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Thomas A. Jacobson

Thomas A. Jacobson

Alexandria, Minnesota

Tom joined the firm in May of 1996 after practicing law for six years in Fargo, North Dakota. Tom's practice is focused on employment law, but he also handles many types of litigation, including personal injury cases and business disputes. He serves as the City Attorney for the cities of Alexandria, Starbuck and Parkers Prairie, is a Qualified Rule 114 Neutral and is rated as AV Preeminent® by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™.

Tom has been certified as a Labor and Employment Law Specialist by the Minnesota State Bar Association. The certified specialist credential must be earned. Attorneys who are certified specialists have met the exacting standards established by the MSBA and approved by the Minnesota State Board of Legal Certification. Fewer than three percent of all registered attorneys in Minnesota are certified specialists in their field. As noted by the MSBA:

The Certified Legal Specialist designation is one way for the public to identify those attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in their specialty area and to find an attorney whose qualifications match their legal needs…. Certification programs serve a public function by enhancing public access to qualified practitioners. These programs provide assurance that the specialist has been found to possess the expertise, experience, and knowledge necessary to provide quality service…. The designation "Certified Specialist" provides the professional with a time-honored method of informing the public and their peers that their specialty qualifications have been tested, documented, and certified by an accrediting organization.

MSBA certified specialists are tested, documented and audited annually to ensure that they are maintaining certification standards.

Tom is licensed to practice law in Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa and has served as the president of the Douglas County and Seventh District Bar Associations. He is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and is a charter member of the West Central Minnesota Chapter of SHRM.  A frequent speaker on employment law topics and the author of  Human Resource Legal Resource at, Tom is a co-founder of the annual West Central Minnesota Employment Law Update.

Tom strongly believes in giving back to the community, and that dedication to community service is shown through his work as a director for Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Young People’s Place, Community Nursery School, Alexandria Rotary Club, and the Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce.  In 2011 he received the Chamber’s Friend of the Chamber Award which is given annually to a person who has gone beyond expectations to benefit the chamber and its members.

Originally from Marshall, Minnesota, Tom graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Dakota in 1987 and from Drake University Law School in 1990. He also received a master’s degree in mass communications from Drake University in 1990.

Tom and his wife, Joni, live in Alexandria and have three adult sons.

Year Joined Firm

  • 1996

Areas of Practice

  • Employment Law
  • Municipal Law
  • Personal Injury
  • Business disputes
  • General Practice

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Labor and Employment Law, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2011

Bar Admissions

  • North Dakota, 1990
  • Minnesota, 1996
  • Iowa, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. District Court District of North Dakota, 1991
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1996


  • Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
  • University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota
    • B.A., Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude - May, 1987
    • Honors: Summa Cum Laude
    • Major: Speech - Radio/TV
    • Major: Sociology
  • Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
    • M.A., Master of Arts - June, 1990
    • Major: Mass Communications

Published Works

  • Avoiding Claims of Defamation in the Workplace, 72 N.D. Law Rev. 247 (1996), 1996
  • Regulating Cable Television Rates under the FCC's New Effective Competition Standard, 41 Drake L. Rev. 81, 1992


  • West Central Minnesota Employment Law Update (co-founder), 2004 - Present
  • Numerous Presentations on Employment Law Topics, Alexandria Technical and Community College; Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission

Honors and Awards

  • Friend of the Chamber (2010), Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Minnesota State Bar Association, 1996 - Present
  • State Bar Association of North Dakota, 1990 - Present
  • Iowa State Bar Association, 1990 - Present
  • Society for Human Resource Management
  • Douglas County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Nilles Law Firm, Attorney, September 1, 1990 - May 12, 1996

Pro Bono Activities

  • Alexandria Rotary Club (past director), 1997 - Present
  • Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce (past director and president)
  • Theatre Le Homme Dieu Board of Directors
  • Young Peoples Place Board of Directors
  • Alexandria USA Swim Club Board of Directors
  • Community Nursery School Advisory Committee
  • West Central Minnesota Chapter, Society for Human Resource Management (charter member)

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