2024 MPA Annual Convention

Friday, May 10, 2024

7:30am - 4:45pm

North Hennepin Community College

7411 85th Ave N, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445


 Time Session/Event 
7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Registration, Breakfast & Exhibitor Hall Open
8:00 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Welcome & Announcements
8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. Morning Keynote
9:15 a.m. - 9:35 a.m. Break & Vendor Connections
9:35 a.m. - 10:35 a.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 1
10:35 a.m. - 10:55 a.m. Break & Vendor Connections
10:55 a.m. - 11:55 a.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 2
11:55 a.m. - 12:35 p.m. Break, Vendor Connections & Grab Lunch
12:35 p.m. - 1:35 p.m. Lunch Keynote
1:35 p.m. - 1:55 p.m. Break & Vendor Connections
1:55 p.m. - 2:55 p.m. Concurrent CLE Sessions 3
2:55 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Break & Vendor Connections 
3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Concurrent Workshops
4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Closing Remarks & Door Prizes


Morning Keynote: Sheriff Dawanna Witt

Topic: The Life & Journey to Becoming Hennepin County Sheriff

Sheriff Witt will share her personal story about her journey to becoming the Hennepin County Sheriff, and her thoughts on the significance of becoming the first woman and person of color to hold the office. She will also discuss putting success into perspective and remembering one’s routes. Additionally, she will discuss statistics on the demographics of law enforcement, including the number of women and women of color in law enforcement and how those numbers have changed since she took office. Sheriff Witt will also discuss recent changes to Minnesota State statutes and legislative rulings impacting policing in the state. Dawanna S. Witt is the Sheriff of Hennepin County and is the first woman and first person of color to hold the office. She began her law enforcement career in 2000 and throughout her career has been a tireless advocate for youth involvement, safer communities, improved law enforcement recruitment and retention, reform, collaboration, and transparency. Sheriff Witt holds undergraduate degrees in chemical dependency and family therapy and police science, and dual master’s degrees in public safety administration and management. She has also worked as an adjunct professor at Inver Hills Community College, teaching Juvenile Justice and American Corrections.

Lunch Keynote: Judge Tony N. Leung

Topic: Privilege and Responsibility

This presentation addresses the unique honor and responsibilities of being a first of anything in the legal profession. Being a first in terms of ethnicity has unique challenges, from unspoken questions and skepticism about qualifications; to the transition from advocacy to impartial arbitor of justice; to the unfair burden, imposed externally and internally, of doing well to set an example and open the door for others. These topics will be explored in the context of Minnesota's state court as well as the United States Courts. Judge Leung is currently a United States Magistrate Judge. He is the first Asian Pacific American judge in Minnesota history, starting as a District Court Judge in Hennepin County. He was an equity partner of Faegre & Benson, now known as Faegre Drinker. He is past president or chair of the boards of Lakewood Cemetery, the Federal Bar Association MN Chapter, Twin Cities Diversity in Practice and long time board member of Twin Cities RISE! and Wishes & More. Judge Leung was a long time lecturer in University of St Thomas' Law an Business School Great Books Class.


UPDATE: An Ethics session has been confirmed and is scheduled at 1:55pm-2:55pm. See details below

 Concurrent CLE 1 (9:35am-10:35am)

Paddling Together: A Pro Bono Coalition Takes on PolyMet - Evan Nelson, Maslon LLP

On August 2, 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reopen its permit review process for a proposed mine near the Boundary Waters. This decision was the culmination of several years of litigation regarding several permits, involving several members of a co-counsel coalition. Not only was the decision a milestone opinion on the meaning of "danger signals" in administrative law, but the process to get there illustrates how lawyers and paralegals across different firms can work together to achieve great things.

Legal and Financial Issues When Dealing with Vulnerable Adults - Mary Frances Price, Moss & Barnett

This session will explore the standards and difference between incapacity, incompetency, and vulnerability as it relates to legal and financial decision-making for adults. We will also explore key legal documents needed for supported decision-making and hot topics like firearms ownership, driving privileges, and financial management.

How Many Ways Can You Blow the Whistle - Bert Black & Anne Bolgert, Schaefer Halleen, LLC

This presentation will review various statutes that provide protection for whistleblowers. It will explain what kind of whistleblower reports are covered by each of the statutes and what remedies are available.

 Concurrent CLE 2 (10:55am-11:55am)

Workplace Messaging Platforms & Modern Attachments: Identification, Preservation, & Review Solutions - Michael Dirksen, Bowman & Brooke; Devon Campbell, Brandon Rimnac, Matt Samet, TransPerfect Legal; Alexzandria Neumiller, Prime Therapeutics

This panel consisting of lawyers, vendors, and paralegals will discuss best practices, current issues, and solutions regarding workflows supporting modern attachments (Microsoft 365, Google, etc.) and short message format documents and attachments such as text messages, Teams, Slack, and other ethereal message platforms.

