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Paul C. Thissen, Associate Justice 2018-

Justice Paul C. Thissen

Photograph of  Paul C. Thissen


Paul C. Thissen has served as an Associate Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court since 2018








Appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Mark Dayton on May 14, 2018. Current term expires Jan. 2027.



J.D., with honors
University of Chicago Law School, 1992

A.B., magna cum laude
Harvard University, 1989


Legal and Public Service Background:

Minnesota State Representative, 2003-2018

  • Speaker of the Minnesota House, 2013-2014
  • Democratic House Leader, 2011-2016
  • Chair of the Health and Human Service Committee, 2007-2010

Ballard Spahr Law Firm (formerly Lindquist & Vennum), 2010-2018

Briggs and Morgan Law Firm, 1993-2010

Minnesota State Public Defenders Office, Appellate Division, 1998-1999

Federal Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, Clerking for the Honorable Judge James Loken, 1992-1993


Community Involvement:

Healthy and Happy Kids, Member of the Board, 2015-present

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Trustee, 2011-2018

Minnesota AIDS Project Policy Board, 2006

Minnesota Justice Foundation, Member of the Board, 2000-2002

Women of Nations Shelter, 1998-2000

Access for Persons with Disabilities, Founder and Member of the Board, 1995-1997


Professional Affiliations:

Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA)

Hennepin County Bar Association (HCBA)

Executive Board Member, New Lawyers Division of the HCBA and MSBA

Coach, MSBA Mock Trial Competition 


Additional Information:

Top 100 Influential Minnesotans in Health Care; 2016, 2013, 2009

Women's Economic Security Champion, 2015

Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities Legislator of the Year, 2014

Standing Ovation Award, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, 2014

Minnesota High Tech Association Public Service Award, 2014

Legislator of the Year, Politics in Minnesota, 2012

ARRM Cares Leadership Award, 2009

Minnesota Nurses Association, Public Official Award, 2008

Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, Best Brains in the Twin Cities, 2008

ARC Minnesota, Legislator of the Year, 2008

"Forty Under 40" Top Twin Cities Professionals, Twin Cities Business Journal, 2006

Civic Leadership Award from Citizen's League, 2005