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April 25, 2024

Spring 2024 Alumni Newsletter

Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to catch up on the latest news from Faegre Drinker and our alumni! With new faces, accomplishments and events, there’s always plenty to celebrate across our alumni network.

We encourage you to subscribe to Alumni News & Events, share what’s new with you in our LinkedIn alumni group, or email us at alumni@faegredrinker.com. Let us know what you think of this latest edition and how we can better serve your needs as alumni. Our inbox is always open.

Our People

In the Spotlight with Dadri-Anne Graham and Audrey Taranto 

Their career paths took this edition’s featured alumni into two different industries as in-house counsel, but they both agree the lessons and skills they learned at Faegre Drinker equipped them for their next steps. In our alumni spotlights, find out how Dadri-Anne Graham found herself pursuing a legal career because of her family’s TV-viewing traditions and why Audrey Taranto’s summer associate class felt a strong kinship to MTV’s “The Real World.”

Alumni News & Moves

From professional anniversaries and promotions to presidential appointments, book publications and other years-in-the-making milestones, your personal and professional accomplishments continue to inspire us all. Read our deep dive into the latest news and moves from our global network.

Former Leaders in London

Retired Minneapolis partner Michael E. Murphy and his wife Jane visited the firm’s London office last fall. They enjoyed a lunch hosted by Alex Denny and Melanie Wadsworth. Mike joined the firm in 1980 to found our international practice and was instrumental in opening the firm's London office in 1985. Mike and Jane also visited retired partners Tom Johnson and Scott James, the first attorneys Mike recruited to staff the London office.

Pictured below (left to right) are Tom Johnson, Mike Murphy, Scott James and Jane Murphy.

Picture of Tom Johnson, Mike Murphy, Scott James and Jane Murphy

New Faces

We are glad to welcome several new colleagues to the Faegre Drinker family:

*We are thrilled to welcome Matt back to the firm.

Partner Class, New Counsel Promotions Announced

The firm announced the promotion of 27 attorneys to partner and two attorneys to counsel at the beginning of 2024. Read more about the latest group of partners and counsel — representing 11 locations and 13 practice groups — in our full announcement online.

2023 New Associate Class

Faegre Drinker welcomed a record-setting 53 new associates in the class of 2023! You can read more online about the former judicial clerks and first-year associates who joined Faegre Drinker colleagues at 12 of our locations. 


As new friends joined us, we also had to say goodbye to several close friends and colleagues over the past few months. Please join us in sending our best wishes to those who recently retired from the firm:

  • Timothy Casey (Finance & Restructuring), Senior Counsel, Chicago
  • Jo Cicchetti (Insurance), Senior Counsel, Washington, D.C.
  • Quin Frazer (Private Client), Senior Counsel, Chicago
  • Jeffrey Ganiban (Health Care), Partner, Washington, D.C.
  • Michael Giudicessi (Labor & Employment), Partner, Des Moines
  • Stephanie Gumm (Intellectual Property), Partner, Indianapolis
  • Steven Hardin (Real Estate), Senior Counsel, Indianapolis
  • Chris Hofstad (Corporate), Partner, Minneapolis
  • Jay Jaffe (Finance & Restructuring), Senior Counsel, Indianapolis
  • Susan Kline (Labor & Employment), Partner, Indianapolis
  • Jennifer Kremp (Corporate), Counsel, Indianapolis
  • Debra Lappin (Government & Regulatory), Principal, Washington, D.C.
  • Michael MacLean (Benefits & Executive Compensation), Senior Counsel, Indianapolis
  • Gerald McCartin (Health Care), Partner, Washington, D.C.
  • Stephen Mertz (Finance & Restructuring), Senior Counsel, Minneapolis
  • Ashley Pezzner (Intellectual Property), Senior Counsel, Wilmington
  • Kristin Jones Pierre (Labor & Employment), Partner, Minneapolis
  • Laura Phillips (Government & Regulatory), Senior Counsel, Washington, D.C.
  • Walter Pickhardt (Business Litigation), Senior Counsel, Minneapolis
  • Mark Sausser (Real Estate), Counsel, Indianapolis
  • Joseph Seiler (Corporate), Senior Deputy General Counsel/Senior Counsel, New York City

What Else Is Happening?

General Firm News

Faegre Drinker Announces 2024 Leadership Transitions and Board Elections

We are pleased to announce our 2024 board elections and practice group, industry team, office and community leadership appointments. View the full list here.

Faegre Drinker Relocates Dallas Office

Our Dallas colleagues are now working right in the center of the city’s Arts District. The move allows the firm to continue our path of upward growth into the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and the new space features improved collaboration spaces, a state-of-the-art conference center and more. Read about it here.

