Our Team

bio priscilla

Priscilla Lord

Attorney/Managing Partner

Education

J.D. - Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN
B.A. Education - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Professional Associations

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
Minnesota Association for Justice, Member, Former Board Member and Co-Chair Legislative Committee
American Association for Justice, Member
Public Justice, Member

Evidence of Priscilla Lord's deep and abiding passion for helping people is witnessed in her law practice and her life. She has successfully represented thousands of personal injury clients throughout Minnesota, fighting to win the compensation they deserve for their physical and emotional losses. Priscilla also diligently advocates for professionals before their licensing boards, providing wise counsel to clients whose livelihoods and reputations are at stake.

While she fiercely pursues justice for her clients, Priscilla is also highly valued by clients for her caring, personal attention. She invests fully in every case, getting to know each client and all the details of the situation. This compassionate, personalized approach allows Priscilla and her team to develop the best legal strategy for each case.

Priscilla is not afraid to take on challenging cases in pursuit of justice as is demonstrated in her class action work. Early in her career, Priscilla represented over 600 claimants in the silicon breast implant class action suit, the longest running class action lawsuit in United States history. Through tenacity and hard work, Priscilla managed the complex legal and medical paperwork and processes required to successfully adjudicate each case and claim. Her hard work paid off for her clients who each received settlements ranging from $10,000 to $250,000.

In 2001, Priscilla took on another major challenge: representing people harmed by the diet drug Fen Phen. By the end of 2002, she had submitted claims on behalf of nearly 200 people harmed by the drug. Throughout most of 2002 and 2003 Priscilla and her team worked seven days a week, tirelessly advocating for her clients. Their hard work was worth it and her clients each received settlements ranging from $2,000 to more than $562,000.

Since opening her own law firm in 1993, and subsequently merging with Miles Lord and Associates in 2011, Priscilla has earned accolades from clients as well as her colleagues in the legal field for her knowledge of the law, commitment to client service and for achieving great results. She was named a Minnesota Super Lawyer in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and chosen one of the Top 40 Personal Injury Attorneys by Minnesota Law & Politics for 2007. Priscilla has earned an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a peer ranking of the highest professional level.

The daughter of legendary Federal Judge Miles Lord, Priscilla's concern for justice began early. In 1963, she worked on the staff of Senator Hubert H. Humphrey and campaigned for the Senator in his run for President in 1968. A lifelong advocate and community leader, she has served on numerous boards including the Little Earth Housing Community, Chrysalis, and the University of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Advisory Board. Priscilla served as a member of a group that studied and made recommendations to the State of Minnesota Pardon Board, and headed up the lobbying effort of Minnesota MADD at the Minnesota legislature in the early 1990s, following her son Wayne (Way) Faris, Jr.'s tragic death caused by a drunk driver in 1989.

In 2000, Priscilla was elected to a four-year term on the Sunfish Lake City Council. In 2008, she ran in the DFL primary for U.S. Senate, winning 30 percent of the vote (75,000) after only seven weeks of campaigning.

Priscilla lives with her beloved dog, Diva in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Chances are, if you come to her office, Diva will also be there.

bio melissa

Melissa Heinlein

Attorney/Partner

Education

J.D. - Hamline University School of Law, St. Paul, MN
B.A. Political Science - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

Professional Associations

Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
Minnesota Association for Justice, Member
American Association for Justice, Member

Melissa Heinlein joined the firm in 2013 and became partner in 2017 as a result of her dedication and commitment. She is highly regarded by her clients for skilled and compassionate representation. In her professional licensing practice, she is a thoughtful advocate. She invests the time and care required to truly listen to each client's story in order to learn the integral details about their case. With this level of personalized attention, Melissa develops the best strategy possible for responding to allegations from a licensing board. In her personal injury practice, Melissa is not afraid to stand up against the big insurance companies to get her clients the compensation they deserve.

Melissa's work ethic was forged early in a small farming community in Wisconsin where her entrepreneurial parents taught Melissa that with hard work, perseverance and passion it is possible to achieve great things.

Melissa earned her Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, in 2004. After graduation, Melissa worked on social and environmental justice campaigns in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Focusing on equality for women, Melissa worked alongside political candidates and community leaders while advocating for changes in social and environmental policies at the Minnesota state capital.

With a desire to serve Minnesota residents on a more personal level, Melissa enrolled in Hamline University School of Law in 2009. There she further developed her passion and commitment to social justice, particularly for underserved communities. Her internship with the Ramsey County Public Defender, Juvenile Division, prompted Melissa to write an article published in the Hamline University Journal of Public Law and Policy Spring 2012, titled, The Age of Consent. The article critiqued the political and law enforcement response to domestic juvenile sex trafficking. Melissa received the Minnesota Woman Lawyer's Equal Justice Award for the article in 2012. Melissa continues to advocate for social justice as a board member of NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota.

A lifelong artist, Melissa fosters her creative side by playing keyboard and singing vocals in an americana rock band, The Long Odds, with her husband and friends.

Melissa has a great love for Minnesota and is honored to serve its residents with the passionate legal advocacy and personal attention they deserve. She lives with her husband and daughter in south Minneapolis. 

bio sonja

Sonja Mathiesen

Office Administrator

Sonja Mathiesen joined the law firm in early 2016. A life-long Minnesotan with a background in sales, restaurant management, and non-profit political organizing, she is happy to have found a home at Lord + Heinlein where she finds satisfaction and joy in helping others. Sonja and her partner live in south Minneapolis with their rescue dog, Hiccup.