Fulda graduate Van Oort recognized in legal field
MINNEAPOLIS — Fulda High School alumnus Aaron Van Oort was recently recognized for his work as a lawyer, receiving two honors.
Van Oort was named to The Best Lawyers in America 2014 list for his work in appellate practice and antitrust litigation, as well as to the 2013 Minnesota Super Lawyers list for his work in appellate practice.
Van Oort is a partner with the Minneapolis office of the Faegre Baker Daniels law firm, where he is a legal strategist, class action opponent and appellate lawyer who co-chairs the firm’s appellate advocacy group. He has received various awards and recognition in the past, but this is the first year he has been named to both the Best Lawyers in America list and the Minnesota Super Lawyers list.
“I had been selected for Best Lawyers before, but the Super Lawyers — this was the first year that I was eligible for it,” Van Oort said.
Both awards recognized Van Oort’s work as an appellate lawyer.
“It means you are dealing with the appeal after the case and trial court is done,” he explained. “Someone has won and someone has lost, and the case is taken to the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, and then the appellate lawyer gets involved.”
First published in 1983, the Best Lawyers list is compiled after an exhaustive peer-review survey is conducted with nearly 50,000 leading attorneys casting almost 5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers. The list includes lawyers in 124 specialities who have been chosen through an exhaustive survey in which thousands of the nation’s top lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers.
According to the 2013 edition, voting lawyers were provided this general guideline for determining if a nominee should be listed among the best: “If you had a close friend or relative who needed a real estate lawyer, for example, and you could not handle the case yourself, to whom would you refer them?”
The Super Lawyers list is published in every state, and Van Oort was listed among the top lawyers in Minnesota. It recognizes lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. According to its website, Super Lawyers uses a patented multi-phase selection process to compile the list, combining peer nominations and evaluation with third-party research.
The objective of the list is to create a comprehensive and credible list of lawyers that can be used as a resource for attorneys and consumers searching for legal counsel.
While Van Oort is grateful for both of the honors, he remains focused on using his skills — rather than awards — to attract future clients.
“I don’t think people get hired just on the basis of these, but I think it’s something that will cause a client to consider you,” he said. “Then you get hired because they believe you will do a good job.”
Before joining Faegre Baker Daniels, Van Oort clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia at the United States Supreme Court and for Chief Judge Richard Posner at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
A 1992 graduate of Fulda High School, Van Oort said his aunt, also a practicing lawyer in the Twin Cities, inspired him to pursue his career.
“I thought the world of her,” Van Oort said. “I remember growing up and seeing how she and her husband handled themselves and thinking, ‘Maybe I want to do that.”‘
Van Oort is the son of Dean and Jan Van Oort, Fulda, and resides with his wife, Tracy, in the Twin Cities. They have four sons, Daniel, age 13, Thomas, 11, Jonathan, 9, and Luke, 7.