Madia Law’s Joshua Newville is profiled in the September 2016 issue of Bench & Bar, the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.
Newville joined Madia Law as a law clerk in April 2010. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2012, he joined our firm as its first Associate Attorney. Newville’s practice focuses on employment discrimination and civil rights litigation.
From the Bench & Bar profile:
Joshua Newville is a civil rights and employment law litigator at Madia Law in Minneapolis. A self-described “cause lawyer,” Newville is committed to confronting discrimination and unfair treatment. A Wisconsin native, he attended undergrad and law school at the University of Minnesota. Despite graduating only four years ago, Newville has already handled several high profile trial and appellate matters.
I’ve had the incredible fortune of surrounding myself with a combination of people who are brilliant and people who have given me some amazing opportunities. Regarding the marriage cases specifically, a law school classmate (David Patton) referred a South Dakota couple to me (at the time, their names were Jennie Rosenkranz and Nancy Robrahn). They are amazing women, and I will forever look up to them—for so many reasons. They couldn’t find anyone to take their case. I eventually met 12 more families who also wanted to challenge the bans in both South Dakota and North Dakota.
The national LGBT-rights organizations didn’t want us bringing the cases; they were certain we’d mess up their national strategy. I disagreed with their analysis. So, on behalf of these 13 incredible families, we went ahead and filed challenges against the bans in federal court. What an experience! I’ll never forget sitting at in a packed federal courtroom arguing against the South Dakota Attorney General and realizing the history of the moment.
I never thought I’d get the opportunity to fight one (let alone two) of these bans. Along the way, I connected with some great lawyers who were fighting similar battles—including Shannon Minter at the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Dana Nessel, a private lawyer in Michigan. The help they gave me cannot be overstated.
While those were incredible experiences, and I am overjoyed that we now have nationwide marriage equality, there is still a lot of discrimination in this country—against all sorts of minorities. My focus is on continuing to combat that—even when the cases aren’t so high profile.
First, I know it sounds cliché, but I firmly believe that the best way to advance your career—and to be happy on a broader level—is to really love your work. We’re so much better at our jobs when we’re passionate about our work. Take time to understand what motivates you. Then, do your best to end up in a position that’s congruent with those motivations.
Second, the best lesson I’ve learned so far is that while assertive confidence is extremely helpful to your career, arrogant confidence can be debilitating.