Family law attorney supports her community via career and volunteerism
Patricia Buss is the 2016 Outstanding Alumna of the Year at Inver Hills Community College. The college presented the award at the Inver Hills Foundation Celebrate Inver fundraiser held Thursday, April 21, 2016. The award is presented to outstanding alumnus/alumna for distinguished or professional achievement, bringing recognition to Inver Hills through their service or contributions to the community and/or their profession.
Pat feels that she found herself at Inver Hills. She attended the college from 1971–73. She earned an Associate of Arts in Political Science and went on to Minnesota State University, Mankato, where she majored in political analysis. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she attended the William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law), earning her Doctor of Law (J.D.) in 1981.
Pat paid her own way through college at Inver and beyond. She started out thinking she wanted to be a teacher, or a social worker, or a psychologist, or a news reporter. Today, in her role as a family law attorney and mediator with her own firm, Buss Law & Mediation, LLC, in Burnsville, Minnesota, she does a little of all of those jobs when assisting her clients.
Pat remembers building strong relationships with many instructors and students at Inver Hills. She credits David Martinson, her political science and journalism instructor, with helping her recognize her career path. David supported her and helped her to grow. Pat also served on Student Senate.
During her law career, Pat worked as an assistant county attorney for more than 15 years. After her time in public service, she decided to help people more directly in her own practice. She genuinely enjoys working with people, listening to their concerns, explaining the law and their options, and helping them make informed decisions. Pat provides Alternative Dispute Resolution services; she finds mediation and parent consulting work very rewarding.
Pat’s commitment to the law profession extends to a wide range of volunteer work. She has served as a volunteer attorney for Legal Assistance of Dakota County, Advocates for Human Rights, and has been involved in leadership in the First District Bar Association and Public Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. She has assisted in the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness and served for eight years on the board of Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health. She continues to participate in social, church, political and community events.
Pat is an active member of the Inver Hills Alumni Board. She delivers talks in classrooms through Fuel for the Finish, has been involved in student Career Development, and attends Celebrate Inver and other campus events. She grew up in South St. Paul and resides in Apple Valley.
“I am proud to present the Outstanding Alumni Award to Patricia Buss,” said Inver Hills President Tim Wynes, J.D. “Her personal achievements and community involvement embody the Inver Hills vision to enrich individual lives and support our diverse communities, locally, statewide, nationally and globally.”
About the Foundation and Celebrate Inver
The Inver Hills Foundation mission is to build resources and a community network to support students, faculty and programs at the college. Each year, Celebrate Inver brings together alumni, community leaders, business and corporate partners, faculty, staff and distinguished guests in support of Inver Hills students.
Proceeds from the event are used to support the work of the Inver Hills Foundation and our Scholarship program, helping students stay in school and graduate with less debt. Celebrate Inver sponsors included Platinum Bank, Emerald Sponsor, Lancer Catering, Home Federal, UTC Aerospace Systems and Xcel Energy, Courage Sponsors, and CHS, Fox Advancement and Republic Services, Brain Sponsors. For a complete list of 2016 sponsors, visit Foundation Events.