Bench + Bar of Minnesota

North Star Lawyers: Certification is open

The MSBA is proud to recognize its members who have completed the aspirational goal of contributing at least 50 hours of pro bono work in our community. More than just a recognition, it shows that pro bono work is possible and valued. It is a way for our community to come together and demonstrate how we have shown up for those most vulnerable to injustice.  

North Star has always been a partnership between lawyers and the organizations that make much of our pro bono work possible. And we’re happy to announce that beginning this year, when you certify as a North Star Lawyer, you have the option to enter the organization where you completed your pro bono legal services. If that was through a non-profit funded by the Minnesota State Bar Foundation (MSBF) or eligible for CLE credit for pro bono, the organization will be entered for a chance to win a $5,000 grant from the MSBF. 

“In my previous role as a pro bono manager,” notes MSBA Access to Justice Director Katy Drahos, “I had the privilege of connecting pro bono lawyers with those who were in crisis and seeing the direct impact of those pro bono hours. I will never forget the relief I heard in voices of those who received representation, nor the phone calls after representation where I got to hear how that lawyer changed their life for the better. North Star is about all those generous lawyers who walked alongside clients, meeting them in their time of need. Whether it’s in a clinic, by helping with paperwork, mentoring a new pro bono attorney, or litigation, we all have important skills to offer.”

To certify as a North Star Lawyer, visit or check with your firm about sending in all your colleagues’ contributions. If you didn’t hit the 50-hour mark in 2022, now is a great time to start for 2023. Visit for a full listing of pro bono organizations or reach out to Katy Drahos ( for personal recommendations and connections.

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