Title: Partner

Age: 44

Attorney Leonard Segal says his extensive employment and labor law experience is a good fit in his new role as partner at SeilerSchindel, a St. Louis Park law firm that focuses on working with businesses.

Segal offers for-profit and nonprofit employers counsel and training in discrimination, sexual and other forms of harassment, employee discipline and termination, among other employment and labor law issues.

He also handles disputes in court as a litigator, handling cases ranging from discrimination and whistleblower claims to sexual harassment claims and noncompete disputes.

Consulting and training about employment and labor law issues can help avoid problems or help reach a resolution before going to court, Segal said.

"With especially a small to mid-sized business, one sexual harassment lawsuit can, if not wipe out the business, substantially damage the business," Segal said. "Getting that advice up front can save a ton of time and a ton of headaches and potentially save your business down the road."

Segal said he had often discussed joining forces with SeilerSchindel founding partner Scott Seiler, with whom he has been friends since college. "I thought I could help some of their clients and thought it would be good for me and my clients, as well," Segal said of joining the firm.

Segal previously has worked at large firms in Minneapolis and Los Angeles, at smaller firms and in solo practice. Segal, who chairs the practice management and marketing section of the Minnesota State Bar Association, has an undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and a law degree from the UCLA School of Law.

QWhy should a business pursue consulting or training in employment and labor law?

AIf they hire me for some training, I can accomplish three goals. One, most problems will be avoided because people will know what they can and cannot do. Two, when a problem does come up, you'll know how to handle it, and it will be much more likely that we'll be able to get it resolved. Three, worst-case scenario, if it ends up in a litigation matter, I've helped you set up a better defense. That's a huge value. It's much better for their pocketbook to pay a little bit now and avoid problems later.

QAny other advantages?

AIf they know of a sticky situation, they can talk to me, and it's all confidential. There can be full disclosure. They can hear my advice, and usually they'll take it. But if they want to go another route, they can. And nobody some day down the road is going to hear what my advice is. Some businesses lose sight of how important that is, to be able to have open and frank discussions with your lawyer.

QWhat issues are you focusing on in your practice management and marketing work with the bar association?

AInternet marketing -- How do you market on the Internet effectively ... and how do you do so within the bounds of legal ethics?