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)
- TEGE Exempt Organization’s Council, TIQ TAC Committee Member (Treasury/IRS Communications to TEO Advisors’ Queries)
- 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)
- 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
- 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, “Charitable Solicitation 101 – Staying Compliant and Avoiding Mistakes,” and moderator for “Strategies for Preventing Fraud in the Charitable Sector,” 2023 Nonprofit Law Conference, March 14, 2022.
- 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.
- Reviewer and editor of Chapter 3: Duties and Obligations of Nonprofit Directors, Second Edition, 2018 Minnesota CLE Nonprofit Deskbook.
- “Charities, Advocacy, and Tax Law during a Time of Political Change,” Published in Business Law Today, by the American Bar Association, June 2017.
- Reviewer and editor of 2016 update of Chapter 4: Charitable Solicitation Registration, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits’ Nonprofit Legal Handbook.
- “Alternative Rate Structures: Adventures in billing at a for-profit, nonprofit law firm,” Published on Small Firm Soapbox, a blog maintained by the Minnesota State Bar Association, January 21, 2016.
- “Top Nonprofit-Specific Legal Issues,” Published in “With Equal Right,” a publication of Minnesota Women Lawyers, Volume XXXX, Issue I, Fall 2015.
- “Disqualified Persons and the Intermediate Sanctions Excise Tax Scheme,” posted at nonprofitaccountingbasics.org, a project of the Greater Washington Society of CPAs, October 2014; reprinted by Law for Change.
- “Advising Public Charity Boards on Lobbying Activities” — Tax Section News, Minnesota State Bar Association, Summer 2012, at 9; also printed in the ABA’s Business Law Section Nonprofit Organizations Committee Newsletter, Third Quarter 2012.
- “Is the IRS Going to Scrutinize Political c4s?” – blog post reprinted in the Exempt Organization Tax Journal, June 26, 2012