I joined the Wells Fargo trial team at the end of 2012. I’d been at the firm a little over two years—I was in my third year out of law school when Bart Williams, the lead trial lawyer, asked me if I would jump on the case.
Bart and the team were very generous with opportunities. It was motivating to rise to the occasion and to fulfill those expectations. I worked closely on witness preparation, writing examination outlines, and constructing the closing. I sat at counsel table every day in court, took part in sidebars with the judge, argued motions. I went toe-to-toe with the lead trial lawyer on the other side, who’d been practicing law for 40 years. Our argument took the entire morning; I probably argued for about an hour and a half. That was my first oral argument.
After a seven-week jury trial, we won a unanimous defense verdict.
From very early on, I’ve been given the opportunity to be a thought partner on everything and have been involved in strategic decision-making. People use shorthand like “early responsibility,” but I think it’s more than that. I think that it’s an ethos, a culture of giving people as much responsibility as they’re capable of handling, and not having different echelons that limit the type of opportunities you’ll be offered just because you haven’t done something before. That leads to new challenges all the time, which is both rewarding and, I think, necessary for an associate to not just develop skills, but thrive.