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2019-20 MWL Board of Directors

As per MWL's bylaws, the Board of Directors "shall conduct the business and affairs of the corporation." With some exceptions, the Board meets typically the 4th Thursday of the month at 5:30 p.m.  Contact Executive Director Debra Pexa for further information.   




Amy Taber
Prime Therapeutics

Amy Taber assumed the office President as of July 1, 2019. Amy is Prime Therapeutics’ Employment and Litigation Senior Legal Counsel where she provides legal advice and support to Prime's human resources and facilities teams and assists with oversight of Prime's employment and general business litigation activities. Amy began practicing law in 2004 and was a partner at Barnes & Thornburg LLP before joining Prime. Prior to becoming a lawyer, she was a human resources professional for 10 years. Since joining the MWL Board as a Director in 2012, Amy has served in the role of Secretary and President-Elect. Amy is also a two-time recipient of the Service to MWL Award. 


hover textPresident-Elect

Breia Schleuss
Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP

Breia Schleuss currently serves as MWL President-Elect. Breia is a partner at Faegre Drinker LLP, where she is a member of the Finance & Restructuring Practice Group and a co-chair of the firm’s Food & Agribusiness Industry team. Breia has been recognized as a Top Woman in Finance by Finance & Commerce, a Rising Star in banking by Super Lawyers, and a 2019 Emerging Leader by M&A Advisors. Among other board service, Breia serves on the Business Finance Advisory Committee of WomenVenture, the Board of Directors for the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations, and the Cowles Council for the Cowles Center for the Performing Arts.

hover textTreasurer
Kristin Haugen

Morneau Shepell

Kristin Haugen currently serves as MWL Treasurer. Kristin is Vice-President, Legal at Morneau Shepell.  She was formerly a solo attorney at KC Haugen Law and an Attorney Business Development Coach for Rock Solid Consultants. As a coach and trainer, Kristin used her personal experiences to coach other attorneys on managing their practices, building critical relationships and achieving their goals. Kristin is also a Co-Chair of MWL’s Development Committee and actively participates in MWL’s Networking Committee. 

hover textSecretary
Jennifer Robbins



Jennifer Robbins currently serves as MWL Secretary. Jennifer (“Jenny”) is the Managing Partner at MADEL PA, where she represents Fortune 500 companies and individuals in plaintiff- and defense-side business litigation (e.g., antitrust, trade secret, complex class actions, regulatory matters) and white-collar criminal defense, government investigations, and matters alleging misconduct against professionals. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Jenny serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee.


hover textPast-President
Shannon Harmon
Hennepin County Attorneys Office

Shannon Harmon currently serves as MWL Past-President beginning July 1, 2019. Shannon is an attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel's Small Business/Self-Employed Division. Prior to joining Chief Counsel, Shannon served for more than nine years as an Assistant Attorney General with the Minnesota Attorney General's Office, including five years in the Charities Division and four years in the Tax Litigation Division. She is a graduate of New York University and the University of Minnesota Law School and a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. Since joining the MWL Board as a Director in 2011, Shannon has also served in the role of Secretary, Treasurer and President-Elect. In addition to serving on the MWL Board and many other leadership roles across MWL, Shannon serves as the Chair of the Knitting Affinity Group. She is also a MWL Foundation Board Director and it's Past-President. 



hover textEllen Ahrens

Ellen Ahrens is an attorney at MADEL PA. Previously Ellen was a career law clerk for the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota. Before clerking, Ellen worked for a Minneapolis law firm representing plaintiffs in antitrust class action litigation. In addition to serving on MWL’s Board of Directors, Ellen mentors local law students through MWL’s attorney-student mentorship program. Ellen serves as Co-Chair of the Publications Committee.



hover textDionne Blake

Dionne Blake is an Assistant General Counsel/Senior Director at Target where she leads a multidisciplinary team supporting employee related issues. Licensed in both Minnesota and Florida, Dionne has been a Legal Affairs leader in retail organizations for the past 15 years.  Prior to that, she practiced Labor and Employment defense litigation for a national employment firm.   In addition to serving on MWL’s Board of Directors, she also is a Co-Chair of the Networking Committee and serves on the Diversity and Inclusion committee.




Kate Bruce
Optum (a UnitedHealth company)

Kate Bruce is an Associate General Counsel at Optum, a UnitedHealth Group company, where she provides enterprise-wide litigation support across many areas of the health care industry. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Kate serves as Co-Chair of the Chapter Coordination Committee.





hover textA. Elizabeth Burnett
Robins Kaplan LLP

Liz Burnett is an experienced litigator who represents clients nationwide in products liability, commercial, and disaster litigation, including toxic tort and class action cases. Many of these high-stakes matters stem from fires and explosions involving combustible dust or natural gas. Representing plaintiffs and defendants, Liz’s clients range from product manufacturers to plant owners to subrogated property insurers. Liz is recognized as a Minnesota Rising Star by Super Lawyers and was previously named an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer


hover text

Susan Gallagher
Gallagher Law Office, L.L.C.

Susan M. Gallagher, J.D., R.N. practices exclusively in the area of family law in the 14 county Metro Area and in greater Minnesota for over two decades. Susan is a qualified neutral under Rule 114 of the Minnesota Rules of General Practice as a mediator, arbitrator, consensual special magistrate, social and financial early neutral evaluator, Court appointed Guardian ad Litem and as a parenting consultant and parenting time expeditor. Susan brings years of experience as a Registered Nurse to her practice. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Susan serves as Co-Chair of the Development Committee.


