Brent Kleffman: Integration of Personal and Professional Values

Brent Kleffman
2024 Feature Nominations

Brent Kleffman joined Peterson, Logren & Kilbury P.A. as a clerk while attending University of St. Thomas Law School, and today he is a junior partner practicing primarily in workers’ compensation and employment law. He was recognized in 2016 and 2017 as a Super Lawyers Rising Star for his outstanding representation of companies across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa.

Kleff man always felt a strong calling to the law, and he expresses gratitude for the many colleagues who have contributed to his early and ongoing success in the profession.

“The partners here have always been excellent mentors, and they did a great job of preparing me to get into court. They were willing to give me opportunities on some cases early on, and we had clients who were also willing to give a younger attorney a chance to go into court and represent them. I’m grateful for that.”

His opponents have also had in a hand in sharpening his legal skills. “There’s a lot to be learned from different perspectives and strategies, particularly in litigation, where things are moving quickly. I’ve learned something from each attorney I’ve practiced against. Each has had an influence on the way I practice law now.”

In an emotionally charged area of law, Kleff man is more than just a hired gun to his clients, he is a keen listener and caring counselor. He also champions the cause of justice while maintaining civility with opposing parties.

“Everything in life is about relationships, and in the law, that includes relationships with clients, as well as with opposing counsel and the court. I see myself as someone willing to fight hard on the issues in the case, rather than fight hard with the person on the other side. I don’t need to be a jerk to represent my client well. I also recognize I have an obligation to work ethically for the workers’ compensation system itself.”

Kleff man represents clients from diverse industries, including the staffing and health care sectors, which generate a high number of claims. He gives every case his careful attention and sees each one as an opportunity to hone his craft.

“I try to get better on every single case. Even if it’s a small matter, I think, ‘Can I do the next case better than the last one?’ I think if you’re doing a high volume in a single practice area, it’s easy to get complacent and think to yourself, ‘I already know how this is going to go.’ I don’t ever want to get to that point when I stop evaluating what I do, how I do it, and why I do it.”

Like many next generation attorneys, Kleff man is on a quest to define the boundaries of work-life balance. For him, it is less about spending equal hours at the office and at home, and more about integration of self.

“I have difficulty being one person when I step into the office, then leaving that person, and being another guy with my wife and kids. For me, I want to know I can be the same person when I’m playing with my kids or spending time with friends that I can be in my job and in the courtroom. I find that even if I walk into an adversarial setting, I can be myself and still pursue my clients’ rights to the maximum extent.”

H.K. Wilson

H.K. Wilson is a contributing writer for Attorney at Law Magazine. She has been writing features for the publication for more than four years.

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