MPA Annual Convention
October 21, 2021
Online via Zoom and Whova

Register Today

Schedule at a Glance
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.Platform & Virtual 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, & Mindfulness Sessions
9:35 a.m. - 10:35 a.m.Concurrent CLE Sessions 1
10:35 a.m. - 10:55 a.m.Break, Vendor Connections, & Mindfulness Sessions
10:55 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.Concurrent CLE Sessions 2
11:55 a.m. - 12:35 p.m.Lunch Break
12:35 p.m. - 1:35 p.m.Concurrent CLE Sessions 3
 1:35 p.m. - 1:55 p.m.Break, Vendor Connections, & Mindfulness Sessions 
1:55 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.Afternoon Keynote
2:55 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.Break & Vendor Connections 
3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.Concurrent Workshops
4:20 p.m. - 4:35 p.m.Closing Remarks & Prizes 
Morning Keynote
From Promise to Practice: The Role of Courts in Ensuring Equal Justice Under the Law
District Court Judge Richelle Wahi

Equal protection and due process are the foundational principles of the U.S. system of justice. Courts and justice partners play a pivotal role in translating these promised principles into meaningful practice through the daily administration of justice. In Promise to Practice: the Role of Equal of Ensuring Equal Justice Under Law we will discuss equal protection, due process, and access to justice in contemporary contexts from local, regional, and statewide perspectives.

District Court Judge Richelle Wahi
Judge Wahi serves the 1st Judicial District in the State of Minnesota. In addition to her work on the bench, Judge Wahi serves on the Statewide Committee for Equality and Justice and the 1st District Equal Justice Committee where she works tirelessly to ensure "Equal Justice Under Law." In her spare time, Judge Wahi is active with her busy children and loves to travel.

Afternoon Keynote
Together We Rise: How Paralegals and Legal Professionals Can Meet the Need for Civil Legal Aid in Minnesota
Lilo Schluender, J.D.

Join for a discussion of the current state of civil legal need in Minnesota, a refresher of current resources available to clients unable to afford assistance, and examples of how paralegals can directly answer to the call of need through direct pro bono service. We will discuss the legal paraprofessional pilot and the doors this pilot has opened to allow direct service for those in the greatest need. Rural and urban - this CLE is for anyone interested in learning more about how to assist in these critical times.Equal protection and due process are the foundational principles of the U.S. system of justice. Courts and justice partners play a pivotal role in translating these promised principles into meaningful practice through the daily administration of justice. In Promise to Practice: the Role of Equal of Ensuring Equal Justice Under Law we will discuss equal protection, due process, and access to justice in contemporary contexts from local, regional, and statewide perspectives.

Lilo Schluender, J.D.
Director of Private Attorney Involvement, Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota

Lilo Schluender is the Director of pro bono services at Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota (LASNEM). Prior to joining LASNEM, Lilo was the managing attorney for CMLS, a civil legal services office in Minneapolis.

CLE Sessions
9:35 a.m. to 10:35 a.m. 
The Evolving U.S. Privacy Landscape: New State Laws and Recent Enforcement

Maggie Lassack, Privacy & Cyber Security Counsel, Polaris, Inc.

Come learn about the evolving US privacy landscape, including: 

  • The historical, sector-specific approach to privacy laws in the US
  • Recent privacy legislative activity at the state level
  • Key requirements of new state privacy laws coming into effect in 2023
  • Key similarities (and differences) between those new laws and existing ones
  • Recent privacy enforcement activity at the state and federal levels
  • The FTC investigative and enforcement process in privacy matters

To Bates or not to Bates - Organizing for Trial at the Start of Your Case

Johanna Clyborne and Samantha Gembergling; Attorneys, Brekke, Clyborne & Ribich, LLC

Ever wonder if there is a better and less stressful way of organizing your family law case from the start so you are not scrambling to assist your attorney to prepare for trial at the last minute? If so, this session is a must. We will discuss various methods used to set up trial books, case preparation, and identifying gaps from the beginning of the case so you are well poised to prepare your attorney for settlement negotiations and to help them be  able to conduct an effective (aka organized)  trial that doesn’t leave everyone in a panic as trial deadlines approach.

Minnesota's Workers Compensation

Charlene K. Feenstra; Attorney, Heacox, Hartman, Koshmrl, Cosgriff, Johnson, Lane & Feenstra

This presentation will take attendees through a summary of Minnesota Workers' Compensation law.  This will include a brief history of and the policy behind workers' compensation.  It will also include a discussion of the benefits that an injured employee may be entitled to, an outline of the workers' compensation court system,  and hot topics in workers' compensation.  There will also be discussion of the paralegal's role in handling workers' compensation cases and practice pointers for that.

 CLE Sessions
10:55 a.m. to 11:55 a.m.

Introduction to Trademark Law: How to Clear and Register Trademarks

Patrick J. Gallagher; Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP & Karen Brennan, J.D.; Vice President, Legal; CKE Restaurants 

Learn the importance of searching and clearing trademarks so that you select a mark that has a strong scope of protection and that does not infringe on another proprietor’s trademark rights. Understand how to federally register trademarks and why it is important to do so. Checklists for clearing and registering trademarks will be provided and discussed, along with a sample trademark clearance opinion and several FAQs concerning trademark law basics.

