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.

Emily Robertson

Contact Emily Robertson

To speak with me about your nonprofit legal concern, call 612-465-0074 or contact Rubric online.

Affiliations and Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers
  • Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Associate Member
  • Membership Committee member, Twin Cities Metro Independent Business Alliance
  • Volunteer Attorney, LegalCorps
  • Vice Chair (2016), Secretary (2015), Core Priorities Committee Member, Charities Review Council
  • Vice Chair of the Finance and Planning Committee and Board Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law Mentor Externship Program
  • Co-Chair, Hennepin County Bar Association’s LINC Program (Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community)
  • Member, 317A Technical Amendments Committee, MSBA Business Law Section’s Nonprofit Subcommittee, 2016
  • Member, Program Committee, Collaborative Community Law Initiative, 2017
  • Former Board Member, Hennepin County Bar Foundation
  • Former Board Member, Southside Family Charter School
  • Former Board Member, Minnesota Fringe Festival

Honors

Minnesota Lawyer 2014 Up & Coming Attorney

Publications

Speaking Engagements and Trainings