Emmett Robertson

Emmett’s Practice Areas
Affiliations and Community Involvement
  • American Bar Association
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Adjunct Professor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Co-chair, Minnesota CLE Nonprofit Law Conference
  • Executive Council of the Business Law Section, Minnesota State Bar Association, Vice Chair (2022-2023)
  • Family Tree Clinic, Board of Directors
  • Children’s Law Center, Volunteer Attorney
  • Co-Chair, Hennepin County Bar Association’s LINC Program (Leaders Impacting the Nonprofit Community)
  • Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Associate Member
  • Member, Twin Cities Metro Independent Business Alliance (Metro IBA)
  • Mentor, University of St. Thomas School of Law Mentor Externship Program
  • Member, 317A Technical Amendments Committee, MSBA Business Law Section’s Nonprofit Subcommittee, 2016
  • Former Program Committee Member, Collaborative Community Law Initiative
  • Former Board Member, Charities Review Council
  • Former Board Member, Hennepin County Bar Foundation
  • Former Board Member, Hennepin County Bar Association
  • Former Board Member, Southside Family Charter School
  • Former Board Member, Minnesota Fringe Festival
Honors
  • Minnesota Super Lawyers Rising Star 2019-2021
  • Minnesota Lawyer 2014 Up & Coming Attorney

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 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 am embarking on a new chapter of life in which I will be both living and working downtown and trying to maintain as walkable of a lifestyle as possible. Expect to see me out searching for delicious food, playing pinball, reading a good book, or just enjoying an adult beverage and making conversation with strangers! I also just enjoy hanging out with my cats and binge-watching whatever has recently grabbed my attention.

  • Co-Chair and Presenter, LINC 2022 “Overview of the Law of Tax Exempt Organizations” and “Ask the Lawyer Panel;” program held every other Thursday from March 31 – April 28, 2022.
  • Co-Chair and Co-Presenter, “Beyond Diversifying Boards – Nonprofits and Anti-Racism,” and “Losing Your Mind Working with the IRS,” 2022 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 8, 2022.
  • Presenter, “15 Things That Can Trip Up Tax Exempts,” Minnesota CLE 2021 Tax Institute, December 13, 2021.
  • Co-panelist, “Donor Advised Funds and Proposed Disclosure Requirements in Minnesota,” 2021 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 9, 2021.
  • Co-panelist, “Donor Advised Funds and Proposed Disclosure Requirements in Minnesota,” virtual presentation hosted by Minnesota State Bar Association, January 26, 2021.
  • Presenter, “Understanding and Using Advocacy,” webinar hosted by Minnesota Prevention Resource Center, Sponsored by the Regional ATOD Prevention Coordinators and the MN Dept of Human Services – Behavioral Health Division. June 19, 2020.
  • Presenter, “Faux Pas, Surprises, and Fixes: How the TCJA is Impacting Nonprofits,” 2020 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 3, 2020.
  • Co-Presenter, “Fiscal Sponsorship in the Real World,” Nonprofit Financial Group of the Twin Cities, February 27, 2020.
  • Co-Presenter, “Tax Reform and its Continued Impact on the Nonprofit Sector,” and “Fiscal Sponsorship in the Real World.” 2019 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 20, 2019.
  • Presenting testimony, Minnesota House Tax Committee, in support of House File 1154, February 21, 2019.
  • Presenter, “TCJA for Nonprofits: The Complication Just Abounds.” 2018 Tax Institute, Minnesota CLE, December 3, 2018.

To speak with me about your business concern, call 612-465-0074 or send us a message!