Gray Plant Mooty is the longest-standing law firm in Minnesota and a sponsor of the Minneapolis Foundation’s Centennial Futurist Conference. We asked GPM principal Ann Burns to tell us about the firm and how it gives back to the community.
TMF: How would you describe Gray Plant Mooty in 100 words?
Ann: Gray Plant Mooty is recognized as one of the leading law firms in Minnesota and one of the top franchise firms in the world. Founded in 1866, Gray Plant Mooty has been providing quality, innovative legal services to our clients for almost 150 years. Our 170-plus attorneys serve an impressive roster of regional, national, and international clients from our offices in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Washington, D.C. We are dedicated to understanding our clients’ needs as well as the trends in their respective industries, and we strive for a lasting impact in all we do—including the Gray Plant Mooty Foundation, a significant and active supporter of local, national, and international communities since 1983.
TMF: Tell us something about the law firm that most people don’t know.
Ann: As the longest-standing law firm in the state, Gray Plant Mooty knows that a strong, vibrant community doesn’t just happen. We are both traditional and contemporary—Charlie Maier and Sarah Duniway are co-Managing Partners at Gray Plant Mooty, and this leadership is a generational shift. The industry is facing a lot of retirements in the coming years; Charlie and Sarah are not Baby Boomers. Many of the GPM practice group chairs and co-chairs are now young, up-and-coming lawyers. There is youthfulness to the firm but that’s not to say that there isn’t a strong bench of older, experienced lawyers still in leading roles at GPM. In a few years, GPM expects to see more co-Managing Partners who are younger (in their 40s, 50s) and more women in the role.
TMF: What’s one thing that GPM has done to give back to the community?
Ann: In 2014, we won the Community Impact Awards for long-term achievement. Giving back to the community is ingrained in our culture and is a long-standing tradition. Serving on boards, charitable giving, community projects; it’s what we do and have always done. Over the past several years, GPM and several individuals at the firm have been involved in a number of areas. Our firm has participated in projects and organizations such as Hats for Hope, Jeremiah Program, Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Walk MS, Hearts & Hammers, Everybody Wins!, and Memorial Blood Centers. As part of a Twin Cities literacy initiative, nearly 40 attorneys and staff members volunteer with Everybody Wins! and provide weekly one-on-one reading help to students at the Marcy Open School in Minneapolis.