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NJL Adds Deborah Autrey to L&E Team

MINNEAPOLIS, MN—Minneapolis-based law firm Nilan Johnson Lewis PA is pleased to announce that Deborah Autrey joins its national labor and employment practice. Deborah will be working alongside employers on discrimination claims, including Title VII, ADA, and ADEA claims, wage-and-hour matters, workplace investigations, and labor relations.

Deborah’s varied experience gives her a unique insight into issues facing employers. She has the “trifecta” of employment experience: working in legal compliance at a major retailer, owning her own business, and enforcing rules and regulations on behalf of the government.

Most recently, she oversaw human rights and labor relations standards for the Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity department for the City of Saint Paul, MN. On behalf of the City, EEOC, and HUD, Deborah conducted complex employment investigations of alleged violations of labor, employment, human rights, discrimination, and other claims and enforced local ordinances and federal law. She also served as a manager in an international retailer’s legal, ethics, and compliance department where she advised leadership on high-risk product areas.

Deborah also has an entrepreneurial spirit, having run her own law firm; she knows that it takes tenacity and perseverance to succeed. And that’s something she brings to the table for our clients.

Deborah clerked for the Honorable Judge Julie Allyn at the Hennepin County Fourth Judicial District after earning her J.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Law. She holds a B.A. in English from University of Arkansas. Deborah currently sits on the Board of Minnesota Women Lawyers, and also serves as a co-chair on the Minnesota Women Lawyers Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Deborah is also a member of the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers.

About Nilan Johnson Lewis

Nilan Johnson Lewis 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: business litigation, corporate and transactional services, health care, labor and employment, and product liability/complex tort litigation. Learn more at

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