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A Legacy Of Service In Minnesota

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Melinda M. Gau

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Areas of Practice

A Closer Look

  • BIRTHPLACE: Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • FAMILY: Husband, four kids, and four grandchildren
  • FAVORITE PART ABOUT HER WORK: Working as a team to create solutions for clients
  • FAVORITE BOOK: The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay
  • BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: Know yourself
  • FUN FACT: I won a $10,000 prize for Anna Marie’s Alliance competing in a Dancing with the Stars event


Melinda brings a passion for the community and the law to work every day. She first joined the Q&H team in 1994 and became known for helping nonprofits and employers navigate challenges, new laws and ways to further their mission. Her commitment to community led her to take a position as Director of Donor Relations at the Central Minnesota Community Foundation where she helped the organization develop a new growth structure and launch Community Giving. She returned to the firm in 2015 after realizing how much she missed the law and her clients, and continues to serve the community as an avid volunteer.

Serving on the Employment Practice Team, Melinda represents and advises employers on hiring and firing, leaves of absence, discrimination, reasonable accommodation, performance management and contracts. She also conducts workplace investigations, and educates employees, human resource professionals, and supervisors on various employment laws and workplace issues. As a member of the Trusts & Estates Group, Melinda prepares wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and health care directives, and handles probate and trust administration.

A seasoned trainer and coach, Melinda also developed and led a variety of employment law programs, including the four-hour course entitled "Keeping Your Employer Out of Trouble" as part of the St. Cloud Area Chamber's Supervisor Development Certification Program.


  • University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • J.D. - 1994
    • Honors: cum laude
  • St. Cloud State University, St Cloud, Minnesota
    • B.S. - 1991
    • Honors: summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • Minnesota, 1994
  • U.S. District Court District of Minnesota, 1994

Professional Associations

  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers Association
  • Seventh Judicial District Bar Association
  • Stearns/Benton Bar Association, Present
  • St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Judicial Selection Commission for the Seventh Judicial District, Governor Pawlenty-appointee

Classes & Seminars

  • I-9 Compliance
  • New Guidance from the EEOC: Are You Discriminating Against Caregivers?
  • Fair Labor Standards Act and the Exempt Worker
  • Legal Ramifications of Ageism in the Workplace
  • Termination Checklist
  • Mandatory Employment Benefits and Entitlements under Minnesota Law
  • Performance Management
  • Your Rights and Responsibilities: Anti-Discrimination Laws
  • Reasonable Suspicion Training (drug/alcohol testing)
  • Common Sense Tips for Employers