Lawson Law Firm Celebrates 100th Anniversary
For 100 years the Lawson Law Firm has provided quality legal services to generations of families and local businesses in the St. Croix Valley.
As one of the oldest law firms in Washington County, Lawson Law has built a successful practice in the areas of Probate & Estate Planning; Real Estate; Family Law; Corporate Matters; Municipal Law; Criminal Defense; Criminal Prosecutions and Mediation Services.
Known for their honest, non-intimidating style, each attorney at the Lawson Law Firm prides themselves in getting to know clients on a personal level, listening to their needs and providing expert legal advice. Lawson shareholder Tracey Ann Galowitz attributes the firm’s success and longevity to their client focus.
“We genuinely care about our clients, and it shows in our ability to build strong, long-lasting relationships with multiple generations of the same family.”
The firm traces its roots back to 1912, the year that Reuben Thoreen graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School and returned home to Stillwater to join prominent local lawyer-educator Frank Wilson in private practice at the Wilson & Thoreen firm.
In 1948, Reuben Thoreen was joined in practice by two returning World War II veterans, his son John (“Jack”) F. Thoreen and his son-in-law Roderick A. Lawson, for whom the firm is named.
Over the years the Lawson Law firm has worked behind the scenes on cases that have bettered the community and made a positive impact on its citizens.
In 1947, attorney Jack Thoreen helped create The Tozer Foundation and Scholarship Fund under the will of David Tozer, a wealthy Stillwater lumberman.
Tozer specified that a portion of his estate be used to help “needy but worthy” Minnesota students from Pine, Kanabec and Washington counties go to college.
In 1967 Jack Thoreen left the private law practice when he was appointed Washington County District Court Judge.
For more than six decades, Thoreen was head of the foundation’s scholarship review committee, and responsible for awarding millions of dollars to deserving college-bound students in Minnesota.
Today, Jack Thoreen’s scholarship review duties have been transferred to Lawson shareholder Tracey Ann Galowitz, herself a former Tozer Foundation scholarship recipient. www.tozerfoundation.com
In 1992 Lawson Law shareholder Roderick Lawson was instrumental in creating The Arcola Mills Historic Foundation, a non-profit organization created at the bequest of Katharine Van Meier upon her death.
The Van Meier home, now Arcola Mills, is located six miles north of Stillwater and is one of the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the shoreline of the nationally designated wild and scenic St. Croix River.
The Arcola Mills Historic Foundation provides a retreat where individuals and groups are invited to participate in activities that explore the arts, nature, science, history, and a broad exchange of ideas. Lawson Law Firm’s Ray Marshall is current chair of the Arcola Mills Foundation. www.arcolamills.org.
Since the early 1980s Lawson Law Firm has been involved in several watershed district projects of regional environmental significance including the Valley Branch Watershed District’s large storm sewer project to alleviate damage caused by high water in the Tri-Lakes area of Lake Elmo, and the Carnelian-Marine St. Croix Watershed District’s Gravity Pipe Project to eliminate lakeshore flooding damage.
Lawson Law Firm is currently working on the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District’s Maplewood Mall Storm Water Retrofit, a $6 million project to divert the Mall’s parking lot rainwater runoff to more eco-friendly rain gardens and water absorbing porous asphalt parking areas instead of storm drains that discharge to area lakes.
Lawson Law Firm’s broad ranging expertise shines in these projects, which include extensive land acquisition work, contractual work with construction contracts, legal work with public financial agencies, environmental permit work and wide-ranging inter-governmental cooperation work.
Today, the current Lawson Law shareholders include Raymond O. Marshall who joined the firm
in 1974, John S. McDonald (1979), Tracey Ann Galowitz (1987), and Barbara Wolle (2000). In addition, Lawson has two associate attorneys: William Armstrong (2006), and Susannah Torseth (2011).
The Lawson Law attorneys volunteer their time and expertise for many worthy community organizations including Lakeview Health board; Lakeview Hospital; St. Croix Regional
Advisory Board – Health Partners; Lake Elmo Bank; Tozer Foundation; local Rotary Clubs, Community Thread, Lions Club, Family Means, Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and more.
The firm originally held offices in Stillwater’s historic Lumberman’s Exchange building and in 2005 moved to their new office building at 10390 39th St. N., Lake Elmo, MN.
The Lawson Law Firm also has a second office in Scandia, located at 21190 Ozark Avenue.