Kylie E. Kaminski: The Law of Happiness

Kylie E. Kaminski
2024 Feature Nominations

Attorney Kylie Kaminski has an unusual way of describing her mergers and acquisitions practice at Hellmuth & Johnson. She calls it “happy law.”

As a business major at the University of San Diego, Kaminski’s future came into focus during a dynamic business law class that prompted her to take the LSAT “on a whim.” She was accepted to the St. Thomas School of Law, where another professor played a significant role in shaping her path.

“I loved it from the first day,” she recalls. “My mergers and acquisitions professor was one of the most incredible professors I ever had. He shared  fabulous stories of his practice, and what he did with his life. I decided that is what I wanted to be when I grew up.”

Kaminski began working at Hellmuth & Johnson as a law clerk, where she encountered another important figure in her professional development. “I ended up working directly with Alec Sherod, the head of Hellmuth & Johnson’s M&A practice group. That put me on the path to never leaving M&A. I continue to work with him every day, and his influence has shaped who I am as an attorney and as a person.”

Kaminski’s practice spans a variety of corporate and business matters, including entity formation, reorganization, joint-ventures, capital raises,private  placements, and the purchase and sale of businesses. She also counsels clients on general corporate and corporate governance matters.

Among the qualities that make Kaminski so effective as an M&A lawyer are her abilities to connect with clients, perceive their needs and quickly innovate solutions to complex issues. She is an advocate who takes pride in negotiating solutions that allow both sides to walk away feeling good about the outcome — happy law.

“After the very first closing I handled by myself, the seller and buyer asked me to take a photo of the two of them shaking hands at the closing table. One of the things I love most about what I do is that I generally do not have an adversarial relationship with the attorneys on the other side. We both want to protect our client, but we also want to get the deal done.”

As an associate, Kaminski has handled several significant matters resulting in the excellent outcomes the firm is known for. In 2022, she was recognized as an Up & Coming Attorney by Minnesota Lawyer, and in 2023, she was named among the Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America – Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law. She says receiving the honors was humbling and affirming, as well as a testament to the willingness of senior attorneys at Hellmuth & Johnson to provide meaningful opportunities for new attorneys.

“From the beginning of my time at the firm, each partner gave me great feedback,” she says. “Alec gave me a lot of ownership and allowed me to handle some big deals early on, so I learned to be an effective advocate. I have always felt welcome to participate in meetings and phone calls and free to speak openly when clients asked for my opinion. I have never been just a faceless associate.”

As a woman practicing in an area where she is among the gender minority, Kaminski says she has had an overwhelmingly positive experience both with the firm and with clients. “Nobody makes me feel like I should not be here, and the men I work with at big companies give me wonderful respect. I want other women to know that business law is not so scary.”

Kaminski says she can sum up how she got where she is with just three words: “Take-a-leap. M&A is happy law, and we have happy people over here.”

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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