Scott Soderberg, of Soderberg Law Firm LLC, has practiced law in Minnesota since 1997, representing the interests of injured workers. Although he is continuing to operate his firm, he has also transitioned into his family's banking business. Scott shares more below!
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I started my firm, Soderberg Law Firm LLC, 21 years ago in downtown Minneapolis. The larger law firm where I had worked for several years prior to that time was an excellent training ground for learning the law and handling my own cases right from the moment of graduation from law school in 1988. For 30 years, I have represented injured employees in MN workers’ compensation cases, which is a very specialized area of the law. Unfortunately, my law partner needed to retire in 2013 due to a medical condition. Becoming a single-member LLC required a new office arrangement, which brought me to the St. Louis Park OffiCenter. While I will continue to operate my firm, I have now transitioned into my family’s Western WI banking business, First National Community Bank as of July 2018. I am continuing my law firm as well, albeit at a much lower level, now at the Woodbury OffiCenter as a virtual member.
You were chosen as this month’s Milestone Member. Tell us about your Milestone achievements.
Milestone achievements include SuperLawyer designations for many years, extensive CLE speaking engagements, successful cases through the MN Supreme Court, and frankly the tremendous job satisfaction inherent in representing injured individuals. My clients are folks who cannot work, have no income due to no fault of their own, are losing everything they own while going through the litigation process, and are up against large companies and insurers with unlimited resources who are denying good and valid claims. Success in the claim is crucial not only for the client, but also invariably for the client’s family.
No one likes to brag about their business, but if you HAD TO . . .
My practice was built on handling fewer cases very well, with the understanding that spending the time and taking care of the person is truly what effectively representing the client is all about. Workers’ compensation cases can literally last a lifetime, with wage loss and medical issues re-appearing sometimes decades later. I’ve told all my clients that they will always be able to reach me, and that I will make sure to either continue to help them at that time or get them to someone who can. This continues to be true now that I’ve embarked on a new career and am not actively handling litigation.
We learn from our mistakes, especially in business. Give us some words of wisdom.
I think the most important principle/trait, in business and in life, is integrity. It sounds like a cliché’, but if you don’t have it, I think you eventually find that not much else matters--it’s analogous to your physical/mental health in that regard. In all professions there are many situations where it’s relatively easy take advantage of others or “take the easy way out” with little or no chance to be called on it. I think the relevant adage is something like “the true measure of a person’s character is found in what they do when no one is looking.” This is a lesson that I’ve learned from watching too many others in fiduciary capacities suffer the costs of straying from that principle, whether it be publically or personally.
What “teacher” has made the most impact on your life and why?
Other than my incredible parents, I would have to say the teacher that made the most impact on my life was my high school accounting instructor. He was a true taskmaster, and getting through that yearlong course ensured you could function as at least a good bookkeeper at age 17. The comprehensive understanding of the subject took me easily through high-level accounting courses in both college and law school, and of course continues to be a very important skill in both of my careers.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually pretty handy with carpentry, cars, electronics, etc., despite a complete lack of training or any family members with those backgrounds. Trial and error (if not fatal) seems to work over time…
If you could have only one super power, what would it be and why?
I would like to instill in everyone (politicians, in particular) that “compromise” and “cooperation” are not dirty words, and are much more often a sign of strength and intelligence than weakness.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve read or seen this week?
A nun throwing out a nasty first pitch before a White Sox game. She’d probably be in the rotation for the Twins this year if she did that at Target Field.
Why do you choose to WORK AWESOME at OffiCenters?
When I became a single-member LLC in 2013, it required me to downsize from a large office space I had in the Warehouse District. I had looked at the SLC OffiCenter about a year before I made the move, and had told Lisa Olsonoski exactly what my paralegal Roxy and I would need. She kept those needs in mind over the next year, and called us back at the perfect time with a connected two-office situation that was ideal. Along with the bundling of the office services, the variety of conference rooms, and the incredibly awesome staff in SLC, for the past 5 years I’ve been able to operate and succeed like a much larger entity. I then needed to make the transition to operating my firm part-time this year with the advent of my new endeavor, and the virtual package at the new Woodbury office fit perfectly from both a functional and location perspective.
In addition to our Member Directory, how else can people CONNECT with you?
I can be reached at Soderberg Law Firm LLC at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (612) 349-9090, or at First National Community Bank at email@example.com or (715) 246-6901.