In what area of law do you practice and why did you choose this?
I’m part of the civil litigation team here at Hellmuth & Johnson. In that role, I handle a diverse array of matters including contract disputes, construction matters, and a variety of tort claims.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Growing up I wanted to be a fighter pilot. That is probably due to watching Top Gun at a young age.
When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?
As part of an 8th grade civics class, I was chosen to be an attorney in a mock trial. Learning, even in a general way, about how attorneys represent clients and make arguments on their behalf set me on my path to becoming an attorney.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer?
If I weren’t a lawyer I’d likely be the world’s most argumentative history professor.
Tell us about a mentor who made an impact on your career.
Before entering private practice I had the privilege of clerking for Judge Ronald Abrams in Hennepin County. Having the opportunity to observe his approach to the law and to hear his insights about the cases which came before him was immensely helpful to my practice.
What do you like best about practicing law at H&J?
Hellmuth & Johnson has the perfect balance of diverse experience and personal touch. The firm is large enough to have the ability to handle nearly any matter but is small enough that you still feel like part of a team instead of just another worker.
What is the best career advice you have received?
While I was in law school, an attorney-advisor of mine once warned against acting like you’re above doing the work. In a profession where some attorneys sadly think they’re simply too important to attend to the details, I remind myself to never let pride get in the way of the work.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Oslo, Norway. I come from a long line of proud Norwegians and still have family in the home country. Oslo’s blend of history, modern amusement, and natural beauty makes it my all-time favorite place.
What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?
Ted Cook’s 19th Hole Barbecue.
When you are not working, what would people find you doing?
I love spending time with friends and family. My wife and I regularly plan trivia competitions with our local friends. I also enjoy target shooting when I have the opportunity, especially if it means I can get outdoors.
What is your favorite part of practicing law?
I enjoy that practicing law means I’m always learning. Whether it’s a legal issue which is new to me or a unique factual situation which changes how the law applies, I enjoy that I’m always growing and finding new ways of thinking.
What is a recent goof book you read?
The Food Lab by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt. A tome of a book which delves into the how and why of how cooking functions. The blend of science and art is extremely engaging and interesting.
What advice would you give to the young version of yourself who is just entering law school?
Tune out the noise. Everyone deals with stress and challenges differently, that doesn’t mean the anxiety of others needs to impact your mindset or habits. One step at a time.
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I love to cook. When I have the time, I enjoy taking on unique or complicated dishes and exploring new cuisines.