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Marian Saksena




Tel: 612-361-6180

Professional Info

Marian is a compassionate and highly skilled family and juvenile law attorney.  Her legal expertise was recognized when she was named to the Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyer list and the Top 50 Women list in the Super Lawyers magazine.  In addition to advocating for her clients, Marian enjoys educating, counseling, and empowering the clients she represents. As a qualified neutral under Rule 114, Marian also provides mediation, early neutral evaluation, parenting-time expediting and parenting consulting services. Marian has been appointed by the Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Supreme Court to serve on a number of statewide committees related to children's issues.

Legal Experience

2014 - present
Founding Partner & Attorney, DeWalt, Chawla + Saksena, LLC


2004 - 2014
Attorney/Shareholder, Walling, Berg & Debele, P.A.


2002 - 2004
Attorney, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.


1999 - 2002
Staff Attorney, Children's Law Center of Minnesota


1998 - 1999
Law Clerk, Office of the Hennepin County Attorney

1997 - 1999
Guardian ad Litem, Ramsey County District Court

Summer Law Clerk, Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis

Summer Law Clerk, Children's Law Center of Minnesota





University of Minnesota Law School, Juris Doctor


University of Minnesota School of Social Work, Child Abuse Prevention Studies, Certificate


Grinnell College, Bachelor of Arts


Professional Memberships & Activities

Member, Minnesota State Bar Association, Family Law Section

Past Chair, Minnesota State Bar Association, Children and the Law Section

Co-Chair, Hennepin County Bar Association, Juvenile Law Section

Member, Hennepin County Bar Association, Family Law Section

Past Member, Minnesota Supreme Court Juvenile Protection Rules Committee

Past Member, Department of Human Services, Uniform Parentage Act Task Force

Past Member, Hennepin County Citizen Review Panel (child protection practices and policies)



Speaking Engagements

Presenter, 10 Things You Need To Know About Step-Parent and Second-Parent Adoptions, Minnesota Family Law Institute, March 2022

Co-Presenter, Late-Stage College Planning and Divorce, Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2021

Co-Presenter, The Financial Aspects of Divorce, Financial Planning Association, Minnesota Chapter Annual Conference, 2020

Co-Presenter, How to Establish and Prove Paternity in Court, National Webinar, Lorman, 2020

Presenter, Handling Your First (or Next) Adoption, Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2019

Co-Presenter, The Trauma-Informed Family Court Judge, Family Law Institute - Judicial Track, 2019 

Panel Member, View from the Bar, Family Law League, 2018

Co-Presenter, Trauma-Informed Practices in Juvenile Court, Hennepin County Bar Association Juvenile Law Section, 2018

Presenter, Domestic Infant Adoption in Minnesota, Bethany Christian Services, 2018

Co-Presenter, Family Law Issues Related to Undocumented Immigrants, Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2015


Co-Presenter, Seven Things Family Lawyers Should Know About Child Protection, Family Law Institute,  Minnesota CLE, 2014

Guest lecturer,  Third Party Custody Options, Hamline University School of Law, Child Advocacy Clinic, 2008-2013


Presenter, Making Children’s Voices Heard in International Child Abduction Cases: The Role of GAL and Children’s Counsel, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 2012

Co-Presenter, College Costs for Children of Divorce, Minnesota State Bar Association/Minnesota CLE, 2011

Faculty, ICWA and Third Party Custody, The Indian Child Welfare Act: Women, Children and Families, Indian Child Welfare Law Center Symposium, 2010

Faculty, Representing Youth in ICWA Cases, Children’s Legal Services, 2010

Co-Presenter, Intersection of Family Law and Mental Health Services, In-Service Training for The Family Partnership, 2010

Faculty, Preparing for and Testifying in Court: A Primer for Guardians ad Litem, Minnesota Judicial Branch Guardian ad Litem Program, Annual Conference: Building Pathways for Children in a Changing World, 2009

Faculty, There’s No Place Like Home: Permanency Options for Foster Children, Family Law Institute, Minnesota CLE, 2009

Co-Presenter, Third Party Custody, Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, 2009