We will touch on current trends, collection and review methods, along with references to the (ever-changing) case law surrounding the topic

"B" is for Bankruptcy: The ABCs of Bankruptcy Law - Katherine Nixon, Shataia Stallings, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.

This presentation will provide a broad overview of bankruptcy law. It will describe the differences between the various chapters, such as a chapter 7 liquidation or a chapter 11 reorganization, and highlight other important aspects of the Bankruptcy Code, such as the automatic stay. The presentation will include practical guidance for preparing and filing documents with the bankruptcy court.

Disability 101 - Ann Motl, Greenberg Traurig

This presentation covers disability, from its legal definition under the Americans with Disabilities Act to the social model of disability. The presentation also covers appropriate language to use when describing disability and how this has changed over the years. Next, the presentation briefly covers the disability rights movement, including the sets of laws which govern disability access. The presentation also discusses accommodations and accessibility, with a focus on how the legal profession can be more accessible for all legal professionals with disabilities. Finally, the presentation will introduce the Minnesota Disability Bar Association and its role in supporting and elevating legal professionals with disabilities.

Collaborative Law, Collaborative Practice & You - Katrina Viegas, Beaumier Trogdon Orman Hurd & Viegas

Did you know Collaborative Law started right here, in Minnesota, around 1990? Every family in conflict deserves a process that is responsive to their unique needs and interests, that is respectful, and that assures all sides have mutual control and responsibility over the outcome of their conflict. In this session, we will discuss what collaborative law is, how the collaborative process works, the benefits of collaborative law including the team approach, and how paralegals may support the collaborative process. Collaborative divorce, collaborative family law, and the expansion of collaborative practice into other civil matters, such as guardianships and conservatorships, will be explored.

 Concurrent CLE 3 (1:55pm-2:55pm)

Introduction to Legal Operations ("Legal Ops") - Lyndsey Wurst, Securian Financial; Sarah Fercho, Target; Heather Cowan, Vista Outdoor

The increased demand for efficient delivery of legal services drives legal teams to build sustainable solutions to adapt to the unpredictability, uncertainty, and opportunity in the legal industry. Learn from an esteemed panel of Legal Ops professionals as they share their experiences on how law firms, legal services companies, legal technology companies, and corporate legal departments work together to tackle today’s legal challenges. Attendees will walk away with practical insights to help them and their legal teams build roadmaps for success.

  • What is Legal Operations?
  • How Legal Ops teams improve the delivery of legal services.
  • Top trends impacting law firms and in-house legal teams.
  • Legal Technology – Pros, Woes, and Wish Lists.
  • How the work of paralegals dovetails into the world of Legal Ops.

Introduction to Patent Law - Aubre Rabe, AR Legal Solutions

This comprehensive class is designed to demystify the field of patent law, providing you with a solid foundation and the confidence to pursue a career in this lucrative legal niche. An Overview of Patent Law: Understand the basics of patents, including what they are, why they are critical in protecting inventions, and their role in fostering innovation. A Day in the Life of a Patent Paralegal: Gain insights into the daily responsibilities, challenges, and rewards of working as a patent paralegal. Discover the skills necessary to thrive in this role and how to develop them. Tips and Tricks for Entering the Field: Learn about the qualifications needed, how to stand out to potential employers, and the pathways to enter the field of patent law as a paralegal.

Insurance, Litigation, and Ethics: Ethical Concerns Raised in the Relationship Between Insurance Coverages and Civil Litigation in Minnesota - David Watson, Sapientia Law Group PLLC

In a follow-up to his presentation to the MPA Joint Litigation & Corporate Sectional in 2023, David will provide an overview of the basics of property and liability insurance, types of coverages, policy exclusions, insurance subrogation, and the disputes that may arise between an insurance company and its insureds. David will also discuss the possible ethical concerns and pitfalls that may develop in the close relationship between insurance and litigation in Minnesota, focusing on conflicts of interest, dual-representation, and the control of litigation.

Concurrent Workshops (3:15pm-4:15pm - no CLE)

How to Promote Your Areas of Expertise & Explore Career Advancement in the Legal Profession - Andrew McNaughtan, Robert Half & Aubre Rabe, AR Legal Solutions

This workshop will provide tips and insights about how paralegals can be true agents of their careers. Hear from our panelists as they discuss how paralegals can level up their skills, negotiate their salaries, and build experience that sets them apart from the rest of the field. Workshop attendees will learn more about the competitive paralegal market and what employers are expecting from their paralegals. Attendees will also get firsthand insight and tips from a highly experienced paralegal who took that leap and created her own paralegal business. Aubre Rabe will share how that decision came about and the actions she took to make that all come to fruition. Andrew McNaughtan, as a legal recruiter at Robert Half, will share how he has helped paralegals find the growth they are looking for in the next step in their career.

