For Me, It’s All About the Mission
I have always been drawn to nonprofits and mission-based work—one of my majors in college was Social Justice. Long before I became a nonprofit lawyer, I worked in and around the nonprofit sector in a variety of capacities. I witnessed not only many of the challenges nonprofits face, but also the incredible impact they have in the communities they serve. I wanted to put my analytical mind to better use helping the sector, and so I decided to attend law school to specifically enter into the practice of nonprofit law.
I absolutely love my job. I love my clients—mostly small to mid-sized organizations—and the passion their volunteers and staff bring to the panoply of causes they work on behalf of. I really love tax law—no, really—and the way it works in the tax-exempt world to ensure that money and resources are used for the right purposes. I relish the challenging issues that arise when a focus on mission runs up against the need to pay enough attention to necessary compliance issues. And, as a former philosophy major, I love breaking down complex legal concepts into plain English so that everyone can understand what is happening.
I Keep It Real
From the start, you’ll find that I am fully me in all I do. Yes, I regularly wear jeans to work. I curse—sometimes a lot. I’m an open book, and will never hesitate to tell things as they are.
Well, I might not always keep it real; I am the (totally secular) Santa Lawyer, after all. And I co-starred and co-produced a show for the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival: “…Kill All The Lawyers,” which made a smashing reappearance at the 2015 Charm City Fringe in Baltimore, MD. So, there’s that.
In My Free Time…
Free time? Well, I’m currently a board member of both the Charities Review Council and the Hennepin County Bar Association, a member of the Finance and Planning Committee of the Hennepin County Bar Association, and a member of the Program Committee of the Collaborative Community Law Initiative. I am an adjunct faculty, teaching Nonprofit Law for Hamline University’s Masters in Nonprofit Management program, and a co-chair of the Hennepin County Bar Association’s LINC program, which is a nonprofit board training program for lawyers. I’m also a frequent speaker on governance, tax and other issues related to nonprofit organizations.
In my actual free time, I live in Minneapolis with my wife Rachel, 12-year old Nokomis, three cats and a bunny. I attempt to be handy by working on projects around the house; I ride my Triumph Bonneville as much as possible; I love eating delicious food out at new restaurants or cooked by my amazing wife; I play pinball whenever I can; and I never pass up the opportunity to get lost in a good book.