Aclassical cellist, personal injury litigator, Jessica Andrew, entered college intent on remaining a performer. “I never thought I wanted to do anything else,” she said. “But, as I took civics and government courses, I discovered an interest in law and the mechanisms of justice.”
While Andrew never found her way to one of the major symphony orchestras, she still loves to play whenever she has the chance.
Within the law, she has found joy in the good she can do. “My clients come to me when they’re dealing with their worst nightmares – death of a loved one, catastrophic injuries, a disabled child – resulting from someone else’s misconduct. The most rewarding part of my job is working with people as they take on what is usually a much bigger and stronger adversary and obtaining justice through the systems created for that purpose,” she said.
While Andrew loves her plaintiff ’s personal injury practice, she understands its challenges as well. “There is always so much to learn, which is both rewarding and challenging. Every case involves complicated technical issues that I need to understand inside and out. I’ve had to become an expert on issues ranging from corrosive characteristics of heat-treated steel and the cellular effects of anesthetic medications on articular chondrocytes to operation of a John Deere post-hole digger.”
In school, Andrew was always drawn to torts and trial advocacy courses. A summer of transactional work solidified her desire to litigate. “When a clerkship with Dewsnup, King & Olsen became available, I jumped at the opportunity,” she said. “Plaintiffs work quickly became my focus and with the excellent mentorship of their trial lawyers, I began the journey.”
It is these trial lawyers that have helped shaped her practice today. “I couldn’t have been better mentored by anyone,” she said. “The partners at Dewnup, King & Olsen have thrown me right into the fight with confidence and patient willingness to teach me and let me learn by doing.”
As she made that journey, she began to make a name for herself. One co-counsel, Jim Fitzgerald dubbed her “slice and dice” after seeing her argue a motion in Wyoming federal court.
Andrew notes that every case she litigates has a strong impact on the way she practices law. “Every case redefines my practice, particularly those cases that go through trial to verdict,” she said. “It gives my practice renewed meaning every time.”
Outside of the office, Andrew still makes time for her classical music. She is also determined to cultivate a healthy garden. “My vegetable garden ends up neglected midseason every year. Someday I’ll get it right.”
In conclusion, Andrew offers her advice to other attorneys, “Work really hard, and love what you do. Otherwise practicing law just isn’t worth it.”