Notable Women in Law 2020

In 1960, just one out of every 25 attorneys was female; today, that number is one in three. Progress is worth celebrating, and the next generation can take inspiration from an influential group of lawyers making their mark in courtrooms, boardrooms, and beyond.

Our 2020 Notable Women in Law honorees span almost every area of expertise in the state of Minnesota, from family law and general counsel, to employment, patent, and medical law. They are helping set legal precedents, winning cases of national significance, founding and managing firms, and mentoring the next wave of leaders—all while finding time to give back to their communities.

Methodology: The individuals featured did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials submitted. This list is not comprehensive. It includes only people who were nominated and accepted after an editorial review. To qualify for this list, individuals must self-identify as female, be serving in a senior-level role at a firm or institution in Minnesota, and have at least five years of experience in law. They must have shown the ability to effect change in their roles or areas of practice.

To nominate a best-in-class executive in another field, click here.

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Alana Bassin

Alana Bassin

Executive managing partner, Bowman and Brooke LLP
Alana Bassin is a trial attorney known for representing Fortune 500 companies in high-exposure product liability and general liability lawsuits all over the U.S. She has held several management positions
Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop

Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop

Partner, Lathrop GPM
Jennifer Reedstrom Bishop has worked exclusively with nonprofit organizations for over 20 years. In addition to serving as general counsel to organizations, social enterprises, and other charitable institutions, she regularly
Felicia Boyd

Felicia Boyd

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright
Felicia Boyd advises clients, builds IP strategies/assets that create commercial value, and protects clients’ most valuable commercial assets in complex IP disputes, including patents, trade secrets, trademarks and trade dress,
Traci Bransford

Traci Bransford

Partner, Stinson LLP
Traci Bransford negotiates multimillion-dollar agreements with worldwide entertainment companies and serves as general counsel to clients including professional athletes, recording artists, authors, producers, actors, managers, and film and television production
Heidi Carpenter

Heidi Carpenter

Shareholder, Fafinski, Mark & Johnson
Heidi Carpenter is a shareholder, board member, and head of the general corporate and business and the mergers and acquisitions practice groups at Eden Prairie- based Fafinski, Mark & Johnson
Jan Conlin

Jan Conlin

Founding partner, Ciresi Conlin LLP
Ciresi Conlin founding partner Jan Conlin has spent over 30 years litigating and trying cases in various jurisdictions around the country, as well as in state and federal courts in
Aimée Dayhoff

Aimée Dayhoff

Shareholder, Winthrop & Weinstine
 Aimée Dayhoff focuses on business, commercial, and employment litigation, with additional experience in coverage litigation and employment counseling, financial services litigation, and construction and real estate litigation. Her clients run
Jana Aune Deach

Jana Aune Deach

Attorney, Moss & Barnett
Jana Aune Deach is a nationally recognized family law practitioner at Minneapolis-based Moss & Barnett and is certified in family law mediation. Besides her full-time family law practice, Deach serves
Tammera Diehm

Tammera Diehm

Shareholder and firm president-elect, Winthrop & Weinstine
At Minneapolis-based Winthrop & Weinstine, Tammera Diehm leads a subgroup of the real estate practice, drawing on her experience as a former city attorney and city council member to address
Rochelle Hauser

Rochelle Hauser

Attorney and shareholder, Henson Efron
Rochelle Hauser focuses on aspects of business law including business formation, mergers and acquisitions, reorganizations, employment relationships, general contract matters, and distribution, supply, and other commercial transactions. “Hauser is gifted
Ann Jenrette-Thomas

Ann Jenrette-Thomas

Chief diversity and inclusion officer, Stinson LLP
Ann Jenrette-Thomas oversees the implementation of Minneapolis-based Stinson LLP’s diversity and inclusion action plan. Her two-pronged approach centers on individual responsibility: equip- ping people with the knowledge, skills, and tools
Patrice Kloss

Patrice Kloss

Partner, Fox Rothschild LLP Minneapolis office
 As co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s Medical Technology practice group, Patrice Kloss advises emerging medtech, fintech, software, and education companies on day-to-day business operations and guides company founders and leaders in
Connie Lahn

Connie Lahn

Managing partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLC Minneapolis office
In her 24-year career, Connie Lahn has represented financial institutions, creditors, and equipment lessors for companies such as Hostess Brands, Petters Co., Polaroid Corp., Delta Air Lines, Ly- man Lumber
Julie Landy

Julie Landy

Partner, Faegre, Drinker, Biddle & Reath
Julie Landy represents members of the financial services industry in litigation and complex business disputes nationwide. She focuses on financial, corporate trust, and structured products litigation and collaborates with finance,
Katie Crosby Lehmann

Katie Crosby Lehmann

Founding and managing partner, Ciresi Conlin LLP
Katie Crosby Lehmann, one of the founders and managing partners of Minneapolis-based Ciresi Conlin LLP, is best known for practicing at the intersection of science and law. She has served
Shannon McDonough

Shannon McDonough

Shareholder, Fafinski, Mark & Johnson (FMJ)
Shannon McDonough is a shareholder, board member, head of litigation, and head of HR and employment practice groups at FMJ. She is known in the legal industry for passionately defending
Mary Novacheck

Mary Novacheck

Partner, Bowman and Brooke LLP
Described by managing partner Barry Koopmann as “a tireless advocate for her clients and the U.S. legal system,” Mary Novacheck is known for litigating complex discovery and e-discovery issues on
Jessica Pecoraro

Jessica Pecoraro

VP and deputy general counsel, Thrivent
At Minneapolis-based Thrivent, Jessica Pecoraro leads a team that includes member relations and corporate litigation, workforce law and compliance, corporate security and business resilience, business ethics, and global compliance operations.
Kathleen Flynn Peterson

Kathleen Flynn Peterson

Partner, Ciresi Conlin LLP
As a former registered nurse, Kathleen Flynn Peterson understands that providing the best care for patients requires speaking up for patients’ needs and speaking out against insti- tutional problems in
Nancy Polomis

Nancy Polomis

Equity partner, Hellmuth & Johnson
Nancy Polomis has served Hellmuth & Johnson and the Twin Cities community since 1992 as a real estate attorney with a focus on community associations. Her clients include local and