Faegre Drinker Achieves Recognitions for Service Excellence

We are honored to be recognized and thrilled to announce that the firm has achieved significant recognitions since our last newsletter in November 2023. First, we have been honored with a place on the International Employment Lawyer’s (IEL) “2024 Global Elite” list, showcasing our innovative and high-value advice in employment and labor law on a global scale. Additionally, Global Restructuring Review (GRR) has named us as one of the world’s leading law firms for cross-border restructurings and insolvencies in their “GRR 100” 2023, highlighting our extensive experience and notable cases in this field. Lastly, we have been acknowledged as a client service leader by BTI Consulting, ranking number 18 out of 241 law firms in their “Client Service A-Team 2024” report, a testament to our dedication to providing exceptional service and meeting client needs at the highest level.

Read about our inclusion in IEL’s “2024 Global Elite” list.

Read about our inclusion in the “GRR 100” list.

Read about our ranking as a client service leader by BTI Consulting.

Faegre Drinker Design Lab Publishes Second eBook on Legal Design Thinking and Visual Advocacy

The new eBook is a shorter version of the first, original “Design Thinking and Visual Advocacy for Lawyers” eBook. This innovative resource was authored by intellectual property partner David J.F. Gross with support from partners Kate Razavi and Ruben Gonzalez. Readers will be introduced to the concepts of legal design, learn tips on applying design thinking to everyday work, and take away how concepts of visual advocacy can be used in the practice of law. Read more about the eBook.

Pro Bono

2023 Pro Bono Award Recipients Announced

The annual Faegre Drinker Pro Bono Award and Pro Bono Service Moment of the Year Award recognize our colleagues who provide and support exceptional pro bono legal service. From assisting asylum seekers during an international human rights crisis to providing legal support for veterans, building new community partnerships and more, read about our 2023 Pro Bono Award recipients online.

Pro Bono Honor Roll

More than 300 Faegre Drinker attorneys were named to the firm’s Pro Bono Honor Roll for their dedicated service. In 2023, attorneys and paraprofessionals contributed more than 45,600 pro bono hours. We devoted 79% of our pro bono hours to serving low-income clients and organizations that serve them, affirming our shared commitment to serving others. Colleagues across the firm worked together — and with our corporate clients and nonprofit community partners — to improve lives and make equal justice a reality for the clients that we served.

Through skilled advice, zealous representation and effective systemic work in diverse practice areas, hundreds of pro bono volunteers made a profound difference in our communities. Among many other efforts, volunteers ensured housing security, supported families through adoptions and guardianships, protected intellectual property and advised small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Faegre Drinker attorneys also played significant leadership roles on state Supreme Court access to justice commissions, legal aid boards and in other systemic initiatives to increase access to justice in our communities and received recognition by several state and federal courts for pro bono excellence.

Minnesota Lawyer Names Faegre Drinker Pro Bono Team “Attorneys of the Year”

A Faegre Drinker Pro Bono team was selected by Minnesota Lawyer as 2023 “Attorneys of the Year” in the Pro Bono category. The Faegre Drinker team will share the award with the ACLU of Minnesota for their work to change Minnesota’s system of felony disenfranchisement.

The “Restore the Vote” team included Faegre Drinker attorneys Craig Coleman, Jeffrey Justman and Kirsten Elfstrand. The team was selected for their work in challenging the constitutionality of felony disenfranchisement. Following the litigation, Minnesota restored voting rights to over 55,000 Minnesotans living in the community on probation, parole, or community supervision. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz called it “the largest expansion of voting rights in Minnesota in a half-century.” Read more about this and retired partner Joseph Price’s recognition for service to the profession online

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

  • Faegre Drinker Hosts 2024 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Remembrance Event 
    On January 23, Faegre Drinker hosted our 2024 Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. remembrance event with a screening of “The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks,” the documentary film which delves deep into civil rights through Rosa Parks’ historic work and role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Interviews and archived footage tell the story of her extensive organizing, radical politics and lifelong dedication to activism. 
  • Faegre Drinker Celebrates Black History Month
    On February 10, Faegre Drinker hosted our 2024 Black History Month program featuring Laurie Robinson Haden, founder, president and CEO of Corporate Counsel Women of Color (CCWC). Throughout the fireside chat-style program, Laurie shared insights about her exemplary career and the work she does to promote and champion diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Faegre Drinker Celebrates Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day
    On March 12, the firm celebrated Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day with a program featuring CNN News Anchor Abby Phillip. Abby shared insights into the current political and legal landscape and its effects on women.

We couldn’t continue to perform at the level we have if not for the exceptional counsel and dedication of our attorneys and consultants. And we couldn’t reach for new levels if not for the support of former colleagues and forever friends like you.

Thank you.

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