Minnesota State Law Library
Paul Holden Anderson was born May 14, 1943 and grew up on his family's dairy farm in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. He graduated from Macalester College cum laude with departmental honors in political science in 1965. In 1968, he received his juris doctor at the University of Minnesota Law School.
After his graduation, Anderson worked as a VISTA volunteer attorney from 1968-1969, an experience he calls one of the most formative of his life. From 1970-1971 he was the special assistant attorney general at the Department of Public Safety’s Criminal and Motor Vehicle Division. In 1971, he became an associate at LeVander, Gillen & Miller Law offices in South St. Paul becoming a partner in 1975 until his judicial appointment in 1992.
Anderson has a strong tradition of public service. From 1983 to 1986 he served on the South St. Paul Independent School District No. 199 school board. He chaired the board from 1984 to 1986. Additionally, he chaired the Minnesota Judicial Selections Commission from 1991-1992.
On September 1, 1992 he was appointed the Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by Governor Arne Carlson. He was appointed to the Supreme Court July 1, 1994 by Governor Carlson. He was reelected to the bench in 1996, 2002, and 2008. He retired in May 2013 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. In addition to his service in Minnesota, Anderson lectured on the law in El Salvador, China, the Philippines and Russia. He also traveled to Libya and Tunisia in 2012 to present on law and elections.
Justice Anderson and his wife Jan have two daughters.
You may read more about the life and work of Justice Anderson in the resources provided in this guide.