Judge Cynthia L. McCollum


Appointed by Governor Mark Dayton on Oct. 20, 2014. Elected in 2016 and 2022. Current term expires Jan. 2029.


  • University of Minnesota, double major- Psychology/English, B.A.
  • William Mitchell School of Law, J.D. cum laude
  • Mock trial team regional winner, national placement third, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, 1985

Past Employment:

Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office
  • Assistant Hennepin County Public Defender, Oct. 1985-1996
  • Senior Attorney, 1996-2014
    • Supervised Felony/Juvenile/Misdemeanor, 1996-2008
    • Supervision on Serious Felonies, 2008-2012
    • Complex conflict case supervision, 2012-2014

Professional Memberships:

  • Inns of Court 
  • MN Women’s Lawyers Association 
  • Minnesota District Judges Association member or alternate since 2015
    • Criminal Jury Instruction Guide committee, 2016-present
  • Minnesota District Judges Foundation education committee, 2015-present
  • Co -Chairperson of the Judges Handbook since 2019
  • Dakota County Pretrial screening committee, 2016-2020

Professional and Community Activities:

  • Past President/Board of Directors, Minnetonka Anchor Club
  • All American Swimmer, University of Minnesota, 1980
  • Big Ten Champion, 200 free relay, 1980, University of MN

Additional Information:

  • Adjunct professor, William Mitchell School of Law
    • Advocacy class, 1990-present
    • Advanced Advocacy, 1994-present
    • Legal Practicum class, 1994-present
    • Appellate Advocacy, fall 2012-present
    • Advanced Constitutional Criminal Procedure, 1994
    • Adjunct grading, Constitutional Law Powers and Liberties, 2018-present
  • Mock trial coach, American Association for Justice and Texas Young Lawyers Association competitions, since 2006
  • Hybrid Advocacy and Hybrid Appellate Advocacy, intermittent classes since 2018
  • Hamline University School of Law Advocacy Class adjunct, 2003-2015
  • Lead faculty and Co-Director, North Regional Trial Skills Program, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), 1998-2015
  • Program Director, NITA North Regional Program, 2015-present
  • Faculty member, National NITA, 2008-2013
  • Co Author; “DW’s Cautionary Tale;” William Mitchell Law Review, Vol. 37, No 2; 2011
  • NITA Blog Post; Jury Selection Part 3: Don’t Pick Your Friends For A Jury; April 23, 2014