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About Me

E. Michelle Drake is a skilled trial lawyer dedicated to advancing her clients' interests.

As a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Oxford University who learned to practice law by trying high stakes criminal cases, Michelle possesses a rare combination of elite academic pedigree and real world trial skills.


Michelle started her career working as a public defender in Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, Michelle was lead counsel in hundreds of felony criminal cases. She tried many cases, including five murder cases, to verdict. After working as a public defender for several years, Michelle founded her own law firm and expanded her practice to include civil cases. In 2007, Michelle moved back to her home state of Minnesota and decided to join Nichols Kaster.


Michelle has represented thousands of employees and consumers, in both individual and class cases. Her efforts have resulted in her clients recovering millions of dollars.


Michelle has never lost her desire to spend her career fighting for the rights of individuals. Whether her clients are misclassified employees or consumers who have been treated unfairly by their bank, Michelle is happiest fighting on the side of the underdog. She is a fierce and fearless litigator and always puts her clients' interests first.


Michelle's dry wit and straightforward speaking style have made her a valued member of the local and national community of consumer and employee rights litigators. She has spoken at numerous continuing legal education seminars. Michelle’s opinions have been published in the National Law Journal, and her cases were named as "Lawsuits of the Year" by Minnesota Law & Politics in both 2008 and 2009. Michelle has been named to the Rising Stars list by Minnesota Super Lawyers. Michelle leads the firm’s Consumer Class Action Team, which helps originate individual and class action cases directed at achieving justice for consumers. In particular, Michelle is currently lead counsel on several cases involving Fair Credit Reporting Act violations.


Practice Areas


  1. Litigation: 20%
  2. Employment & Labor: 20%
  3. Sexual Harassment: 20%
  4. Discrimination: 20%
  5. Class Action: 20%

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Contact Info

Nichols Kaster, PLLP

4600 Ids Center
80 South 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN, 55402


MNAuthorized to practice200706/04/2015
GAActive Member in Good Standing 200109/08/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers Magazine2013
Rising StarSuper Lawyers Magazine2012
Rising StarSuper Lawyers Magazine2011
Thurgood Marshall Defender AwardCommittee for Public Counsel Services2001
Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
PartnerNichols Kaster, LLP2011 - Present
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Minnesota State Bar Association Consumer Litigation SectionAt-Large Council Member2013 - 2014
Federal Practice Committee, U.S. District Court of MinnesotaAppointed Member2010 - Present
American Bar Association, Business Law SectionMemberN/A
Public CitizenMemberN/A
Minnesota Association for JusticeMemberN/A
National Association of Consumer AdvocatesMemberN/A
Federal Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Children's Law Center of MinnesotaVolunteer AttorneyN/A
American Bar AssociationMemberN/A
National Lawyers GuildMemberN/A
American Civil Liberties UnionMemberN/A
Minnesota Women LawyersMemberN/A
National Employment Lawyers AssociationMemberN/A
Hennepin County Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Minnesota State Bar AssociationMemberN/A
Public JusticeMemberN/A
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Harvard UniversityLawJ.D.2001
Oxford UniversityN/AMS - Master of Science1998
Harvard UniversityN/AB.A.1996
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Minnesota Continuing Legal EducationEmployment Law 3602014
Upper Midwest Employment Law InstituteThe Misclassification Mess-What Do You Do If You Have Misclassified Workers as Exempt?”2013
The Civil Litigator's Annaul Short Course5 Developments in E-Discovery2013
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education SeminarBeyond the Headlines – What Every Lawyer Should Know About the U.S. Supreme Court’s Big New Decisions2013
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education SeminarThe Complete Lawyer: Quick Answers to Questions about Consumer Law2013
Bridgeport Class Action ConferencePrecertification Discovery Strategies including Issues of Standing & Certification2013
American Bar Association Business Law Section Spring MeetingHousing Finance – Consumer Financial Services2013
National Business Institute WebinarFederal Court 1012012
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education WebcastEmployment Law Series: Ethics Issues for Employment Law Lawyers2012
Goodwill Easter Seals PresentationEmployment Rights & Criminal Backgrounds in the Context of the FCRA and Title VII2012
National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Annual ConventionLitigation and the Federal Rules. What Every Paralegal Should Know2011
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education SeminarReal World Ethics Issues and Answers for the Employment Lawyer2011
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education SeminarThe Complete Lawyer: Consumer Law 1012011
Defending and Managing Retaliation and Discrimination Claims ConferenceDukes v. Wal-Mart: the View from the Plaintiff’s Bar.2011
Upper Midwest Employment Law InstituteStrategic Discovery Practice2010
Minnesota Paralegal Association Annual ConventionMaintaining Privilege and Confidentiality2010
Minnesota Federal Bar Association Annual SeminarRecent Trends in FLSA Collective Actions Panel2010
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education SeminarHow to Practice in Federal Court: Complaints, Answers, and Service of Process2010
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education PanelImpact of Twombly and Iqbal on the Pleading Standard2010
Minnesota Continuing Legal Education PanelReal-World Ethics, Issues, and Answers for the Employment Lawyer2010
National Law Journal InterviewRecent wave of tip pooling cases2009
Minnesota Institute for Continuing Legal EducationStrategic Discovery: How to Fight Discovery Abuses and Win Discovery Disputes2009
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Investigator TrainingWho is the Boss? Joint employers, successor employers, and integrated enterprises2008
Advanced Capital Defender TrainingLitigating Capital Cases Under Georgia's New Discovery Statues2006
Advanced Capital Defender TrainingResponding to Changes in Georgia's Criminal Discovery Statutes2005