School of Law alumni honors.

Law Alumni Receive Attorney of the Year and Other Honors

Several St. Thomas School of Law graduates have recently been recognized with awards and honors. Congratulations to the following alumni:

2022 Attorneys of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer

Mary Nikolai ’18 J.D. (Gustafson Gluek PLLC)

Mary Nikolai ’18 J.D., associate, Gustafson Gluek PLLC

Mary Nikolai was part of the legal team that took on Brewster v. USA, a pro bono case involving a veteran who sustained injuries during his surgery and subsequent treatment at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The team overcame significant challenges to secure a significant settlement for their client.

Artika Tyner ’06 J.D., ’10 MA, ’12 EdD (Mark Brown/University of St. Thomas)

Artika Tyner ’06 J.D., ’10 MA, ’12 EdD, St. Thomas Law professor, founder and CEO of Planting People Growing Justice LLC

Dr. Artika Tyner was recognized for her work on the Federal Bar Association’s StepUp Pro Bono Challenge. The challenge encouraged young attorneys to perform 50 hours of volunteer work involving social justice issues. Tyner developed a digital continuing legal education course for the initiative that covers, among other topics, the core competencies attorneys need to become leaders and research on access to justice and economic disparities.

Michael Boulette ’10 J.D. (Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP)
Abby Sunberg ’18, ’21 J.D. (Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP)

Michael Boulette ’10 J.D., partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

Abby Sunberg ’18, ’21 J.D., associate, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP 

Michael Boulette and Abby Sunberg, along with one of their colleagues at Taft, won a Minnesota Supreme Court decision that establishes the proper procedure for considering the division of omitted assets from joint petitions for marriage dissolution. The outcome of the case, Pooley v. Pooley, will better protect disadvantaged spouses by ensuring district court supervision over the division of all their assets. 

Aaron Knoll ’12 J.D. (Greene Espel PLLP)

Aaron Knoll ’12 J.D., attorney, Greene Espel PLLP

Aaron Knoll was part of a legal partnership that was successful in defending a written contract for goods purchased by Newsert LLC during the pandemic. Though the pandemic created extraordinary circumstances for businesses, a jury found that Reach Companies LLC did not meet the terms of the contract and the company was ordered to pay Newsert $1.2 million. 

2022 Notable General Counsel, Twin Cities Business

Brian Senger ’07 J.D.
Mike Turpin ’07 J.D.

Brian Senger ’07 J.D., general counsel, corporate secretary and chief compliance officer, MOBE (now vice president and general counsel, SPS Commerce)

Mike Turpin 07 J.D., chief administrative officer and general counsel, People Incorporated Mental Health Services 

Brian Singer and Mike Turpin are two of just 11 individuals who have been named a Notable General Counsel for 2022 by Twin Cities Business magazine. The Notable series from Twin Cities Business features best-in-class executives across a range of industries in Minnesota. The leaders profiled are nominated by their peers at work and in the community. Individuals chosen for the general counsel list serve in a senior level role at a company or organization in Minnesota, have at least five years of experience in the field and have shown the ability to effect change in their roles or areas of practice. 

Jazz Hampton ’12, ’15 J.D.

Black Leaders in the Twin Cities, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal

Jazz Hampton ’12, ’15 J.D., co-founder, CEO and general counsel, TurnSignl

Jazz Hampton was recognized by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal during Black History Month in February as a Black Leader in the Twin Cities. Editors of the Business Journal, helped by a team of well-connected community and business leaders, chose 200 individuals from business, government, advocacy, community work and other sectors to feature throughout the month.