Merchant & Gould is pleased to announce that two members of its Minneapolis team were recognized by Minnesota Lawyer for their hard work, talent and dedication. Emily Wessels, associate, was named “Up & Coming Attorney” for her commitment to pro bono, her dedication to her profession, and an overall impressive start to her legal career; and Carol Nystrom was named “Unsung Legal Hero” for her commitment to the firm, her attorneys and our clients.
Each year, Minnesota Lawyer recognizes a group of new attorneys who are in their first decade of practice. The criteria for “Up & Coming Attorneys” are professional accomplishment, leadership, service to the community/profession and overall dedication. The nominations were reviewed and judged by a panel of past-award winners.
“Emily is an incredibly talented and committed attorney,” said Rachel Hughey, partner at Merchant & Gould, who nominated Wessels. “She is dedicated to service of both the community and the legal profession. Her talents have been recognized throughout the firm, by her clients and by the greater community.”
Wessels excels at litigating and protecting her clients’ intellectual property rights. She has been a key member of several trial teams, including two teams that secured significant jury verdicts in favor of their clients in the past year. As part of these teams, she has argued and defended trial motions and conducted direct and cross examinations of witnesses, in addition to having substantive involvement in pretrial preparations where she has taken multiple depositions and drafted summary judgment briefs. One of these teams received the Merchant & Gould Business Teaming Award for 2017. In addition, giving back to the community through pro bono representation is very important to Wessels, and representing pro bono asylum clients has become a passion for her. Wessels co-chaired one asylum case taken from the Advocates for Human Rights, for which she received the Merchant & Gould 2015 Pro Bono Award. She first-chaired another case, securing asylum for her client and her client’s children. This victory led to Wessels’s recognition by Minnesota Lawyer as one of its 2017 Attorneys of the Year, and she and her team were also awarded Merchant & Gould’s 2017 Pro Bono Award.
The award of “Unsung Legal Hero” goes to administrative assistants, paralegals, judicial clerk administrators, office managers, librarians, as well as staff in accounting, information technology and marketing. Winners are recognized for going beyond their responsibilities in ways that support the firm, clients and community.
“Truly, Carol is universally loved by the attorneys and staff at Merchant & Gould. Between her dedication to clients, high level of service to her attorneys, and willingness to engage and serve the firm, it is no surprise that Carol has been honored for her efforts,” said Hughey. “Carol offers phenomenal support to her team daily. She brings great energy to all interactions and projects.”
Nystrom is a litigation legal assistant with Merchant & Gould and has worked with the firm since 2001. In her role, she supports seven litigation attorneys and provides overarching communications to attorneys and staff via the firm’s internal monthly newsletter. In addition to her work to support legal teams, she assists with pro bono matters through the firm’s Pro Bono Committee as the Pro Bono Coordinator. In recognition for her work on an asylum case, along with Wessels, Nystrom and the rest of the team won Merchant & Gould’s 2017 Pro Bono Award. This was the first time a non-attorney was honored with this award.
View the Minnesota Lawyer announcement here: https://minnlawyer.com/2018/06/20/2018-up-coming-attorneys-unsung-legal-heroes/