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Paul C. Thissen



Appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Mark Dayton on May 14, 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2021.


J.D., with honors, University of Chicago Law School, 1992
A.B., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1989

Past Employment

  • Speaker of the Minnesota House, 2013-2014
  • Democratic House Leader, 2011-2016
  • Chair of the Health and Human Service Committee, 2007-2010
Ballard Spahr Law Firm (formerly Lindquist & Vennum), 2010-2018
Briggs and Morgan Law Firm, 1993-2010
Minnesota State Public Defenders Office, Appellate Division, 1998-1999
Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Clerking for the Honorable Judge James Loken, 1992-1993

Professional Memberships

Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)
Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA)
Executive Board Member, New Lawyers Division of the HCBA and MSBA
Coach, MSBA Mock Trial Competition 

Professional and Community Activities 

Healthy and Happy Kids, Member of the Board, 2015-present
Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Trustee, 2011-2018
Minnesota AIDS Project Policy Board, 2006
Minnesota Justice Foundation, Member of the Board, 2000-2002
Women of Nations Shelter, 1998-2000
Access for Persons with Disabilities, Founder and Member of the Board, 1995-1997

Additional Information

Top 100 Influential Minnesotans in Health Care; 2016, 2013, 2009
Women's Economic Security Champion, 2015
Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Legislator of the Year, 2014
Standing Ovation Award, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, 2014
Minnesota High Tech Association Public Service Award, 2014
Legislator of the Year, Politics in Minnesota, 2012
ARRM Cares Leadership Award, 2009
Minnesota Nurses Association, Public Official Award, 2008
Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Best Brains in the Twin Cities, 2008
ARC Minnesota, Legislator of the Year, 2008
"Forty Under 40" Top Twin Cities Professionals, Twin Cities Business Journal, 2006
Civic Leadership Award from Citizen's League, 2005
Photograph of  Paul C. Thissen
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