2020 Summer Associate Feature: Chelsey Borchardt, UNL College of Law

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Summer Associates News

Each summer, Fraser Stryker proudly hosts a group of dynamic, motivated law students to be a part of our Summer Associate program. The Summer Associate Program is structured to give summer associates a realistic experience, which is comparable to that of a first-year attorney. We’re happy to highlight the experiences of this year’s summer associates.

Chelsey B. Borchardt  |  University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law  |  Class of 2022

Chelsey B. Borchardt is currently a first year law student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law and will graduate in May 2022.  Prior to attending the University of Nebraska’s College of Law in Lincoln, Chelsey graduated from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Creative Writing.

Q:  What practice area(s) are you most interested in?  How did your interests change or strengthen during your time as a Fraser Stryker Summer Associate?         

A: “Litigation is my main interest. That being said, I’m still in the “figuring it out” stage of finding my niche. Going into this summer, I knew that I would have the opportunity to engage in a variety of projects and practice areas at Fraser Stryker. That is one of the many reasons that I was drawn to this firm. Within the last six weeks, I’ve had exposure to areas as diverse as health care law, family law, property law, and insurance defense litigation. I have drafted a motion, a settlement letter, and a pretrial conference memorandum. I attended my first deposition. I discussed an issue directly with a client over the phone and attended a client interview via Zoom. In other words, I’ve had more practical experience in the last six weeks than I even expected as a law clerk—I couldn’t be more thankful for the exposure that Fraser Stryker has offered me.

Throughout the summer, all of the attorneys I have worked with have been intentional and thoughtful in assigning work. In doing so, they have helped me discern how I want to shape my education and career.”

Q:  What are three key lessons about the legal field that you will take with you from your time at Fraser Stryker?

A: “1. When it comes to clients, never make something small. What might be a routine or mundane issue that you encounter all the time could mean the whole world to your client.

2. If you’ve had the privilege of building a relationship with a client and they come back to you later asking about an area of the law you aren’t familiar with, lean on your colleagues. One of the things that attracted me to a firm of this size is that experts in different areas surround you. Fraser Stryker attorneys work together to understand issues and best serve their clients, which makes for meaningful relationships both externally and internally. This builds trust. And in this profession, trust is everything.

3. Everyone’s process and preferences are different. It became evident right away in law school that everyone operates differently…. Everyone finds their groove when it comes to studying, outlining, and taking exams, and the same is true for attorneys. The diversity of approaches to legal work adds value to a firm and figuring out complex issues.”

Q: What did you like best about the Fraser Stryker Summer Associate Program?

A: “The people. 100%. I have so much respect for the attorneys at Fraser Stryker. They are all experts in their fields, and at the same time, they are approachable and genuinely care about you as a human being. Talking with several of the attorneys has also allowed me to get a better understanding of the various paths that I could take with my career and the many ways that I can make a difference going forward.

Can we also talk about the fact that Fraser Stryker gives back to the community in a big way? I have helped multiple attorneys with pro bono projects this summer, and the projects covered a wide range of practice areas. I have a public interest heart, and Fraser Stryker’s commitment to giving back to the community, its culture, drew me to the firm.”

Q:  Do you have any words of wisdom to pass along to the next class of Summer Associates?

A: “One piece of advice that I would share with the next class of Summer Associates is to be confident in yourself and your work. Fraser Stryker takes time to get to know its candidates during the interview process, and you are chosen to be a Summer Associate because everyone you met thinks that you would be a great fit here. 

And enjoy it! Have fun. There will be times when you are frustrated because you can’t find a statute or case law on point, and that’s okay. Summer Associates are hired because everyone recognizes that you have to start somewhere. Bask in the glory that is being a law clerk. Learn as much as you can from the people around you. Keep an open mind, and don’t turn down a project because you aren’t interested (you might be surprised). So many of Fraser Stryker’s attorneys started as Summer Associates and were hired on after two years of clerking at the firm. I was very impressed with that during my interview process, and I think it speaks volumes.”

Visit the Fraser Stryker Summer Associate Program page to learn more about our program.

This article has been prepared for general information purposes and (1) does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney. Always seek professional counsel prior to taking action.

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