Securities Filings and Blue Sky

Jen Randolph Reise; Business Law Attorney, Professor, and Entrepreneur; Mitchell Hamline School of Law

In this session, we'll talk about federal and state securities laws, and learn how to make the filings needed to protect a securities offering under the safe harbor of Regulation D, Rule 506. You'll learn the ins and outs of Form ID, Form D, and coordinated state filings, and get a "cheat sheet" for the future, as well.

WFH – What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Pamela Starr, CBA, J.S.M.

WFH – what could possibly go wrong? In the time of COVID, WFH became the norm. Firms that balked at flexible schedules and working remotely found themselves with two options, adapt or shutdown. Even the courts transformed. Such transitions come at a cost – financial, physical, emotional, and yes, even ethical. No longer shielded by the four walls of their offices, legal professionals risk committing unintentional ethical violations.

Join us as Pamela draws from her personal experience as a virtual/freelance paralegal and the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Services, and NFPA’s Model Disciplinary Rules and Ethical Considerations to examine the ethical challenges and dilemmas faced by WFH legal professionals.

How does WFH impact our personal and professional integrity and professional conduct? Are confidentiality and security being adequately preserved? Does WFH increase the probability of conflicts of interest? Are paralegals receiving proper supervision, or does WFH blur the line for UPL?

CLE Sessions
2:35 p.m. to 1:35 p.m. 

Cyber Threats and Incident Response Planning: How to Coordinate Your Defenses to a Cyber Attack

Heidi J. Fessler, Esq. (CIPP-US); Founder, Innova Law Group, PLLC

There is no such thing as being too big, or too small, to be the target of a Cyber Attack.  When the threat materializes you need to mitigate the risk and coordinate your response.

 Understanding Cyber Insurance, Incident Response Plans and the key steps to take after the attack will help you to guide your team, client and/or business to ensure that you meet and defeat the attackers.   Join Heidi Fessler for a discussion of how these elements interact and how you can be prepared before, during and after an attack.

What Works in Corrections: Are we doing it in Minnesota?

Paul Schnell, M.A., Minnesota Commissioner of Corrections

Crime and criminal justice tends to garner considerable public interest.  Recent media focus on the local and nationally noted increase in crime has caused many to question if anything  works to change the behavior of those convicted of criminal offenses.  

This session will focus on what works in corrections and correctional programming and the current programs offered and being proposed by the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Topics covered will include: the profile of Minnesota's prison population, treatment programming offerings, recidivism rates by offense type, early release programs, and why there has been increased focused on criminal justice system reform. 

Crimmigration 101: The Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law

Elizabeth Eckholm & Rachel Bialon-Crane; Students, University of St. Thomas School of Law, and former paralegals

We will provide a presentation on the unique practice of "Crimmigration", the niche area of law where criminal law and immigration law overlap. As former paralegals and now current law students, Rachel and Liz will provide perspectives and education on how a paralegal can assist attorneys in these area and awareness of the unique issues immigrants face.


Professional Journeys - In-House 3M Paralegal Panel

Terry L. Beyl, Patty Meagher, MnCP, Caryn B. Wermager, Jennifer Mitchell, Cheryl Robischon, and Melissa Carins; Legal Specialists, 3M Company

3M Corporate paralegals will discuss their transition from law firms to corporate paralegal roles in various areas of law including litigation, employment, environmental, corporate, contracts, intellectual property, compliance, advertising, marketing and product safety.  This experienced group of paralegals will also discuss different paralegal roles at 3M and how they keep motivated while working remotely.

 Paralegals in Non-Traditional Roles

Pamela Starr, CBA, J.S.M., Tom Stephenson, RP, Senator Karla Bigham, Maren Schroeder, RP, MnCP; Moderated by Jamie Holzer, MnCP

Join our panel of non-traditional paralegals to hear how they've used their paralegal skills to drive their careers in business ownership, mentoring, technology, politics, advocacy, and more.

2021 Registration Options

 Member Full Day$90
 Member Half Day$45 
 Student (Full or Half)$50 
 Non-Member Full Day$130 
 Non-Member Half Day$65 
 Member Legal Aid$72 
 Non-Member Legal Aid$104 

Don't wait, register TODAY! Registration closes

October 20, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

Register for Convention

This year's convention charity is...

In conjunction with the 2021 Annual Convention, Minnesota Paralegal Association has chosen the Children's Law Center of Minnesota as this year's charity fundraiser. Register for Convention and add your support!

Children’s Law Center of Minnesota (CLC) was founded in 1995 with the mission to promote the legal rights and well-being of children and youth. CLC’s staff and volunteers provide direct representation of 800 children and youth, primarily in the child welfare system, and advocate for changes in the systems that affect their lives.


CLE Notice

MPA will be applying for CLE credits through NFPA® for each breakout session and/or workshop that qualifies. CLE certificates will be emailed to each person requesting a CLE certificate.

Cancellation Policy

Written notice of cancellation must be emailed, mailed, or faxed by October 15th to receive a full refund. Cancellations received after October 15th will be refunded minus a $25.00 late cancellation fee.

Not sure if the Annual Convention is for you? Check out the speakers, topics, and keynotes from past conventions!

2019 Annual Convention Program Booklet

2018 Annual Convention Program Booklet

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