Faculty, Representing Children in Family Court, Minnesota Custody and Child Support, Minnesota CLE, 2006

Faculty, Juvenile Protection and Juvenile Delinquency Records, Children’s Records Law in Minnesota, Lorman Educational Services, 2006

Guest, Teens and Domestic Violence, Phillips Community TV, 2005

Faculty, Issues Relating to Minority Children in Delinquency and Child Protection Proceedings, Emerging and Innovative Ideas in Juvenile Law:  Celebrating 100 Years of Juvenile Courts in Minnesota, Minnesota Juvenile Court Centenary Planning Committee, 2005

Co-Presenter, Adoption Rules 101, Minnesota State Bar Association Children and the Law Section, 2004

Seminar Co-Chair and Faculty Member, Best Interests of the Child and Alternative Caregiving Arrangements, Minnesota CLE, 2004

Faculty, When Parents Can’t Parent Their Children:  Third-Party Custody, CHIPS Proceedings, De Facto Custodians, Guardianships and Adoption, Family Law Institute, sponsored by Minnesota CLE, 2004

Faculty, Representing Youth In Foster Care, Children’s Law Center of Minnesota, 1999-2003

Faculty, Legal Rights of Children: Fact or Fiction, MILE Juvenile Law Seminar, 2002

Co-Presenter, Uniform Parentage Act Task Force Report: Adoption, Paternity and Assisted Reproductive Technology, Minnesota State Bar Association Children and Law Section, 2002

Guest, Adoption, Meet Your Court (Hennepin County District Court's weekly cable TV program), 2002

Presenter, Legal Rights of State Wards and Long-Term Foster Care Youth, Hennepin County Permanency Provider Meeting, 2002

Panel Member, Media Orientation: Open Child Protection Proceedings, Minnesota Supreme Court, 2001

Guest Faculty, Improving Outcomes for State Wards, University of Minnesota School of Social Work, Child Abuse Prevention Studies, 1999

Presenter, State Wards Project, Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, LLP, 1999

Panel Member, Guardian ad Litem Training, Ramsey County, 1998





Co-Author, Child Protection QuickSheet, published by Minnesota CLE, 2014 and 2018

Author, Representing Children in Family Court, The Minnesota Custody and Child Support Deskbook, Minnesota State Bar Association (1st Edition in 2006 and updates through 2020)

Author, Out-of-Home Placements for Abused, Neglected, and Dependent Children in Minnesota: A Historical Perspective, Polish Genealogical Society of Minnesota Newsletter (Vol. 21, No.1), 2013

Co-Author, The Intersection of Rising College Costs and Changes in Family Law, The Hennepin Lawyer, November, 2010

Author, The Interplay of Child Protection and Divorce, Solving the Most Difficult Problems in Divorce Cases, Minnesota State Bar Association, 2009

Author, Judicial Profile: Judge Jay Quam, The Hennepin Lawyer, 2007

Author, Out-of-Home Placements for Abused, Neglected, and Dependent Children in Minnesota:  A Historical Perspective, 32 William Mitchell Law Review 1007-1049, 2006

Contributor, Robert J. Sheran and Douglas K. Amdahl, Minnesota System:  Twenty-Five Years of Radical Change, 26 Hamline Law Review 219, 329, Spring 2003 (regarding developments in juvenile and family law)

Pro Bono & Community Service

Children's Law Center of Minnesota

Volunteer Attorney - Wills for Heroes

Volunteer Attorney - Volunteer Lawyers Network


Court admissions


  • Minnesota

  • White Earth Band of Chippewa Tribal Court

  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux (Dakota) Community Tribal Court

  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Tribal Court



  • Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyer® list, Super Lawyer® magazine, 2021 - 2023

  • Top 50 Minnesota Women list, Super Lawyer® magazine, 2016 - 2024

  • Super Lawyer®, Super Lawyers magazine,  2014 - 2024

  • Rising Star®, Super Lawyers magazine,  2006-2009; 2011

  • Recognized as a "North Star Attorney" by MSBA (in recognition of pro bono service), 2014-2019

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2010 - present

2010 - present

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