I wanted to be a lawyer so I could utilize my problem-solving and critical-thinking skills… and that part rings true.
A conversation with attorney, Taylor Burgoon, on getting involved in the community and how her childhood dreams of becoming a lawyer are playing out.
This week we head back to sunny and (still) warm Phoenix, Arizona to talk with Taylor Burgoon. Taylor works in our business litigation practice group handling matters including breach of contract disputes, fraud, negligence, homeowners’ association disputes, inverse condemnation, business email compromise scam liability, and insurance coverage. In addition to handling all facets of day-to-day litigation, she also has a developing appellate law practice and has experience handling both jury trials and bench trials.
As a proud member of the Fiesta Bowl Yellow Jacket Committee, Taylor is committed to giving back and making a difference in the Phoenix community. This will be her fourth year hosting a table for Fennemore at the Fiesta Bowl Par Three Challenge. As a member of the committee, Taylor works closely with other community leaders and volunteers for the organization.
Hi Taylor! I hope you’re having a great week. Have you been keeping up with the college football games? What team do you normally root for?
I am a Michigan State alum and typically root for MSU football, although this year hasn’t given me much to root for. I’m patiently awaiting basketball season where we can see our beloved Tom Izzo make us Spartans proud!
You knew that you wanted to be an attorney at a really young age. How does your career now compare to what you thought it would be like as a kid?
My career as a lawyer is both similar to and different from what I imagined as a kid. I am the first lawyer in my family, so I didn’t know much beyond what you see on TV. Even though I’ve been fortunate enough to have already participated in (and won) several trials, the majority of my time is not spent in a courtroom. So, that part is different than I expected. However, this career path did meet my childhood expectations in at least one way. I wanted to be a lawyer so I could utilize my problem-solving and critical-thinking skills in a competitive environment (aka, in childhood terms, I knew I liked reasoned debates and winning). That part rings true, and I love it!
Balancing a career as a practicing attorney along with doing philanthropic efforts is no small feat since they both take up a lot of time. How do you maintain that balance and what motivates you to get involved in the community?
It’s all about staying organized and prioritizing what needs to get done. I’m very grateful that Fennemore supports my philanthropic work and gives me the flexibility to take time to give back to my community. And, I don’t mind sacrificing a late night or weekend here or there to fit it all in.
Seeing the impact philanthropic organizations make in our community and for those less fortunate is what motivates me to join those groups and donate my time. I’ve been able to build playgrounds around town, participate in back-to-school drives and toiletry drives, and nominate teachers for the Fiesta Bowl Wishes for Teachers program, which surprises random teachers around the valley with monetary donations for their classrooms. These things make the long hours worth it.
What is your favorite Fiesta Bowl event to go to every year and why?
My favorite Fiesta Bowl event is something we call “Festivus” (not related to Seinfeld). It is a weekend trip where the committee travels to a city outside of Arizona and attends a college football game. One purpose of this event is to get to know your fellow Committee members, but, this year, we also made this trip an opportunity to give back. We went to Iowa City for the Iowa v. Michigan State game. Iowa’s football stadium is special because it is right next to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital. After the first quarter of every Iowa home game, all the fans turn and wave to the children. It was an awesome experience. The Committee also donated $15,000 to the Children’s Hospital. Giving back to our communities and those in need is why I love this Committee and am happy to devote my time to it.
What advice would you offer to someone who is just starting out their career in law?
My main piece of advice is to take initiative and go the extra mile. As a new lawyer in private practice, your “clients” are typically the senior attorneys delegating work to you. The best thing you can do (and what I always strived and still strive to do) is make their lives as easy as possible. This can be as simple as sending a calendar invite for the meeting that was just scheduled without anyone having to ask you to do so. Or as important as letting the senior associate or partner know about a key, new legal argument you came across while researching a separate issue they asked you to look into. Taking initiative is key. Your team will appreciate you for it.
Are there any TV shows or movies that you’ve been binging lately? Or book that you just can’t put down?
I am late to the band-wagon, but I have recently been binge-watching Suits. I can’t say it’s very illustrative of the real-world legal profession, but it certainly is entertaining!
And last but not least, if you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?
This is a tough one. Probably some type of Asian chicken stir-fry because it’s well-balanced (protein, carbs, veggies) and delicious.
Many thanks to Taylor for her wonderful insights!
To learn more about the Fiesta Bowl, please click the following link: https://www.fiestabowl.org/sports/2019/11/18/our-mission
For more information on our Business Litigation practice group, please click the following link: https://www.fennemorelaw.com/services/practices/business-litigation/