governors is an exceptional blend of legal professionals and community leaders. They hail from various backgrounds and practice areas, enriching the board’s collective expertise.

  • Private practice leaders: Your board features legal minds practicing across the spectrum, from solo practitioners and small law firms to national law firms, offering a wide range of experience and insight into the legal profession locally, regionally, and nationally. 
  • Experienced professionals: The practice areas represented on the board run the gamut from family law, criminal law, personal injury, Social Security disability, workers compensation, corporate and business, nonprofit, employment, antitrust, construction, products liability, complex commercial litigation, mediation and arbitration, and general practice to a claims attorney with a national legal malpractice carrier to an assistant public defender in Hennepin County.
  • Champions of justice: Many of the members are actively involved in public service, serving in local government and nonprofit organizations, as well as being North Star Lawyers—who provide at least 50 hours of annual pro bono legal representation to persons of limited means. 
  • Bar association advocates: Many board members extend their influence beyond the MSBA as officers and leaders past and present in local district bars (Aitkin/Crow Wing County, Anoka County, Dakota County, HCBA, RCBA, 1st Judicial District, 7th Judicial District, and Stearns/Benton Bar) and in national bar associations (the ABA, National LGBTQ+ Bar, the National Native American Bar, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, National Employment Lawyers Association; American Board of Trial Advocates [ABOTA]).
  • Community engagers: Beyond the legal realm, our board members actively engage with their communities, participating in a variety of charities and organizations that make a positive impact, including the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Children’s Hospital Association, Shepherd’s Foundation US/Ukraine, and Bridge for Youth, just to name a few.
  • Exceptional educators: A number of the board members share their knowledge and experience as full and part-time professors at each of the local law schools and as CLE educators, enriching the legal education landscape in Minnesota.
  • Recognized leaders: The board boasts numerous accolades and awards, including Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Best Lawyers in America, and honors from prestigious legal associations: Twin Cities Diversity in Practice; Volunteer Lawyers Association; American Civil Liberties Union; and the Warren E. Burger Inn of Court.

A bridge to a brighter future

As we look ahead, the MSBA’s officers and Board of Governors are committed to serving the needs of its members and the broader legal community. With their extensive experience, diverse backgrounds, and dedication to justice, equity and professionalism, they are well-prepared to navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Minnesota lawyers. I encourage you to connect with your officers, board members, and the MSBA staff to explore ways to become more involved. Attend meetings, join one of our 40 sections or an MSBA committee, and engage in discussions and take action to contribute to the ongoing growth and success of the MSBA. 

2023-MSBA-President-Paul-FloydPaul Floyd is one of the founding partners of Wallen-Friedman & Floyd, PA, a business and litigation boutique law firm located in Minneapolis. Paul has been the president of the HCBA, HCBF, and the Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. He lives with his wife, Donna, in Roseville, along with their two cats.

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