2020 Summer Associate Feature: Shayna Bartow, 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.

Shayna N. Bartow  |  University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law  |  Class of 2022

Shayna N. Bartow is currently attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Law with a graduation date of May 2021.  Prior to attending the University of Nebraska’s College of Law in Lincoln, Shayna graduated Summa Cum Laude from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Arts double major in Justice and Society and a minor in Spanish.

Q:  How has your experience as a Fraser Stryker Summer Associate helped prepare you for your legal career?         

A: “My experience at Fraser Stryker has taught me so much about the inner workings of a law firm. As a law student, especially a first generation law student, picturing what the day-to-day looks like for a lawyer at a firm is often very difficult. At Fraser Stryker, I have been able to move from the hypothetical and get a strong picture of what my future career could look like. In fact, due to the graciousness of all the attorneys in the office, I have been able to watch attorneys interact with clients, opposing counsel, and with their co-workers in a team setting. Additionally, I have been able to gain an understanding of what sort of work new associates do and how they transition from students to practicing lawyers.”

Q:  What knowledge have you gained from your Fraser Stryker attorney mentors that will stay with you?

A: “A critical lesson I have learned from attorneys at Fraser Stryker—and that I will carry with me throughout my career—is that providing clients with quality work at a great value is the best way to serve your community. People come to lawyers at difficult or important times in their lives. If clients feel that they are getting quality work for an affordable price and that they can trust the individuals giving that advice, you will be able to create long-lasting relationships with the individuals you serve.”

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: “Before I started at Fraser Stryker, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in litigation. During the course of the summer, working on various litigation projects confirmed that litigation is my primary interest. Watching partners and associates conduct depositions and engage in discovery all while continuing to develop theories for their cases was both informative and exciting. Additionally, I learned more about how diverse litigation work can really be—no two fact patterns are ever the same, so you are always on your toes!

With that being said, my research projects at Fraser Stryker also allowed me to explore transactional work and be exposed to practice areas that I had never considered pursuing. Projects involving real estate, business…and estates taught me that these areas of the law can be equally interesting. Such work is also great because it allows you to provide deliverables to clients—a will, a business contract, or a purchase agreement to buy a home, for example—that can put their mind at ease or help them start a new chapter in life.”

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

A: “1) Organization is Key – As an attorney, or even  as a law clerk, you will be working on assignments throughout the week that pertain to a number of different cases. There are different facts and law that you are learning and applying for each case. Keeping everything organized will allow you to effectively serve your clients.

2) Good Lawyers are Always Learning – The law is always evolving, and a dedication to life-long learning is the best way to become a strong attorney. Of course, there will be areas of the law that you come to know very well as you practice; however, it is important to constantly consider what you do not know and learn all of the relevant information a client may need.

3) Your Practice Will Evolve – Often as law students we are pressured to know exactly what we want to do. Do you want to be a litigator or a transactional attorney? Which practice areas do you wish to pursue? During my time at Fraser Stryker, however, I have learned that you will naturally grow into practice areas you enjoy over time. Early in your career, you will be assigned various projects. Through that work, you will come to figure out what you like and what is not as interesting to you. Additionally, through that work, you will develop pockets of knowledge that other attorneys will rely on you for. Knowing this, I have been able to take a breath and realize that I don’t have to have all of the answers now. I can explore my areas of interest during the beginning of my career.”

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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