Jennifer Olson: Saying Yes and Discovering Her Strengths

Jennifer Olson
2024 Feature Nominations

In January 2018, attorney Jennifer Olson joined Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben P.A., Minnesota’s largest personal injury and wrongful death litigation law firm. Olson fights for injured people and their families in a variety of circumstances. Olson brings with her to Schwebel a proven track record as a trial attorney. Her passion for justice makes her a fierce courtroom champion and a persuasive appellate advocate.

Olson attended Hamline University School of Law with the intention of practicing as a transactional attorney. Then she discovered something she didn’t know about herself — she is a born litigator. While still a student, she began working at a personal injury firm, where she entered the fray on behalf of a snowmobiler injured by the driver of a public utility truck. “I knew then I’d found my calling. Our client was getting a raw deal, and eventually having a jury say so was affirming. I knew I was in the right area of practice.”

Throughout her career, Olson has worked with senior attorneys who have given her opportunities to explore her strengths in the law. Her good fortune continues at Schwebel, where Olson said she is enjoying the chance to grow professionally in a larger firm environment.

“This is an opportunity for me to continue to grow not just as a trial attorney, but as an advocate for injured people. Schwebel has immense resources and some of the most experienced attorneys in the state. I get to help clients from the moment they call in need of help and create relationships with them right from the beginning. I love representing the spectrum of people who have sustained different injuries. This isn’t just what I do for a living — it’s my passion.”

Olson spends much of her time outside of work attending different trial trainings and learning about the art of persuasion. “My job is to effectively and passionately tell my client’s story. Not just in a way that allows an insurance adjuster or a jury to understand what happened to my client, but in a way that makes them feel compelled to provide justice to my client. This takes a lot of work and practice, and I love every minute of it.”

In order to give clients 100 percent, Olson believes she must be a whole person, a philosophy echoed at Schwebel. “The culture here is that happy, healthy, well-rounded lawyers make the best lawyers, and the firm practices what it preaches. By bringing our best selves to work, we are able to create the best results for our clients.”

By bringing our best selves to work, we are able to create the best results for our clients.”

Olson continues to achieve just outcomes for her clients through appellate advocacy. She is chair of the Minnesota Association for Justice’s Amicus Committee, which provides amicus briefs to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and Minnesota Supreme Court on behalf of injured people.

“I love working for individual people, and there is nothing more terrifying or rewarding than having someone rest their future on you as a trial lawyer. Appellate work is different; it allows me to protect the interests of people long into the future and beyond any one case.”

Olson’s personal motto is “always say yes.” She encourages other women in law to take risks and discover their talents. “I never saw myself as a trial lawyer or sought to do appellate work. But when someone has asked me to be part of a case or to take on a new responsibility, I’ve said yes — even when it was really uncomfortable for me. I’ve been given opportunities, and sometimes I’ve failed. But it’s part of being a trial attorney. I hope other women feel emboldened to take chances in their careers and even to fail. When you look back, you will see the people you’ve helped and a winning record you can be proud of.”

H.K. Wilson

H.K. Wilson is a contributing writer for Attorney at Law Magazine. She has been writing features for the publication for more than four years.

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