Judge Sharon Grewell Benson


Appointed September 6, 2016, by Governor Mark Dayton. Elected in 2018. Current term expires January 2025.

Judicial Activities:

  • 7th District Lead Judge, Children’s Justice Initiative
  • Otter Tail County Children’s Justice Initiative
  • Otter Tail County DWI Court
  • Judicial Engagement Network Leadership Summit on Domestic Violence, Reno, Nevada (Sponsored by the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges) 2017


  • JD, University of Minnesota Law School
  • BA, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis

Previous Employment:

  • Attorney member, Benson Law Office, LLC
  • Assistant Public Defender, Seventh Judicial District
  • Managing Attorney, Central Minnesota Legal Services
  • Staff Attorney, Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance at East Central Legal Services and St. Cloud Area Legal Services

Professional and Community Activity Experience

  • Supreme Court Juvenile Delinquency Rules Committee, 2002-2005
  • Supreme Court Juvenile Protection Rules Committee, 2008 - 2016
  • Stearns County Veterans Protocol planning, steering, and operating committees
  • Stearns County Veterans Services and Mental Health Concerns Committee
  • Stearns County Children’s Justice Initiative Board
  • Stearns County Family Dependency Treatment Court planning, steering, and operating committees
  • Certified in Mental Health First Aid, 2016
  • Fee Arbitration chair, 18th District Bar Association
  • MSBA House of Delegates
  • Alternate member, MSBA Board of Governors
  • Board of Directors, Minnesota State Bar Foundation
  • Certification as Criminal Law Expert, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2012
  • Board of Directors, Great River Education Arts Theater
  • Board of Directors, Central Minnesota Housing Partnership
  • Community Relations Task Force member, ISD 742
  • Parent legislative action team member, ISD 742
  • Knowledge Bowl and Academic Triathlon Parent Coach, ISD 742 
  • Parent Explore Books Volunteer, ISD 742
  • Advisory Council member of Tri-County Action Programs Family Planning Center
  • Central Minnesota Task Force on Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention member
  • HRA of Chisago County advisory committee member
  • Chisago County Family Resource Center Information and Referral HELPLINE advisory committee member

Bar Admissions

  • State Courts: Minnesota 1990, Wisconsin 1988 (inactive)
  • US District Court, State of Minnesota 1992 (inactive)