In Memory of Michael J. Galvin, Jr.

Briggs and Morgan is sad to announce the passing of a firm legend, our partner Mike Galvin.

Mike joined Briggs and Morgan in 1957 and served as a mentor to generations of Briggs and Morgan attorneys to whom he was a beloved partner, colleague and friend. He practiced primarily in the areas of labor and employment law, business litigation and municipal law. He served as outside legal counsel for the St. Paul Port Authority for many years – helping the Port Authority through many transitions that helped reshape St. Paul. He advised many businesses on labor relations, winning the respect of Union leaders and attorneys while serving his clients. Throughout his career, he was valued as a trusted counselor by his clients and a consummate professional by those on the other side of matters. He was known as St. Paul’s dean of the legal profession.

He was the firm’s historian, an exceptional story teller, and never failed to impress with his clever Irish wit, wisdom and charm.

Mr. Galvin was a native of his beloved Winona, Minnesota where his father M.J. Galvin Sr. was a prominent attorney and state senator. Mike attended Cotter High School and then later graduated from Cretin High School in St. Paul. He was a graduate of the College of St. Thomas and a 1957 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School. He was also a 1st Lieutenant veteran in the U.S. Air Force, serving overseas from 1952 through 1954. He and Fran had seven children who they raised wonderfully well.

Highlights from a life of highlights include:

  • President of the Minnesota State Bar Association from 1994-95, 49 years after his Father had served as MSBA President. He was a staunch advocate for the importance of the Minnesota State Bar Association in the professional development of attorneys. He encouraged young attorneys not only to join the Bar Association, but to play an active role.
  • Service on numerous Boards, including St. Catherine’s University and the University of St. Thomas , the Saint Paul Chamber, the North Star Council of the Boy Scouts, the St. Patrick’s Day parade and the Saint Paul Winter Carnival – all of which helped strengthen community ties among several generations of leaders.
  • In 2000, he was given the “Great Living St. Paulite” Award from the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce.
  • In June of 2016, he received the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota State Bar Association.
  • In recognition of his tireless service to the city of St. Paul, its businesses and community organizations, St. Paul Mayor, Chris Coleman, issued a proclamation declaring June 23, 2016 as “Michael Galvin Day.”
  • Briggs and Morgan, along with many of Mike’s colleagues from over the years, recently honored his public service through creation of the Michael J. Galvin Workforce Center at the Catholic Charities Dorothy Day Center.

And aside from all professional and family accomplishments and official duties and recognitions, Mike may be remembered most by all who knew him for a rare life of “kindnesses remembered."

The attorneys at Briggs, past and present, are truly honored to have practiced law alongside Mike Galvin.