James Walston > Ballard Spahr LLP > Minneapolis, United States > Lawyer Profile

Ballard Spahr LLP
2000 IDS CENTER 80
MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55402-2119
United States


Partner and Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Development and Transactions Group


James R. “Jim” Walston is the Practice Leader of Ballard Spahr’s Real Estate Development and Transactions Group. He is a commercial real estate attorney with 35 years of in-depth professional and industry experience covering a broad range of commercial real estate matters in Minnesota and throughout the United States.

Jim’s practice presently includes legal representation of clients in connection with commercial real estate purchases, sales, leases, real estate finance transactions, public transportation projects, zoning and land use matters and real estate loan workouts.

Jim also serves as a reliable and experienced resource for small- to mid-market owner-managed businesses in Minnesota and South Dakota on a variety of real estate-related and general corporate matters.



South Dakota


American Bar Association, Real Property Trust and Estates and Business Law sections

Minnesota State Bar Association, Real Property Law Specialist (certified in 1991)

Hennepin County Bar Association

Pro Bono — Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) Real Estate Clinic

Pro Bono — Northeast Senior Services, Inc. Legal Clinic

Volunteer — Ujamaa Place

Volunteer — Urban Homeworks


William Mitchell College of Law (now Mitchell Hamline School of Law) (J.D. 1985)

University of Nebraska (B.A., Political Science, 1982)

Lawyer Rankings

United States > Real estate > Land use/zoning

Ballard Spahr LLP‘s land use and zoning group has attorneys in various areas of the country that advise on securing all permits and approvals on real estate projects, and excels in historic preservation and environmental issues. It has a particularly strong base in Philadelphia, continuing to represent clients in some of the cities highest-profile developments, and head of the department Matthew McClure is based at the firm’s office there. His practice emphasizes development, land use, zoning, and historic preservation matters and he frequently works with David Gest in cases before the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Philadelphia Historical Commission and the Civic Design Review Committee. In Salt Lake City, Thomas Bennett has a focus on development of commercial and resort properties, frequently involving zoning and entitlements work, while at the Minneapolis office, James Walston heads the firm’s real estate development and transactions group and covers land use and zoning in his broad practice.