Biography of Larry McDonough

Legislation and Rules, Litigation, and Committees




Larry was a legal services housing managing and litigation attorney for 30 years until this year, when he joined Dorsey and Whitney as the Pro Bono Litigation Counsel. Larry began working in legal services for low-income persons in 1983, focusing primarily on housing and consumer law since 1986.  Since 2006, he has served as the Managing Attorney of the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis Housing Unit, supervising attorneys and legal assistants representing low income tenants in Hennepin County.  He co-founded Minnesota's Annual Housing Law Institute and authored Residential Unlawful Detainer and Eviction Defense through many editions, and most of the housing materials posted on and  From 2006 through 2013 her served as the Managing Attorney of the Housing Unit at the Minneapolis Office of Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid (formerly Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis).

He has taught at all four law schools in the Twin Cities, including two years as a visiting clinical professor at Hamline University School of Law and the University of Minnesota Law School. The courses he created in Poverty Law at the University of Minnesota and University of St. Thomas Schools of Law, the Housing Clinic Housing Law Clinic at the University of Minnesota School of Law, and the Housing Trial Practice Clinic and Landlord and Tenant Law Course at Hamline University School of Law.

In the last ten years he has published several journal and book chapters articles including:

Then and Now: The Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act of 1972 and the Current Revision Process – Still Bold and Relevant?, to be published in the Ark. Lit. Rock L. Rev.2012

Eviction and Subsidy Terminations, in HUD Housing programs: Tenants' Rights Ch. 14 (National Housing Law Project, 4th ed. 2012)

To Be or Not to Be Unpublished: Housing Law and the Lost Precedent of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, 35 Hamline L. Rev. 1 (2012), on Westlaw at 35 HAMLR 1

Wait a Minute!  Residential Eviction Defense in 2009 Still is Much More than “Did You Pay the Rent?,” 35 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 762 (2009), on Westlaw at 35 WMLR 762.2009;

The Practical Impact of the Court of Appeals: A Panel Discussion, 35 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 1334 (2009), on Westlaw at 35 WMLR 1334;

Minnesota Tenants Gain More Rights in Foreclosure Through Effective Legislative Task Force Collaboration, 42 Clearinghouse Review 596 (March-April 2009);

Wait a Minute: Slowing Down Criminal Activity Eviction Cases to Find the Truth, 41 Clearinghouse Review 55 (May/June 2007);

Still Crazy after All of These Years: Landlords and Tenants and the Law of Torts, 33 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 427 (2006), on Westlaw at 33 WMLR 427; and

Wait a Minute!  Residential Eviction Defense is Much More than “Did You Pay the Rent?,” 28 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 65 (2001), on Westlaw at 28 WMLR 65.

He has received many awards over the years, most recently the 2008 Minnesota Justice Foundation Distinguished Service Award, for making significant contributions to poverty law and public interest work and to ensuring equal justice for all Minnesotans; the 2004 National Lawyers Guild Minnesota Chapter First Annual Paul Marino People's Lawyer Award, for work as a tenants’ attorney and teacher; and the Minnesota Law & Politics “Super Lawyer” selection from 1999 to the present.

He also has been a professional jazz pianist for 40 years, with several CDs under his own name, 

Lawrence McDonough
Pro Bono Counsel
Dorsey and Whitney, LLP
Suite 1500
50 South Sixth Street
Minneapolis, MN 554021498
P: 612-492-6795, F: 612-677-3220