Michelle R. Jester





Assistant: Cynthia Garcia



Michelle Jester focuses her practice on banking and finance with an emphasis in real estate. In addition to managing her practice, Michelle serves as the Chair of the Banking & Finance group.  Her broad experience and depth allows her to handle both the front-end and back-end of lending transactions; everything from loan originations to work outs and foreclosures. 

Michelle’s work includes drafting documentation and conducting due diligence for loans for her lender clients secured by real estate or personal property; enforcing loan documents secured by real estate or personal property; advising receivers on rights and obligations; negotiating and drafting documentation to work out distressed loans; and representing buyers or sellers by negotiating real estate purchase agreements. She has extensive experience in the affordable housing finance area, guidance lines for home builders and complex financing transactions. Some of Michelle’s clients include lenders, creditors, commercial landlords and tenants, and real estate and apartment building owners. 

Beyond the particulars of any agreement or dispute, Michelle provides her clients with experience-based legal advice that is tied to real-world business practicalities. Michelle provides aggressive representation of her clients’ interests, with creative solutions to disputes and successful outcomes, eliminating unnecessary time, effort, and anxiety on behalf of her clients.  

Michelle is a two-time winner of the Top Women in Finance Award and is certified by the Minnesota State Bar Association as a Real Property Specialist.

Representative Experience
  • Represented lender in a $13 million loan transaction to a group of over fifteen Tenancy in Common borrowers for the acquisition of four medical office buildings valued at $22 million.

  • Represented lender in a $21 million aggregate facility loan transaction, divided amongst seven different borrowers—each with their own loan, to acquire seven separate industrial sites managed as part of an industrial portfolio.

  • Represented group of thirty-plus Tenancy in Common owners in a workout of a $26.75 loan secured by a portfolio of seven industrial properties in the Twin Cities, concurrently managing the receivership and facilitating a sale of the property.

  • Represented lender in a $9,000,000 federal historic, state historic and low income housing tax loan transaction to borrower, using permanent and bridge loans, to acquire and rehabilitate a 120 year-old building into a multi-family affordable housing project.

  • Represented lender in purchasing tax-exempt bonds from a municipality for use as a loan to borrower constructing 62 units of affordable senior housing; included a second loan in the amount of $2 million to bridge tax credit equity into the project.

  • Represented lender an inter-creditor agreement, in connection with a $2.75 million tax increment financing to a borrower as part of $24 million loan for the development of a senior housing facility.

Publications & Presentations



  • Panelist, “Real Estate Financing” – St. Thomas School of Law, June 2015


Professional & Community


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


  • Certified as a Real Property Law Specialist by the Real Property Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association


  • Minnesota State Bar Association, Member
  • Hennepin County Bar Association, Member
  • Independent Community Bankers Association, Member
  • Minnesota Bankers Association, Member
  • Minnesota Commercial Real Estate Women, Member
  • Minnesota Regional Chamber of Commerce, Executive Women’s Council, Member
  • Minnesota Women Lawyers, Member
Honors & Distinctions
  • Notable Women in Banking & Finance, Twin Cities Business, 2022
  • Super Lawyer, Minnesota Law & Politics and Minnesota Super Lawyers®, 2009-2023

  • Top Women in Finance, Finance and Commerce, 2006 & 2012

  • Messerli & Kramer P.A. – Organization of the Year, Minnesota Commercial Real Estate CREWIE Awards, 2010

  • Career Enhancement for Women, Minnesota Commercial Real Estate CREWIE Awards, 2009

  • Attorney of the Year, Minnesota Lawyer, 2008

  • Rising Star, Minnesota Law & Politics, 2004-2008

  • Featured in Attorney at Law Magazine 2020 Women’s Special Issue