With extensive litigation experience and a record of courtroom success, Shirley O. Lerner focuses her practice on defending and advising employers and offers an in-depth knowledge of employment laws, human resources administration, and business practicalities. She has successfully defended a wide variety of employment law claims in state and federal courts and agency proceedings, including matters involving:

  • Discrimination and sexual harassment
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act
  • The Fair Labor Standards Act
  • State wage and hour laws
  • Class and collective actions
  • Breach of employment contracts
  • Whistleblower claims
  • Defamation
  • Competition and confidentiality violations
  • Independent contractor claims

Shirley works with local, national, and international businesses in a diverse range of industries, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Retail
  • Hospitality
  • Food service
  • Real estate
  • Professional services

Office managing shareholder of Littler's Minneapolis office, Shirley is also a frequent lecturer at continuing education and management events.

Professional & Community Affiliations


Minnesota State Bar Association


Hennepin County Bar Association


American Bar Association


Awarded, AV® Peer Review Rating


Speaking Engagements

Minneapolis Women's Leadership Initiative Luncheon

Minneapolis, MN

January 24, 2018
Managing the 21st Century Sales Force

Minneapolis, MN

February 16, 2017
2012 Midwest Employer Conference

Minneapolis, MN

October 11, 2012

Independent Contractors: Heightened Concern In An Era Of Expanded Enforcement

2012 Midwest Employer Conference

Littler Mendelson, Minneapolis, MN

October 11, 2012
Two-Part FMLA CLE Series: Managing Intermittent FMLA Leave and Post-FMLA Accommodation

Minneapolis, MN

June 7, 2012


  • J.D., University of Minnesota Law School, 1983
  • B.A., University of Minnesota, 1980 magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admission



  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois