Attorney Spotlight: Joe Barnett

In what area of law do you practice and why did you choose this?

I practice primarily in the areas of construction law, business disputes, and property disputes.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a game warden when I was young.

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

I had the idea of being an attorney in my mind all through college, but did not make a final determination to go to law school until one cold morning working at a golf course in Arizona in 1997.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer?

I cannot imagine not being a lawyer. If i had to do something else, I would probably be involved in a hunting or sporting business.

Tell us about a mentor who made an impact on your career.

J. Robert Keena opened the door for me at Hellmuth & Johnson and has been very supportive of my practice.

What do you like best about practicing law at H&J?

Hellmuth & Johnson is a very supportive law firm that helps all of its attorneys succeed. I like that I can walk down the hall and get quick answers to legal areas outside of my expertise.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Let everyone know about your practice and the other practice areas covered by Hellmuth & Johnson.

What is the strangest legal question you have ever been asked?

How do I stop the CIA from spying on me?

What is an item on your bucket list?

Bow hunting elk.

What is your favorite vacation spot?


What is your favorite Minnesota Lake?


What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?

Manny’s Steakhouse.

When you are not working, what would people find you doing?

Chasing my two young boys or hunting.

What is your favorite part of practicing law?

I get to help people navigate difficult situations in their life.

Who is your hero?

My mother.

What is a recent good book you read?

I loved the Vince Flynn books.

What advice would you give to the young version of yourself who is just entering law school?

Start marketing yourself early on in your career.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I grew up in Florida.

What is your strongest asset?

I’m tenacious and do not give up easily.

If you have an out-of-town visitor, what are the “must see/do” things in the Twin Cities?

Boat Minnetonka.