Trailblazer And Thought Leader

(Free or Reduced Fee Consultations)

Trailblazer And Thought Leader

(Free or Reduced Fee Consultations)

Barbara J. Gislason

  • Owner, 1985


Fridley, MN






What makes lawyers effective, even exceptional, is the simple things they do year after year. Because I have long concentrated on Family Law and helped pioneer both the Animal Law and Art, Entertainment and Sports Law practice areas, facts and equitable principles are everything important to me. I interview my clients and witnesses with the enthusiasm of legendary sleuths, carrying with me the conviction that when I understand the essential truth, I can successfully advance my client's cause.

A third generation attorney, I have gained a reputation as a skilled and highly respected attorney, and when necessary, a tenacious litigator. I represent clients in the areas of Family Law, Art and Entertainment Law, and Animal Law.  Within the field of Family Law, I have experience with International Family Law, Matrimonial Law, and the numerous legal questions that have arisen in recent years affecting same-sex couples.

I have often been selected for the Minnesota Super Lawyers List, was selected as a "Top 40" Family Law Attorney by Minnesota Law & Politics, a Leading American Attorney in Art and Entertainment Law by the American Research Corporation, and called the "Top animal advocate attorney in the country" by Dr. Phil.  I have frequently been asked to speak internationally on the topics of Animal Law and Neuroscience Law.

With more than 30 years of experience, I have represented thousands of clients throughout the State of Minnesota, with the majority of my clients in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.  This gives me a deep understanding of the local court systems, and how to best help my clients.

I believe that most clients are seeking a compassionate listener who has the insight and skills to discover solutions to their problems and achieve desirable results.  I have the energy, commitment, and experience.
My office is conveniently located on University Avenue between Interstate 694 and Highway 10, with free parking.  This location has allowed me to serve the entire Twin Cities metro area.

Please call my office to schedule a free, 30 minute meeting to see how I can use my skills and experience to help you.

Barbara J. Gislason Appointed President of the United States Delegation to the Union Internationale des Avocats
Read more about her appointment here. 

Professional Organizations:

  • American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Family Law:
    • Past Chair, ABA Emergency Management in Family Law Task Force
    • Past Liaison, ABA Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness
    • Pet Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Presenter, Section Spring Meeting
    • Pet Law and Pet Custody Disputes: A New Practice Area Unfolds, Book Publication Pending
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS):
    • Founding Chair, Animal Law Committee
    • Past Chair, ABA TIPS Intellectual Property Law Committee
    • Section Liaison to Uniform Law Commission
    • ABA Advisor to Uniform Law Commission Regarding Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act
    • Member, Book Publishing Board
    • Past Liaison, ABA Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness
    • Past Chair, ABA Animal Disaster Relief Network
    • Host, Emergency Management Podcasts for Legal TIPS
  • Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA):
    • President of U.S. Delegation to the Paris-based Union Internationale des Advocats (UIA) 
    • President of Biotechnology Law Working Group
    • Liaison from ABA Intellectual Property Law Section
    • Presented Paper called Human Hybrids and Chimeras: Exploring the Implications of Biobanks and Pluripotent Cells With Regard to Species Integrity and National Security at 55th Congress
    • Chair and Moderator of The Right to Medical Treatment Program at 56th Congress
    • Presented Paper called The Future of the Mind in Law and Science at 57th Congress
    • Course Chair for Seminar in Budapest, Hungary in 2014
  • American Bar Association (ABA) Intellectual Property Law Section (IPLS):
    • Chair, ABA Intellectual Property Law Section Division IV
    • Past Vice Chair, ABA Intellectual Property Law Section Division VI
    • Past Chair, Insurance and Risk Management Committee
    • Liaison to Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA)
    • Past Co-Chair, Section Task Force on Reverse Payments
    • Past Chair, Section Task Force Regarding Comments for China’s Anti-Monopoly Policy
  • Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA):
    • Past Chair, MSBA Bar Admissions Committee
    • Past Member, MSBA Assembly & Legislative Committee
    • Past State Chair, Law Day
    • Founding Chair, MSBA Art & Entertainment Law Section
    • Past Executive Committee, MSBA Computer Law Section
    • Past Symposium Chair, MSBA Bar Media Committee
    • Founding Chair, MSBA Animal Law Committee & Section
    • Past Legislative Committee Member, MSBA Family Law Section
    • Past Chair, Family Law Section Blue Ribbon Panel on Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Minnesota Intellectual Property Law Association (MIPLA):
    • Council of American Bar Association (ABA) Intellectual Property Law Section 2015-2020
    • Representative to State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO/US Bar Liason Council)
    • Past Chair, Copyright Committee
    • Past Chair, International Committee

Community Involvement:

  • Hubert Humphrey (Fulbright) Fellows Host—Present
  • Minnesota Animal Disaster Coalition—Present
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advisor—Past
  • U.S. Department of Justice Advisory Panel—Past
  • Neighborhood Justice Board of Directors—Past
  • Alexandra House for Battered Women Legal Panel—Past
  • Minnesota Icelandic Association President—Past
  • Minnesota Film Arts Board of Directors—Past
  • Minnesota Opera Association Board of Directors—Past
  • Minnesota State Arts Board Advisory Panel—Past 

Personal Interests:

  • Animals
  • Neuroscience
  • Shakespeare Book Club
  • Kick-Boxing and Tai Chi
  • International Travel: China, India, South Africa, Iceland, Bermuda, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Ecuador, Galapagos, Puerto Rico, the Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Bhutan, Italy, and Spain

Areas Of Practice

  • Family Law
  • Animal Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Art and Entertainment Law
  • Public Policy

Bar Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1998
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1983
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1980
  • Minnesota, 1980


  • William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1980
  • Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota
    • B.A. - 1974

Published Works

  • Pet Law and Pet Custody Disputes: A New Practice Area Unfolds, for American Bar Association Book Publishing (publication pending)

Honors and Awards

  • Monique Raynaud-Contamine Award Winner
  • American Bar Foundation
  • American Bar Association
  • Super Lawyer
  • Leading American Attorney
  • Outstanding Achievement Awards
Photo of attorney Barbara Gislason at a public event

Barbara J. Gislason, the Editor-in-Chief of the Juriste International, awaits to receive the Presidential Gold Medal bestowed upon her by the President of the Paris-based Union International des Avocats (UIA), Jorge Marti. This is the second major honor Gislason received from this venerable and highly respected international bar association dating back to 1927. Previously, she won the Monique-Raynaud Contamine Award for the best scientific paper at the UIA Congress in Luxembourg.

Past Employment Positions

  • Hennepin County District Court, Referee
  • Hamline University School of Law, Adjunct Professor
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Adjunct Professor
  • Babcock, Locher, Neilson & Mannella, Attorneys at Law, Associate