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Case Study Ten

Dorsey & Whitney LLP

The law firm that is today Dorsey & Whitney LLP was founded in 1912 at the request of the First National Bank of Minneapolis.  The firm’s first office was at Fifth Street and Second Avenue, across the street from its first client.  One hundred and two years later, that client (today U.S. Bank) is still a valued firm client, its headquarters is still located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis, and the Dorsey firm has never moved more than a few blocks from its original home. 

Although technology has transformed the way law firms serve their clients in many ways, being in close proximity is still extremely important to our client service mission.  Being in downtown Minneapolis makes us skyway close to dozens of major clients.  Client personnel can easily meet with us on matters we are handling, join us for one of our client seminars or just catch up over lunch, dinner or coffee.  Downtown Minneapolis affords us the closest access to the largest number of our Minnesota-based clients, from the largest corporations to government agencies, non-profits, individuals and families and those we serve on a pro bono basis.  No other location would come close.

In addition to convenience for our clients, downtown Minneapolis provides easy access to federal and state courts and city and county government.  For decades, the Firm has had an arrangement with the Minneapolis City Attorney’s office under which Dorsey trial associates do three-and-a-half-month rotations at the City Attorney’s office at Dorsey’s expense gaining valuable courtroom experience prosecuting misdemeanors.  Such a mutually valuable arrangement would be difficult, if not impossible, were we not located in downtown Minneapolis.

Dorsey lawyers and staff love working in downtown Minneapolis.  There is an energy in downtown Minneapolis that matches the energy of our workplace.  There is a diversity of restaurants, shopping and cultural and recreational opportunities.  A stroll down the Nicollet Mall is a wonderful way to cap off a summertime lunch.  Public transportation is excellent.  Being located in downtown Minneapolis is a crucially important recruiting tool when we are hiring Minnesota-based lawyers and staff.

Today, Dorsey lawyers serve clients around the globe from offices across the United States and in Canada, Europe and the Asia Pacific region.  But the firm’s history is deepest in Minneapolis, and Dorsey lawyers have played an important role in bringing about many of the facilities and features that make downtown Minneapolis not only a great place to work and do business but also a great place to spend time.  Dorsey lawyers played a central role in the construction of the IDS Tower and other major Minneapolis buildings.  A team of Dorsey lawyers came up with legal solutions that permitted construction of the downtown Minneapolis skyway system.  Dorsey lawyers were instrumental in legal work relating to construction and financing of the Metrodome, previous home of the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins.  They worked on Target Field, the current home of the Minnesota Twins.  Today, Dorsey lawyers are deeply involved in the building of the People’s Stadium in downtown Minneapolis, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings. 

Dorsey lawyers and staff have helped shape downtown Minneapolis over more than a century.  We are invested in downtown Minneapolis.  Being headquartered in downtown Minneapolis is important in serving the needs of our Minnesota-based clients effectively and efficiently.  It would be difficult to imagine being headquartered anywhere else in Minnesota.


Ken Cutler
Managing Partner
Dorsey & Whitney LLP

January 2014