Professional Excellence Award


This award is presented to commend one or more attorneys who are actively involved in the legal profession and who combine excellence in professional service with outstanding service to and on behalf of the Minnesota State Bar, the legal profession, or the public.  This award recognizes attorneys who strive to meet the many responsibilities of a lawyer, including efforts to improve the administration of justice and practice of law, efforts to promote access to justice, efforts to serve and govern the profession, and service of benefit to the community.

Most Recent Awards

Jill Prohofsky

Magistrate Jill Prohofsky

Magistrate Prohofsky is the Chief Child Support Magistrate with the Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Office, and previously was a Child Support Magistrate for 17 years in the 4th and 10th Judicial Districts. She is highly involved in the legal community, having served 17 years as a mock trial judge and served as a Minnesota Women Lawyers board member and President of the Minnesota State Bar Foundation. 

Susan M Holden

Susan M. Holden

Susan Holden is a partner and shareholder at SiebenCarey, where she has spent her career representing clients in a variety of complex personal injury and wrongful death claims. Ms. Holden has received numerous awards recognizing her as one of the state’s premier trial attorneys and legal volunteers, and was appointed in 2008 by the Chief Justice to chair the Special Master Panel in the specially created compensation process for survivors of the I-35W bridge collapse.

Previous Recipients

2022 – Hon. Matthew J. Opat
2021 – Landon Ascheman
2020 – Jack Rice
2019 – Mike Boulette
         – Chris Bowman
         – Jeanne Jansen 
2018 – no award given
2017 – John Dornik
         – Kenneth R. White
         – Susan K. Wiens
2016 – Judge Cara Lee Neville
2012 – Sue Dosal
         – Judge Roger Klaphake
2011 – Brockton Hunter
2010 – Minnesota lawyers who served with the 34th “Red Bull” Infantry Division of the Minnesota Army National Guard
2009 – Special Compensation Process for Survivors of the 35W Bridge Collapse Pro Bono Attorneys and The Special Master Panel
2008 – Chief Justice Russell A Anderson
           – Justice Sam Hanson
2007 – Henry (Hank) Shea III
2006 – Thomas Conlin
           – Judge Kenneth Jorgensen
2005 – Charles E. Lundberg
2004 – Neil W. Hamilton
           – Harry J. Haynsworth, IV
2003 – Judge Diana Eagon
2002 – Paul Marino
2001 – Richard Pemberton
2000 – Judge Edward Toussaint
1999 – Justice John Simonett
1998 – no award given
1997 – no award given
1996 – Briggs and Morgan
           – Dorsey & Whitney
           – Faegre & Benson
          – Fredrickson & Byron
          – Gray Plant Mooty
          – Leonard Street and Deinard
          – Lindquist & Vennum
         – Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly
         – Popham Haik
         – Rider Bennet Egan & Arundel
         – Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi
1995 – Susan Stevens Chambers
1994 – Bruce Beneke
1994 – Jeremy Lane
1993 – R. Bertram Greener
1992 – no award given
1991 – William Wernz
1991 – Tom L. Johnson
1990 – no award given
1989 – Philip K. Arzt
1988 – Paul W. Onkka, Jr.
1988 – William B. Danforth
1987 – DePaul D. Willette
1986 – no award given
1985 – Justice Douglas K. Amdahl


Nominations for the 2024 awards are due by March 29, 2024.
Professional Excellence Nomination Form