Celebrating “Back To School” as Former Project Assistants Set Out On Their Law School Journeys

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As many students across the country go “back to school” this September, Brownson PLLC celebrates the beginning of the new school year, as former Project Assistants, Taylor Listau, Nikolai Abaev, and Fabiola Gretzinger began their journey as first year law students in law schools across the country in Massachusetts, Virginia, and Minnesota. 

Project Assistant Program

Brownson PLLC, a boutique downtown Minneapolis law firm, has a unique program of hiring top college students as Project Assistants. Project Assistants provide skilled support for firm and client projects in areas of digitalization of client files and materials, database work, and supporting the attorneys as they handle client matters. One of Brownson PLLC’s initiatives is to mentor and curate the professional aspirations of ambitious, hard-working undergraduate students through its Project Assistant program. Brownson PLLC’s Project Assistant program provides real world, hands-on, professional law firm experience that can only be gained beyond the college campus. While at Brownson PLLC, each Project Assistant becomes an integral part of our team, learning the management of a law office, and gaining skills and experiences that will assist them once they graduate and seek further education or professional employment. Many Project Assistants are interested in pursuing a career in law.

Here are the stories of three of our Project Assistants as they begin their law school careers this fall:



CLASS OF 2022Project Assistant

“My three years at Brownson PLLC surely influenced my decision to attend law school.  When I first started at the firm, I was only a freshman in undergrad with a mere, “Huh, I wonder what being a lawyer would be like?” in my head.  With no lawyers in my family, I relied heavily on Law and Order to shape my understanding of the everyday life of an attorney.  After my time at Brownson PLLC, I was no longer wondering. I was certain I wanted to go to law school. After seeing their problem solving, attention to detail, and passion for representation on a daily basis, I knew these were things I wanted in a career of my own.  During my time as a Project Assistant, the attorneys and paralegals left no question of mine unanswered, gave me insight into their cases, and provided invaluable mentorship throughout my law school preparation. And although I have felt lost (more than once) in the first few weeks of my 1L year, I definitely knew the answer to, “What is a complaint?” when my Civil Procedure professor asked on the first day of class.” – Taylor Listau, Boston College Law, Boston, Massachusetts. 



CLASS OF 2022Project Assistant

“Law School had always been in the back of my mind as I was completing my undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota. However, I was never sure if I wanted to be an attorney. That changed after I spent one year working as a Project Assistant at Brownson PLLC. Working at Brownson PLLC was the first time I saw what a “day in lawyers’ life” looked like. And I loved it. From my interview to my last day, I was surrounded by some of the most professional, intelligent, and friendly people I’ve ever worked with. Although I’m not exactly sure I see myself practicing insurance defense litigation, after my time at Brownson PLLC I definitely see myself as an attorney.” – Nikolai Abaev, Washington and Lee School of Law, Lexington, Virginia. 





“Working as a Project Assistant was my first exposure to work in the legal profession, and I was greatly inspired to see the women at Brownson PLLC work together to create change. I had always thought of being an attorney on the front lines, fighting for a client before a judge and arguing my opponents in court. I hadn’t seen the roles of attorneys outside of the courtroom and I saw the importance of what attorneys do on a day to day basis at Brownson PLLC. Preparing for depositions, discussing with clients the most strategic way to reach an agreement, and using discovery to pinpoint the flaws in their opponents’ arguments really encouraged me to keep my mind open as I entered law school. I am now considering areas of the law I had not thought of, as I have seen how I can still make an impact in the world in various positions. I am extremely thankful that Brownson PLLC takes a chance on undergraduate students to expose us to what a career in the law can offer. It is an opportunity like no other, where I got to explore my interests and cement my desire to attend law school.” – Fabiola Gretzinger, University of Minnesota Law School, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Learn more about Brownson PLLC’s Project Assistant Program.