Are You Ready for Your Next Adventure? - Aprille Beyer, M.L.S., MnCP, Essentia Health

The presentation will be a brief overview of the Legal Paraprofessional Pilot Project, including its potential permanency and expansion of practice areas.

Understanding the Complications of Seeking Asylum and How Volunteers Can Simplify the Process - Sarah Brenes, James H. Binger Center for New Americans, University of Minnesota Law School; Kelsey Ueland, International Association for Refugees; Kristin Gill, Afghan Legal Clinic, The Advocates for Human Rights

You do not need experience in this area of law. This workshop will provide a holistic overview on how to support asylum applicants. Attendees will gain some basic training tailored for current and potential volunteers who are interested in providing assistance to those who do not understand the legal system around asylum. In this workshop, learn how to complete the asylum application. This is often a key role for paralegals at immigration law firms, and there is a huge need for pro se assistance. We will work through some case examples and grapple with some of the tricky or baffling questions on the form itself. This workshop will also leave attendees with a broader understanding of other aspects of the experience of asylum seekers and how the Jonathan House provides support.


We have a variety of registration options this year! Choose half-day or full-day in-person attendance - a half-day morning runs up to and including lunch and Lunch Keynote; half-day afternoon begins with lunch and Lunch Keynote and runs through the end-of-day. Can't make it in-person? We now have a virtual attendance option*. Members receive a discount on registration (Not a member? Join here!). 

 Registration Option  Half-Day Price  Full-Day Price
 Member, In-Person  $50.00  $100.00
 Non-Member, In-Person  $75.00  $150.00
 Member, Virtual*  N/A  $75.00
 Non-Member Virtual*  N/A  $125.00
 Student (Member or Non-Member), In-Person  $50.00  $50.00
 Student (Member or Non-Member), Virtual*  N/A  $50.00
 Member, Legal Aid, In-Person**  N/A  $80.00
 Non-Member, Legal Aid, In-Person**  N/A


 Member, Active Service/Veteran N/A $80.00
 Non-Member, Active Service/Veteran N/A $120.00



MPA will be applying for CLE credits through NFPA® for each keynote and breakout session that qualifies. Pending approval, CLE certificates will be emailed to each person requesting a CLE certificate. To request a CLE certificate, you will need to note down the code words given at the start and end of each presentation, and then submit those code words via the online CLE Request Form after the event. We expect a full-day attendee may receive up to 5 CLE credits (two keynotes and three breakout sessions) pending approval from NFPA®. One (1) credit will be submitted for Ethics CLE approval (presented by David Watson in the 1:55pm timeslot), and two (2) credits will be submitted for DEI CLE approval (the two keynote sessions).


All speakers, topics, and times are subject to change without prior notice.

Attendees may submit with their registration form any accommodation requirements (i.e. ADA, lactation space, food allergies, etc.).

*Virtual attendance (via Zoom) includes two keynote speakers and three breakout sessions, for a total of 5 CLE. Workshops are not included.

**As defined by justice.gov, “Legal aid is free legal assistance to low- and middle-income people who have legal problems.” If you are attending in-person for the full day and provide legal aid services, please select the “Member Legal Aid” or “Non-Member Legal Aid” registration option to receive a discount on your registration. You must be employed by Legal Aid to qualify for this discount.


Registration and payment must be received by end-of-day on Wednesday, May 1, 2024.


Written notice must be emailed, mailed, or faxed by May 1 to receive a full refund. Cancellations received after May 1 will be refunded minus a $50 late cancellation fee.


Interested in exhibiting, sponsoring, or advertising in conjunction with the MPA Annual Convention? Click below to download the prospectus packet!

2024 Annual Convention Exhibitor and Sponsor Packet.pdf


In conjunction with the 2024 Annual Convention, Minnesota Paralegal Association has chosen Cancer Legal Care as this year's charity fundraiser. 

Exhibitors, Sponsors, & Advertisers...

Thank You For Your Support!

Whether exhibiting, sponsoring activities, advertising, or donating swag or door prizes, we extend a sincere 'Thank You!' for your continued support of MPA and the paralegal profession.

  • Adams & Martin Group

  • Arthur Chapman Kettering Smetak & Pikala, P.A.

  • Assist Reporting

  • Beacon Hill Legal

  • Capitol Lien

  • Cogency Global

  • Fredrikson & Byron

  • Gustafson Gluek

  • Hamline University

  • Innovative Driven

  • Lexitas

  • Mitchell Hamline Law School

  • OurFamilyWizard

  • REMAX Results

  • Robert Half

  • Schaefer Halleen, LLC

  • Securian Financial

  • TransPerfect Legal

  • Veritext

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