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Best Lawyers® Recognizes Firm and Multiple Attorneys

NJL and numerous attorneys have been recognized in the 2024 editions of Best Law Firms and Best Lawyers respectively. As a firm, NJL has been recognized for the Minneapolis metro area for practices in Business Litigation, Labor and Employment, and Corporate Immigration Law.  These respected legal industry peer-review publications consider more than 13 million evaluations by conducting exhaustive peer review, client, and industry-leader surveys in which tens of thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers and firms.

NJL shareholders Doug Elsass (Business Litigation), Joel Andersen (Labor and Employment), and John Wackman (Product Liability/Complex Torts) were recognized as Best Lawyers. Elsass was first recognized by Best Lawyers in 2013 and Andersen was initially honored in 2021. Wackman is recognized for the first time in the 2024 edition of Best Lawyers.

In addition, shareholder Courtney Blanchard (Labor and Employment) and associate Kirsten Pagel (Product Liability/Complex Torts, Business Litigation) were named “Ones to Watch” — lawyers who have been in private practice 5-9 years and are building strong reputations in their market.


Nilan Johnson Lewis (NJL) is an innovative, independent, women-owned law firm that is a first choice for organizations across the country seeking deep expertise to solve their complex business challenges and disputes. Diversity is a core founding value of NJL. In 2022, the firm became certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a significant milestone in NJL’s ongoing commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace and being a law firm that delivers exceptional results because we celebrate and advance the diversity of our members and clients. The firm has deep expertise in five areas of law: labor and employment, business litigation, corporate and transactional services, health care, and product liability/complex tort litigation. Learn more at

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