Nationwide search underway for executive director

Lobby sign on shiny silver background reads Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid in blue raised lettering with torch symbol.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: (Minneapolis, Minn.) — Executive Director Danielle Shelton-Walczak has announced her decision to step down from her role leading Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. “I’m proud of MMLA’s accomplishments during my tenure. I thank the Board for the opportunity to lead this organization and I thank the staff for their consistent commitment to MMLA’s clients,” said Shelton-Walczak. The organization will be launching a nationwide search for her successor.

“The MMLA Board of Directors is grateful to Danielle for helming Legal Aid in one of the most
challenging times in history for nonprofits,” said Board President Karen Charlson. Shelton-Walczak took
the reins of MMLA in October of 2021 and will depart at end of October 2023. Charlson added, “Her
tenure saw Legal Aid through the return to in-person legal proceedings and the innovation of remote
fundraising. Additionally, the organization was awarded $1.138 million—the largest cash award in its
history—in the federal class action lawsuit, Murphy et al. v Harpstead; and with other legal aid coalition
members, MMLA staff received an historic salary increase from the state legislature. Danielle also led the
charge in creating and adopting the first Strategic Racial Equity Action Plan for MMLA, in collaboration
with a cross-section of staff. We wish her the best in her professional pursuits beyond MMLA.”

Litigation Director, and current interim Deputy Director, Luke Grundman will step into the interim
Executive Director role until a replacement is named. Grundman has been with Legal Aid since 2009. He
started as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, fighting foreclosures and predatory lending and subsequently
staffed a medical-legal partnership clinic at Hennepin County Medical Center. From 2016-2021, he served
as Managing Attorney of Legal Aid’s housing unit before ascending to his current position as Litigation
Director, in 2022.

“We are pleased Luke has accepted this role,” said Bree Dalager, Board Vice President and Chair of the
Executive Director Search Committee. “He is highly respected by colleagues and embodies the values,
spirit and mission of the organization. His tenure speaks to that and to the high regard he has for MMLA
clients and their respective plights as they seek justice.”

Collaborative leaders with exceptional credentials in fundraising, management and a commitment to
delivering civil legal aid to under-resourced and marginalized communities are encouraged to apply to
be the next Executive Director of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid. Link to the posting can also be found on the
MMLA website at, at “Employment” under “About Us.” Applications will be accepted until
the position is filled with a priority review deadline of Nov. 20, 2023


Media contact:
Lisa Ramirez |
Communications Manager
Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid