Managing Attorney & Hotline Director
Michael Vraa is the Managing Attorney/Hotline Director at HOME Line. A 1995 graduate of Boston University School of Law, he joined HOME Line in 1996, serving as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) for a year before joining the staff full time in 1998 as a Tenant Advocate. He took over the position of Managing Attorney in 2000.
HOME Line’s tenant hotline has grown in coverage and volume during Mr. Vraa’s tenure. In 1996, HOME Line took a little over 5,000 calls from renters in Suburban Hennepin County. As of 2014, HOME Line now covers the entire state of Minnesota and now takes over 15,000 calls per year.
Mr. Vraa has practiced in the area of landlord/tenant law exclusively since he started working at HOME Line. He has given over 1,050 speeches on various aspects of landlord/tenant law to a wide variety of groups (speaking to over 29,000 attendees) throughout Minnesota and has personally advised over 30,000 renters. He has helped prevent the eviction of over 2,000 Minnesota families and has helped renters recover over 3 million dollars in improperly withheld deposits and rent abatements (refunds for living in substandard conditions).
Mike has been quoted extensively in the media, including; USA Today, NPR, MPR, Thomson Reuters, KARE 11 (NBC-TV), KSTP (ABC-TV), WCCO Radio, Star Tribune, The Fargo Forum and The St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Southwest Journal, City Pages and the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
Mike was also the lead author on HOME Line’s books, How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block: A Minnesota Tenant’s Rights Guide, and the Landlord’s Guide to Minnesota Law.
Mike has been quoted or featured in several publications/media outlets, including:
USA Today, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal. University of Minnesota Daily, University of Minnesota-Duluth Statesmen, Southwest Journal (Mpls.), The Fargo Forum
Thomson Reuters, Twin Cities Daily Planet
National Pubic Radio
KARE 11 (NBC affiliate)
KSTP 5 (ABC affiliate)
Admitted to Minnesota Bar 1996
How to be the Smartest Renter on Your Block, A Minnesota Tenants’ Rights Guide, Lead Author, 2011.
The Landlord’s Guide to Minnesota Law, Co-authored with Samuel Spaid, 2015.
Handling a Noisy Neighbor, The Hennepin Lawyer, 71 Hennepin Lawyer, 14 (May, 2002).
Small Steps for Small Claims, The Hennepin Lawyer, 76 Hennepin Lawyer, 1 (December 20, 2006).
Renters Feeling Foreclosure Pinch as Well, Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal (March 21, 2008).
Mike also writes for Lawyerist, an online magazine for lawyers and has published his first novel, Celebrity Bounty. All proceeds from the sale of the novel go to fund HOME Line. The book is available at: http://www.michaelvraa.com/
Classes and Seminars:
Continuing Legal Education Classes
Co-chaired Hennepin County Landlord/Tenant CLE Committee 2000-2002
Chaired Hennepin County Bar Association half-day CLE on Landlord/Tenant Law, 2010
26 different landlord/tenant law classes on a variety of topics, including:
Security Deposits, Improper Fees in Leases, Evictions, Lease Construction and Analysis, Statutory Changes in Landlord/Tenant Law.
“How to Help Your Client Win on Judge Judy” (2015-available on-demand @ https://cleforgood.com/2015/07/on-demand-how-to-help-your-client-win-on-judge-judy-by-mike-vraa-1-0-cle-credit-webinar/
High School Speeches
Over 595 classes throughout metro area to high school classes on how to be a successful renter.
Honored twice by Best Prep for work volunteering in classrooms.
Homeless Shelters/Transitional Housing
Over 140 speeches to a variety of housing providers in the metro area.
Over 100 different speeches to landlord groups around the state.
Guest Lectured at property classes at the University of Minnesota School of Law and Saint Thomas University School of Law and William Mitchell’s Poverty Law Class. Also presented landlord/tenant law multiple times at Street Law, a program operated by the Minnesota Justice Foundation.
Over 100 different seminars around Minnesota to a variety of different groups of social workers.
Speeches at 9 different colleges to students on renters rights and responsibilities.
Served on 2007 Collateral Sanctions Committee, studying the effects of convictions in future civil engagement (licensing, employment, rentals, etc.)
Previous Employment/Volunteer Work
U.S. Attorney’s Office, Boston, MA
Department of Justice
Legal Intern: Fall 1994 (15 hrs./wk)
Attorney General’s Office of MA, Boston, MA
Civil Investigation Division
Legal Intern, Summer 1994