In recognition of Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women of Best & Flanagan, their achievements, and their leadership.
Sarah joined the firm as a summer associate, quickly became a star in the litigation section and served in various leadership posts on her way to being unanimously elected managing partner. While her law firm leadership progression isn’t unusual, her authenticity is - Sarah’s the rare lawyer to successfully integrate her practice and management responsibilities into a big, beautiful life outside the law. She leans into being a daughter and a traveler, a mother and a typewriter collector, a poet and a sister first and we see her lever the skills, patience, fortitude and wisdom earned in those pursuits to make herself a better, stronger and more relatable lawyer, leader and mentor. She’s the best we’ve got and we’re thrilled to have her leading Team B&F. For these reasons and more, we celebrate Sarah Crippen as a Woman Who Leads.
She’s whip-smart and extraordinarily efficient, driven and grounded, engaged and interested in her work and her community. An exceptional person, a gifted lawyer and the ideal teammate - Libby was a go-to resource when she joined us and quickly emerged as a leader on our business law team and in our associate recruitment and development efforts. She’s made herself indispensable by consistently delivering thoughtful and strategic advice to clients and colleagues and she embodies the promise of the next generation of women leaders at Best & Flanagan. For these reasons and more, we celebrate Libby Davydov as a Woman Who Leads.
A long-time partner, Mary is an accomplished and decorated estate planning attorney and a thought leader in our Private Wealth Planning Group. She leads as a rainmaker and client-whisperer whose success illustrates the power of an authentic, thoughtful, client-centric approach. Perhaps most importantly, Mary leads as a lawyer who has been successful by every measure but never fails to treat clients and colleagues with kindness and respect – her gracious and generous approach to her practice is an example that makes the rest of us better. For these reasons and more, we celebrate Mary Shearen as a Woman Who Leads.
As our newest partner, Katie brings extensive experience in guiding clients through the appellate process in state and federal courts. Katie’s strategic forethought and creative advocacy enable clients to put their best arguments forward. Katie serves as the Chair of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Section Council and as a member the Executive Board of the ABA’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. She also demonstrates her leadership through her deep commitment to providing pro bono legal services on issues of social justice and civil rights. We celebrate Katie Barrett Wiik as a Woman Who Leads.
With an eye for detail and an ability to see issues from every angle, Jen brings focus and clarity to her commercial litigation practice. She represents companies and individuals in complex disputes, always working to distill issues to their essence. Jen’s passion for justice has led her to be a longtime volunteer attorney for Advocates for Human Rights, representing clients in immigration and asylum matters. She has been recognized as an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer. We celebrate Jen Olson as a Woman Who Leads.
A compassionate and generous member of our family law team, Karolina works tirelessly to empower clients through difficult transitions. Karolina partners with clients to achieve practical and effective solutions. In addition to her role as an advocate, Karolina serves as a family law mediator, helping parties to reach fair resolutions. Karolina also spends time mentoring new attorneys and giving back to the community through a dedication to pro bono work. We celebrate Karolina Brekken-Hoerl as a Woman Who Leads.
A rising leader on the employment and labor law team, Ashleigh advises our clients on challenging workplace issues and has proven her courtroom skills arguing cases before both the Minnesota Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit. She is a talented trainer and investigator in employment law matters and a leader on the firm’s attorney well-being and other initiatives. Beyond the firm, Ashleigh is actively involved in Minnesota politics and justice initiatives through the Minnesota Justice Foundation and Women Winning. Ashleigh embodies the culture and values of Best & Flanagan in everything that she does, and she makes us better through her work both inside and outside the firm. We celebrate Ashleigh Leitch as a Woman Who Leads.
A longtime member of the firm’s real estate and litigation practices, Barb is tenacious, always prepared, and focused on the most practical and efficient path to success for our clients. Barb has served as a leader both within and outside the firm, as chair of both the Eminent Domain and Real Property Sections of the Hennepin County Bar Association, through contributions of time and talent in pro bono matters and the Reading to Win Program, and as a steady and thoughtful mentor to young lawyers and paralegals. In her decades as a role model for women lawyers, Barb has helped make Best & Flanagan a great place to practice. We celebrate Barb Ross as a Woman Who Leads.
Our longest-serving woman partner, Cathy was an early role model for many young women lawyers at Best & Flanagan. Cathy is an aggressive and effective litigator and also a wise and caring advisor in all areas of family law. She has been a generous mentor to young lawyers and paralegals, has been repeatedly recognized as a top family law attorney in Minnesota, and has been named a woman of outstanding leadership by the International Women’s Leadership Association. Cathy has made countless contributions to our culture and to our success, and she has made us better. We celebrate Cathy Gorlin as a Woman Who Leads.
One of our newest young leaders, Lauren brings a wealth of determination and talent to her work as a lawyer. Lauren works on a wide variety of litigation matters, including commercial, employment and family law cases. She serves her community as a mentor for individuals with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita and is actively involved in We Can Ride, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through equine-assisted activities. Lauren’s fortitude and confidence inspire us and contribute to who we are as a firm. We celebrate Lauren Clements as a Woman Who Leads.
A dedicated and experienced family law attorney, Rebecca advises and advocates for clients going through some of the most challenging times of their lives. She has helped countless Best & Flanagan clients find dignified and fair resolutions of family law disputes. Rebecca is also dedicated to being involved in the community as a longtime member and officer of the National Asian Pacific Bar Association and through her work with Minnesota Women Lawyers. Smart, compassionate and dedicated to providing the highest level of client service, Rebecca is part of what makes Best & Flanagan great. We celebrate Rebecca Chaffee as a Woman Who Leads.
In addition to being a tenacious and creative advocate and advisor to her clients both in and outside the courtroom, Amy leads through meaningful mentorship of associates, deep involvement in the community, wise guidance to the firm as its General Counsel, and most of all as a smart and generous role model for what a lawyer and leader should be. Amy is a thought leader in our litigation section and as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee, and she makes us better every day. We celebrate Amy Conners as a Woman Who Leads.