DULUTH – Shawn Pearson will be Duluth's first Black judge after Gov. Tim Walz announced his appointment on Friday.

"Mr. Pearson brings a wealth and depth of experience and steadfast leadership to the bench," Walz said in a statement. "I have no doubt that his service will greatly benefit the people of Duluth and St. Louis County."

Pearson will serve in the Sixth Judicial District, which serves Carlton, Cook, Lake and St. Louis counties. He replaces Shaun Floerke, who left the bench last year to lead the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.

As an attorney, Pearson has represented northern Minnesota parents in child protection cases and is a trained mediator who has handled "a variety of employment and discrimination matters in state and federal courts," according to a state news release.

He also has served as in-house counsel for General Mills and Essentia Health and is a member of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial board.

Pearson earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago and attended law school at Georgetown University. He could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

The Sixth District encompasses St. Louis, Carlton, Lake and Cook counties. Pearson will be based at the St. Louis County courthouse in Duluth.

Brooks Johnson • 218-491-6496