arrow-double-right arrow-noline-right arrow-lrg-left arrow-lrg-right arrow-med-down arrow-med-left arrow-med-right arrow-med-up arrow-sml-right checkmark close close-sml contact-card event-clock linkedin menu minus outbound-link phone plus print search-lrg search-sml twitter winthrop-mark

Elizabeth H. Schmiesing

I collaborate with my clients to untangle regulatory knots.

My Approach

I’m a regulatory geek, and I am happy to own that label. I love digging into a problem for a client, analyzing all of the laws and regulations along with the client’s situation, and coming up with a solution. With my undergraduate education in Zoology, I apply the rigorous logic of the sciences to day-to-day business issues. I don’t forget that regulatory issues can seem arcane, but they have real-world impacts on real people’s lives and livelihoods.

I help clients understand the regulatory landscape and work with them to develop strategies to bring them into compliance, or keep them in compliance. I also work to make sure that clients understand their rights and obligations under regulations and how to navigate the regulatory structure to reduce liability and risk and most importantly, achieve business goals.

As a former in-house attorney, I understand the pressures and dynamics at issue when working with outside counsel on sensitive and high-profile matters because I’ve been the client. As a result, I understand how outside counsel can make life easier for attorney clients, and how not to add to an already-full plate.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, playing tennis, reading literature of varying quality, and going outside whenever I can.

An Evolved Perspective

It’s easy to view regulatory issues, especially environmental issues, as very black-and-white. After spending years representing clients in regulated industries, and meeting and working with the people that are at the heart of those industries, the nuances reveal themselves. It’s not business versus the environment—it’s much more complicated than that. I truly believe that we’re past the point of “midnight dumpers,” and that most businesses want to comply with the law and operate in a sustainable way. I work with my clients to find that place on the Venn diagram where compliance and successful business operations intersect.

Honors & Awards

The Best Lawyers in America©

Minneapolis Lawyer of the Year: Environmental Law, 2022
Environmental Law, 2005–2011, 2021-2024
Energy Law, 2021-2024
Administrative/Regulatory Law, 2024

MSBA North Star Lawyers

Pro Bono Service, 2019-2020

Super Lawyers®

Environmental, 2008–2011

Top 100 Women Lawyers in Minnesota

Super Lawyers®, 2008

Minnesota Justice Foundation Private Practice Award


Associations & Memberships

Minnesota State Bar Association

Environmental, Natural Resources and Energy Law Section, Council Member
Environmental and Natural Resources Law Section, Past Chair, 2004-2005

Minnesota Brownfields

President, 2022-present
Board of Directors, 2020-2022

Children’s Law Center of Minnesota

Volunteer attorney

University of St. Thomas Law School

Adjunct professor, Environmental Law, 2010-2011

University of Minnesota

Adjunct professor, Environmental Law Moot Court, 2006-2009

Fund for Legal Aid

Board of Directors