Jump to Navigation

Remembering Hennepin County Bar Members in Court and in Words

Tamara Hjelle Olsen, the first female managing officer of Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, where she joined in 1986 after attending Harvard Law School, and a Minnesota's Top 100 Super Lawyers honoree, died last summer after a year-long battle with cancer at age 51.

Olsen's story was one of 29 compiled in a booklet for the Hennepin County Bar Association's Bar Memorial on April 11 to commemorate members of the bar who have died in the past year or so. Every year about springtime, the District Court of the Fourth Judicial District sets aside a court date to remember them, a tradition that, in some way, has been around since the 1930s, says Tom Nelson, the chair of the HCBA's Bar Memorial Committee.

"It's a special session of the Hennepin County District Court," Nelson says. "So, it's actually a session of the court with the robed judges and the chief judge of the Hennepin County District Court presiding. ...[It's a] meaningful moment for the Hennepin County Bar."

The lawyers' stories were written by family, friends or colleagues and organized and compiled by the committee, which works with the HCBA staff to make the memorial happen each year.

"Every lawyer has somebody remembering them with great stories and some are funny and some are poignant and some are sad," Nelson said. "The people who write the memorials are very, very careful about writing. It's a family member or a partner or a dear friend so that the memorials that are written are very, very special."

The bar members commemorated this year included veterans of the armed forces, senators, school board members, parents and business owners. They saw the Great Depression, the Vietnam War and 9/11. Many dedicated several decades to the profession. One man even celebrated his 101st birthday.

The committee gathers photographs of them, which are displayed in the atrium at the event. During the proceedings, the president-elect usually reads off all of the names, a wind ensemble or vocalist performs and someone always gives a speech.

This year, University of St. Thomas School of Law Dean Thomas M. Mengler delivered the main address. "Indeed, in the words of Mother Theresa, we learn from these men and women to 'be faithful in small things, because it is in them that your strength lies,'" says the transcription of the speech in the booklet.

"Many of you who are here today remember those times when your loved one was late coming home because he or she was taking a few more minutes to talk to the new attorney in the adjoining office," the speech continues. "These small things are perhaps the greatest contribution of this group of lawyers whom we honor today."

One point that was echoed throughout the booklet: they will be dearly missed.

"What I think is especially unique about [the memorial]," Nelson says, "is it's a very thoughtful way of remembering lawyers who passed away and it's a very special way of seeing how unique and remarkable the lawyers in our community are. It's really a remarkable group of men and women who are in the legal profession and I think it's a good reminder for all of us."

For more information on the memorial and the booklet go here.

Related Stories

Super Lawyers Goes Mobile

Mobile_1.jpgAs the Smartphone market continues to grow with no signs of slowing down, it is extremely important to ensure that mobile users are served content formatted for mobile devices giving them the best user experience possible. After all, mobile web users want answers and are generally on-the-go and looking for specific, timely information.

Consumers are using their mobile devices for everything from social networking to shopping to watching television to banking. They are increasingly adding another item to that list-searching for an attorney.

Our goal with the addition of a mobile platform is to provide an easy-to-navigate user experience that is optimized for conversion. Mobile Super Lawyers is optimized for iPhone and Android phones, and is compatible with other Web-enabled phones. Attorney-seekers can search by a lawyer's name or legal issue and location. Current TopSpots, Premium Online Attorney Profile and Expanded Online Attorney Profile subscribers will receive added exposure to reach a group of consumers that rely primarily on searching through mobile. 

Mobile Super Lawyers features: 

  • Easy-to-use search function on home page and results page 
  • Find an attorney by name, location or practice area
  • Super Lawyers selection process overview page 
  • Click-to-call features and Google Maps integration for paid profiles 
  • TopSpots, Premium Online Attorney Profiles and Expanded Online Attorney Profiles are displayed prominently in that order

We hope that this added visibility to our mobile site will attract new clients and grow your referral network. Check out SuperLawyers.com on your mobile device today.


The Dream Team

Bush v. Gore may have divided the country, but it brought together the two attorneys arguing it: Theodore B. Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, an assistant attorney general in the Reagan administration and future solicitor general for President George W. Bush; and David Boies of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, a former aide to Sen. Ted Kennedy, who represented the government in U.S. v. Microsoft. In the aftermath of the 2000 election the two men became friends, sharing summer bike trips with their wives and an interest in wine. And in 2009, they famously teamed up in the Proposition 8 case, winning back the right for same-sex couples to marry in California.

In January, Super Lawyers Magazine sat down with Boies and Olson at the Four Seasons in New York City for a wide-ranging discussion about marriage equality, law firm culture, what each looks for in a new hire and the future of the billable hour.


Q: What advice would you have for a young man or woman looking to go to law school in this environment?

Boies: Even before they decide to go, I'd say, "Why are you going?" If you're going to get a really good education that will teach you to think and solve problems, regardless of whether you practice law or not, that's a good reason to go. If you're interested in the justice system, that's an even better reason to go. If you're just trying to mark time, that's a poor reason to go.

Olson: Don't go to law school because you want to make lots of money. There are other ways to make lots of money. If you really get a bang out of practicing law and solving problems and trying to persuade and doing something very creative, and if you like the history and you like the law and you like the structure of our legal system, then you're going to be spending your life doing things that you like. That's the only reason to do it.

Q: Is that what you're looking for when recent law school graduates try to get jobs at your firms?

Olson: Absolutely. You want people that really love to work, and want to work hard, and have manifested, through their achievement in college and law school, that they have the ability to think these problems through. It's the enthusiasm. You can see it in their eyes. 

By Erik Lundegaard and Cindy Larson (2014 Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine)

Read the full length article.....

Bring online life to your firm today!

It should come as no surprise that the most popular method of finding a lawyer today is via...you guessed it...the Internet. It has given prospective clients the ability to thoroughly evaluate any attorney or firm. A potential client is looking for more than just a link to your website. The most critical and strategic thing you can do is to influence what a prospective client will see when they do a Google search.

Let Super Lawyers help you have a better presence on those searches with refined SEO best practices. Our Premium Online Firm Profile provides a professionally written synopsis of your firm's practice, credentials and achievements, aiming to set you apart from your competitors while validating you as a preferred choice for handling their legal issue. This profile highlights the attorneys at your firm who have been selected to a Super Lawyers or Rising Stars list from any year.


The Premium Online Firm Profile also comes with a customized subdomain (i.e., FirmURL.SuperLawyers.com) to assist with your domain brand strategy and increase recognition of your domain. This online solution leverages responsive design, providing an optimal user experience. It will also display the layout best suited for the visitor, whether using a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer.

Why is the Premium Online Firm Profile right for me?

It's Customized:
Outfitted with a choice of three stylish, template designs, the Premium Online Firm Profile flaunts a six-page, upgraded profile. Other attention-grabbing enhancements include a professionally written firm overview and a pie chart of your firm's primary practice areas. A visually optimized email contact form
flanks every page. 

It's Responsive
Accessibility is a snap as the Premium Online Firm Profile has responsive design that adapts to desktop, mobile and tablet devices. Potential clients can access your profile on any device, wherever they go.

It Offers Instant Visibility
You'll benefit from a brand-strengthening, easy-to-remember subdomain as well as a separate Premium Online Firm Profile for each office location. The design accommodates links to your other online properties, social media and blogs.

Learn more about the Premium Online Firm Profile and visit our online store to purchase today. 

Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.