Andrew T. James

Andrew T. James




Drew is a courtroom lawyer with a lengthy track record of success. Drew passionately represents his clients in all varieties of employment, education, civil rights, and business litigation in federal and state courts nationwide. He has tried and won cases to juries and judges, and his knack for identifying winning issues has resulted in many conclusive victories via motion practice without need for trial.

When a dispute is avoidable, clients praise Drew’s approachability and practicality. He taps into his background as in-house counsel and works collaboratively with his clients to address issues before they erupt.

Drew also regularly advises educational institutions (including colleges, universities, high schools, and companies providing education services) on education-specific issues such as Title IX, FERPA, sexual assault and harassment matters, the PPRA, COPPA, state education laws, and other student and faculty issues. Drew is one of the rare lawyers to have tried and won a Title IX case – and he has done it multiple times.

Drew has also worked as in-house counsel for a financial services company, and he began his career as a criminal defense attorney.

Education & Admissions

University of Minnesota Law School (J.D., 2010)

Marquette University (B.A., Criminology and Law Studies; Political Science, 2007)


  • Minnesota
  • Wisconsin
  • Utah
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit


  • English


  • Judicial Externship, Ramsey County District Court, Honorable Robert A. Awsumb, 2009-2009


  • Drafted numerous successful motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, including on complex factual and jurisdictional issues, that led to dismissal of all claims before trial.
  • Counsels clients on a range of workplace issues including difficult performance issues and terminations, managing medical and disability leaves, drafting and implementing practical employment policies and procedures, and advising on day-to-day employment issues that could escalate into serious employment problems.

Representative Litigation

  • Portz, et al. v. St. Cloud State Univ., et al., Case No. 16-CV-01115 (JRT/LIB) (D. Minn. Aug. 1, 2019): After a seven-day trial, the Court found St. Cloud State University violated Title IX and granted a permanent injunction that benefits a class of female student-athletes. The Court ordered immediate improvements to SCSU's athletics department, including, but not limited to, maintaining women's sports teams, renovating practice and competition facilities, making improvements to women's locker rooms, and the Court also awarded $1.2 million in attorneys’ fees. Media coverage of this case includes:

  • Miller v. The Bd. of Regents of the Univ. of Minnesota, Case No. 15-CV-03740 (PJS/LIB) (D. Minn. Mar. 15, 2018): After a high profile eight-day jury trial on behalf of legendary former UMD women’s hockey coach Shannon Miller, the jury found that UMD retaliated against Miller in violation of Title IX and Title VII and awarded her over $3.74 million in damages (later reduced). The judge later awarded Miller an additional over $460,000 in front pay and $2.33 million in attorneys’ fees, and the case ultimately settled for $4.53 million. Media coverage of this case includes:

  • McGuire v. Bowlins, et al., Case No. A18-0167 (Minn. Sept. 4, 2019): In a decision described as “groundbreaking,” the Minnesota Supreme Court concludes that Nathan McGuire, the former girls’ basketball coach at Woodbury High School, is not a “public official” or “public figure,” and allows his defamation claim against the parent of a student-athlete to proceed to trial. Drew represented Nathan at the district court and Minnesota Court of Appeals levels before joining Dorsey. Media coverage of this case includes:

  • Before joining Dorsey, Drew was a litigation associate at another law firm, where he handled employment litigation, sports-related lawsuits, civil rights matters, and commercial litigation. Before that, Drew was assistant counsel at a broker/dealer and registered investment adviser, and he also has experience as a criminal defense attorney. Drew’s representative litigation described above includes results from before he joined Dorsey.

News & Resources


Protecting the Protectors: In Murray v. UBS, the U.S. Supreme Court Articulates the New Standard for SOX Whistleblower Claims
Utah Legislature Enacts Comprehensive Prohibition on the Use of DEI in Public Education and in State Government
2023 Equal Employment Opportunity Trends in Litigation and Enforcement
How the NLRA Applies to All Workplaces, Not Just Unionized Ones: Implications for Workplace Conduct Policies, Social Media Policies, and Employee Discipline (Including After the Supreme Court’s Abortion Decision)
OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination or Weekly Testing Mandate: Legal Status and Employer Next Steps
FAR Council Issues Guidance to Federal Contractors and Subcontracts Related to Mandatory Vaccination of Certain Employees
Biden Administration Announces Broad Employer-Based Vaccination Requirements
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz Issues Executive Order Loosening COVID-19 Restrictions Tomorrow (May 7), Revoking Nearly All Restrictions On May 28, and Ending the Mask Mandate (Including Indoors) No Later Than July 1
Congress Extends the FFCRA’s Payroll-Tax Credit for Employers (but not the Paid-Leave Obligation!)
Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations in the Workplace: Practical Considerations for Employers
Latest Minnesota Emergency Executive Order Closes Some Businesses and Extends Work-From-Home Requirements
The Education Department Tests its Schools: New Title IX Rule May Force Schools to Revamp How They Investigate and Resolve Sexual-Harassment Complaints
DOL Temporary Rule on the FFCRA: Additional Changes and Clarifications
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Twenty (Or So) Questions With Dorsey’s Labor and Employment Team
UPDATE: What Employers need to know now that the President has signed the Family Relief Act
What Employers Should Know About The “Families First Coronavirus Response Act”
Supreme Court Grants Review of Three Title VII Cases Concerning Protections for LGBTQ Workers

News & Press Mentions

Super Lawyers Recognizes 27 Dorsey Attorneys in Minneapolis
Super Lawyers Recognizes 26 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Super Lawyers Recognizes 29 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Super Lawyers Recognizes 38 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis
Up & Coming Attorneys, Unsung Legal Heroes Announced
Super Lawyers Recognizes 41 Dorsey Lawyers in Minneapolis

Legal Writings

  • Quoted in Duluth News Tribune article entitled, “UMD Discrimination Lawsuit Set to Return to Court,” Nov. 12, 2016.
  • Quoted in St. Cloud Times article entitled, “Hearing Set on SCSU Tennis Team Lawsuit,” May 4, 2016.

Industries & Practices

Government Solutions & Investigations
Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Financial Institutions
  • Benefits & Compensation
  • Class Action Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • ERISA Litigation
  • Food, Beverage & Agribusiness
  • Government Solutions & Investigations
  • Labor & Employment
  • Securities & Financial Services Litigation & Enforcement
  • Video Games

Professional & Civic

Community Involvement

  • Varsity Policy Debate Coach (various schools)
  • Past President, The Leadership Emergence and Development (“LEAD”) Project


  • Named "Minneapolis Ones to Watch" in Litigation-Labor and Employment by Best Lawyers® for five consecutive years, 2020-2024
  • Named a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Super Lawyers for five consecutive years, 2019-2023 
  • Named one of Minnesota Lawyer's Up & Coming Attorneys, 2020
  • Dorsey & Whitney – Scales of Justice Team Award (Promise of Justice Initiative), 2022

Pro Bono 100 Hours 2022   Contributed 100+ Pro Bono Hours in 2021

  • Contributed more than 100 Challenge pro bono hours, 2021-2022
North Star Lawyer 
  • MSBA North Star Lawyer, 2021-2022


Andrew T. James