So long as you have grit and a growth mindset, the opportunities in law are endless.

A Conversation On Lessons Learned & Life In The Law With Attorney Chelsie Adams

Attorney Chelsie Adams works in our Business Litigation practice group from our Las Vegas office where she represents enterprises and individuals in commercial and business litigation, construction disputes and defects, mechanic lien foreclosures, and trusts and estates actions.

We recently had the pleasure of talking with Chelsie about her life in the legal profession.

Viva Las Vegas, baby! As Fennemore continues its celebration of Women’s History Month, in this week’s leadership profile we talked with attorney Chelsie Adams! In a city that’s always BUZZING, at present things seem to be magnified with our firm moving into new digs, and lots of high-profile entertainment and sporting events on the way. What do you like most about working in Vegas – and what’s the future look like for Fennemore? 

Vegas is continually reinventing itself and I love helping my clients sense, analyze, and respond to the challenges and opportunities ahead. Fennemore has introduced some exciting initiatives to accelerate innovation and continue offering services that are as dynamic and diverse as the city I call home.

What would you tell your younger self, or a 1L, (especially a woman) at the Willamette University College of Law currently contemplating a career in the legal profession?

Overcome your doubts and let yourself be seen. I see far too many talented women sell themselves short because they fear they don’t have what it takes to succeed. So long as you have grit and a growth mindset, the opportunities in law are endless. If you want it, go for it.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in your hybrid Business Litigation and Construction practice?

I am currently working on a contract dispute that centers, in part, around a non-compete clause. This work coincides with the Federal Trade Commission’s proposed rule that would effectively ban non-compete agreements nationwide. Such niche legal issues rarely get a spotlight in the media, so it’s fun to follow and, ultimately, be part of the national conversation on this issue.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

The person who has had the greatest impact on my life and career is Erika D. Beck, Ph.D.  She recognized my talents and not only encouraged me to pursue a career in law, but helped me develop the grit and resilience necessary to succeed. Above all, she was a model of exemplary leadership and her commitment to advancing women in higher education and beyond continues to inspire me.  

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

Despite emerging from law school at the top of my class, I failed the bar exam on the first try. While devastating at the time, this was the best thing that ever happened to me.  It forced me to tackle my self-doubt and anxiety. The more I trusted myself, the better I performed.    

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Early in my career, I was told to be the first to arrive and the last to leave the office.  While meeting or exceeding your billable requirement is critical for young associates, time spent in the office is not the best gauge of dedication or performance. It breeds a culture of comparison in which everyone wears their exhaustion as a status symbol. 

Consistent, quality work requires time to reset. There will be plenty of times when you have to arrive early, stay late, or work all weekend. Eat a healthy dinner, get your workout in, spend time with family. Better humans make better lawyers.  

As a pop culture maven and gastronome, what are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming – and what’s your go-to take-out order?

Despite being in trial, I have snuck in the several episodes of Daisy Jones & The Six. For the most part, the series has faithfully re-created the reading experience. I’m especially digging the original songs, some of which were written by current rock’n’roll legends Phoebe Bridgers and Marcus Mumford.

In terms of take-out, I’ve been going Greek:  Avgolemono or Greek salad or Kalamaki with Tzatziki. Yum!

Okay, you’re hosting a lavish dinner party at your home. What would you serve (either catered or cooked/prepared) and name the three people – from any time in human history – who you’d invite.

I like to keep dinner parties simple but delicious with comforting dishes like Salmon with Lentils or Skillet Roast Chicken served with lots of wine…of course.
My three guests would be Andy Cohen – My Bravo King; Empress Elisabeth of Austria – The ultimate Real Housewife; and Nora Ephron – who always knows what to do. 

Many thanks to Chelsie for her inspiring insights!

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