News Alumni

Governor Appoints Alumna to Minnesota Court of Appeals

Photo credit: University of Minnesota Law School

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz appointed 2009 Concordia graduate Elise Larson to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Larson will fill the vacancy that occurred upon the retirement of the Honorable James B. Florey. The seat is designated for a resident of the Eighth Congressional District.

Walz said he was excited to appoint Larson to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

“She is a remarkable attorney who has excelled at every stage in her career,” Walz said. “Her extensive background practicing civil and administrative law — and her experience clerking for some of the region’s most renowned judges — has prepared her well for the bench.”

Larson, a Brainerd, Minn., area native, majored in political science and environmental studies at Concordia and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Minnesota Law School.

Larson serves as the Water Program director and senior attorney at the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy. She also is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she teaches environmental law and supervises the Environment and Energy Law Clinic.

Larson was previously a law clerk for Chief Justice Lorie Gildea on the Minnesota Supreme Court and Judge Myron Bright on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

She also clerked for Chief Judge John Tunheim, a 1975 Concordia graduate, on the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. Tunheim said Larson was an outstanding choice to serve as a judge on the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

“She combines a brilliant intellect, an ethic of hard work, and a genuine compassionate understanding of people. She will be a great leader in our judiciary in the years to come,” Tunheim said.

Larson was also an attorney at Briggs and Morgan P.A., where she represented private-sector clients in complex litigation matters. Her community involvement includes service on the United States District Court’s Federal Practice Committee, the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Appellate and Environment, Natural Resources, and Energy Law Sections, and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources Trust Fund Citizen Selection Committee.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals provides the citizens of Minnesota with prompt and deliberate review of all final decisions of the trial courts, state agencies, and local governments. As the error-correcting court, the Court of Appeals handles most of the appeals, which allows the Minnesota Supreme Court to spend time resolving difficult constitutional and public policy cases.