Emerald Gratz
Minnesota Supreme Court

Emerald Gratz is an Assistant Commissioner of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Prior to joining the Commissioner’s Office in 2018, Emerald was a staff attorney at the Minnesota Office of Administrative Hearings, Assistant Attorney General at the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, and law clerk in federal district court in Minnesota. In 2011, she received the public service award from the Minnesota County Attorney’s Association. Emerald spent five years teaching appellate advocacy as an adjunct instructor at the University of Minnesota Law School and providing pro bono representation to children in foster care through the Children’s Law Center. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Emerald serves as Co-Chair of the CLE Committee and the Leadership Development Committee.  

hover textPoonam Kumar

Poonam Kumar is an attorney with DLA Piper LLP. Poonam has extensive experience working on a wide variety of cross-border transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures and corporate restructurings, as well as general corporate, securities and commercial law matters. Poonam is a representative for DLA Piper’s Leadership Alliance for Women. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Poonam serves as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. She is also a MWL Foundation Board Director.


hover textKaren Opp
Korn Ferry

Karen Opp is the Deputy General Counsel for Korn Ferry. Karen has primary responsibility for supporting the advisory and products businesses and also manages the company’s IP portfolio. Karen has extensive experience in intellectual property, e-commerce, software licensing, joint venture, strategic alliance, distribution and corporate partnering transactions. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Karen serves as Co-Chair of the Programming Committee and Co-Chair of the In-House Lawyers Affinity Group. 

hover textCalandra Revering
Attorney at Law

Calandra Revering is a solo attorney at Revering Law and Consulting. Calandra practices in the areas of criminal defense, family law, personal injury and workplace investigations. Calandra also has extensive trial experience, non-profit experience, she enjoys and using her knowledge and background to mentor other attorneys and law school students. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Calandra serves as Co-Chair of the Equity Committee. 



hover textMary Szondy
Attorney at Law

Mary Szondy owns her own solo practice, focusing on guardianships and conservatorships, wills and trusts. As a former social worker at the Courage Center and on an Alzheimer unit at the Minnesota Masonic Home, Mary has over 20 years' experience working with people with disabilities or impairments due to aging. Mary serves on the Hennepin County and Ramsey County Court Appointed Attorney panels for Guardianship/Conservatorship cases. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Mary serves as Co-Chair of the Community Action & Advocacy Committee, and Co-Chair of the Solo/Small Firm Practitioner Affinity Group.


Chapter Representatives

hover textCentral Chapter 

Michelle Draewell
Quinlivan & Hughes, P.A.

Michelle Draewell practices in the areas of commercial litigation, criminal prosecution and defense, contractual business, and liability defense matters. at Quinlivan & Hughes in St. Cloud Minnesota. Previously Michelle served in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota as an extern for the Honorable Richard H. Kyle and represented low income clients on housing matters at the U of M's Housing Clinic. Michelle earned her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.

hover textNortheastern Chapter

Kay Biga
Spott Law Office

Kay Biga is a partner at the Spott Law Office in Duluth, Minnesota. She advises small business clients in the areas of business formation, employment law and estate planning. Kay worked as a guardian ad litem in St. Louis County for seventeen years and is on the Rule 114 qualified neutral roster as a mediator. She is the new liaison for the MWL Northeastern Chapter.


hover textSouth Central Chapter
KyLee Manthei
Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

KyLee Manthei is an attorney for Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services (SMRLS) in the Family Law Unit. KyLee has been with SMRLS since 2017. This is KyLee's second year serving as the South Central Chapter’s liaison. 

hover textSt. Croix Valley Chapter
Anne Brown
Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A.

Anne Greenwood Brown practices Employment and Personal Injury law with Sjoberg & Tebelius, P.A. in Woodbury, Minnesota. Anne has experience as an appellate court law clerk, adjunct law professor, juvenile public defender, as well as an extensive and varied history as a private practitioner. Anne earned her Juris Doctorate (cum laude) from William Mitchell College of Law. In addition to serving on the MWL Board of Directors, Anne is actively involved with the MWL Publications Committee.


Law Student Liaisons


The women's law student organizations at all three Minnesota law schools will elect a member to serve as non-voting liaison to the MWL Board of Directors.

hover textMitchell Hamline School of Law
Jen Allison

Jen Allison is a 2L at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. She is active in Women’s Law Student Association (LAWS) as the MWL Liaison and Secretary, Business Law Society as Secretary and the Child Protection Clinic as a certified student attorney. Jen currently works as a Law Clerk for Brandt Criminal Defense. 


hover textUniversity of Minnesota Law School
Taylor Gunderson

Taylor Gunderson is a 2L at the University of Minnesota Law School. She is passionate about advancing human rights globally, especially for women. She is currently a research assistant at the University of Minnesota Law School with her last summer spent at the St. Paul Department of Human Rights. She is also on the executive board of the Human Rights Advocacy Project and the Women's Law Student Association at the law school.




hover textUniversity of St. Thomas School of Law
Megan Hsiang

Megan Hsiang is a 2L student at the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She is active in Womens Law Student Association (WLSA) as the MWL Liaison, Asian Pacific American Law Student Alliance (APALSA) as Secretary, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) as a board member, and the University of St. Thomas Law Journal as an Associate Editor.




Minnesota Women Lawyers
600 Nicollet Mall, Suite 390B
Minneapolis, MN 55402

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