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For Campbell, litigation about making justice system accessible

Mackenzie Campbell - Doar, Drill & Skow

Mackenzie Campbell – Doar, Drill & Skow

Mackenzie Campbell’s love for litigating comes from her lifelong love of musical theater and the years she spent as a ballerina. Litigation, she says, lets you step out of yourself and essentially put on a production.

“The same feeling I got from being on stage is the same feeling I get when I litigate — the same little pit in your stomach, the excitement,” she said.

Campbell has since traded the stage for the courtroom. Now an attorney at New Richmond-based Doar, Drill & Skow, Campbell said her favorite part of her work is the chance it provides to bring something to resolution for a client.

“It’s being able to look at them at the end of it and say they’re satisfied; they feel like they had their chance to have their case heard, their story heard — and they feel they at least had access to the justice system,” she said.

Of the things she struggles with, Campbell said one is the need to find a way to work without animosity toward opposing counsel who might be far more aggressive than she is.

“Sometimes just picking up the phone can go a long way,” she said. “I’m learning that a good, old-fashioned phone call can get you an answer very quick.”

Before Campbell joined Doar, Drill & Skow, she spent a year as a clerk for Judge Susan Miles of Minnesota’s 10th Judicial District. Campbell said much of the motivation she now has to do good work comes from what she learned from Miles. Miles, Campbell said, insisted that everyone in the legal profession has an obligation to do his or her best.

“… And that means evolving and learning,” Campbell said. “Even if you won, there’s something you can learn from that experience. It’s about taking away those nuggets of information.”

The two remain in touch to this day. Watching Campbell grow as a lawyer, Miles said, has been gratifying.

Miles praised Campbell’s intelligence, common sense and ability to quickly discern how Miles might have wanted something written and how she wanted her office run.

“She was absolutely fearless,” said Miles. “She just dug right in and got down to work and did a stellar job.”

Campbell said that her husband, Brent, a police officer in St. Paul, is another person who has influenced her work.

“We’re not in the same field per se,” Campbell said. “But watching him do what he does and watching him approach the legal profession with such compassion and sincerity has made me a better, more compassionate attorney.”


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