Firm History & Staff Bios

History of CLO

Carlson Law Office was born after a stint with the Police Academy and Clerking at the District Court level. Jim decided to open his doors in 2000 as a solo practitioner and with that CLO became a staple firm here in the south metro area.

CLO's mission is to guide you through the ever changing and multi-faceted Minnesota legal system.  We are based in Burnsville, and serve clients throughout the state of Minnesota.*


James S. Carlson, Principal Attorney

Even though a majority of Jim's clients live in Dakota and Scott Counties, he represents clients throughout the state of Minnesota.  He is an avid outdoorsman, major hockey fan, and dog lover who loves spending time with his family.  He is a long-time resident of Dakota County and enjoys serving the community he calls home. 

Education and Memberships

  • University of St. Thomas, Bachelor of Arts, 1995
  • William Mitchell College of Law, Juris Doctor, 2000
  • Minnesota State Bar Association
  • Dakota County Bar Association – Board Member

Timothy (Tim) Coulter, Attorney 

Tim was admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 2009 and is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas Law School. 

Peggy D. Brooks, Paralegal

Peggy has over 28 years of experience working in civil litigation, mergers & acquisitions, compliance, employment law, and pension & profit sharing law. Here at Carlson Law, Peggy handles our family and criminal law clients and she is also a Notary Public.

Peggy is a Minnesota native, an active member in her community of Shakopee and enjoys spending time with her family.   

Vernalisa S. Joseph, Legal Administrator

Vernalisa comes with more than 25 years of operational experience in providing and coordinating, planning and executing daily operational and administrative functions. Vernalisa handles the day to day operations for the firm and on some days her job crosses over into the paralegal arena; she is a Notary Public.

Vernalisa is a transplant to Minnesota and enjoys spending time with her family.