We are excited to announce Elizabeth Lunn as Strauss Massey Dinneen’s first summer associate. Although Elizabeth is new to the firm’s summer associate program, she is not new to the firm. After graduating from Wake Forest University (where she earned a B.A. in Politics and International Affairs), Elizabeth applied to work at the firm as a legal assistant. She surmised that being an effective lawyer requires understanding all aspects of the practice. As such, she felt that working as a legal assistant would enable her to develop a broad understanding of the nuts and bolts of the practice. Although she had no background in the law and had never worked as a legal assistant, her strong academic record and mature attitude convinced the firm that Elizabeth had the potential to make an excellent legal assistant. And the firm was correct and more. Elizabeth’s intelligence and aptitude quickly impressed the firm and earned her a promotion to paralegal. SMD’s only regret is that it lost Elizabeth to law school (which we always knew we would): she enrolled as a 1L at Tulane Law School in the fall of 2022. SMD is honored to have Elizabeth return to the team to become SMD’s first legal-assistant-turned-paralegal-turned-law-clerk. Who knows what future roles she may have with SMD. One thing we are sure about: Elizabeth has a bright future.
Q&A With Summer Associate Elizabeth Lunn
Strauss Massey Dinneen is happy to announce the first summer associate to the firm in our young history. To that end, we’d like you to get to know a little bit more about Elizabeth and her thoughts on the practice of law and how things are going early in her legal career.
Q: Why did you decide to go to law school?
I was unsure of what I wanted to do career-wise after college. On a whim, I applied to SMD and was eventually promoted to a legal assistant-paralegal hybrid position. I soon found that I loved drafting pleadings and discovery, assisting with trial preparation, and preliminarily examining liability and coverage disputes. My interest in the legal field completely blossomed. With the guidance of my mentors at SMD, I ultimately decided to take the plunge and apply to law school.
Q: Why did you stick with SMD for a Summer Clerkship?
I knew returning would lead to exciting real-world experiences, such as attending depositions, mediations, and trials. I was also eager to learn from such fantastic legal researchers and writers, in hopes of further advancing these skills. Not to mention, SMD has an unbeatable firm culture!
Q: How do you feel about being the firm’s first Summer Clerk?
I’m very grateful that they’ve given me this opportunity. The people here feel less like co-workers and more like family.
Q: What do you like about the practice at SMD – is there a particular area that you enjoy?
I really appreciate the firm’s emphasis on solving complex legal issues creatively and collaboratively. I’m particularly impressed by the strides SMD has taken in mass litigation following Hurricanes Laura/Delta.
Q: How did your first year of law school go?
It went well! Having in-firm experience helped me crush my first semester, and the friendships I formed with some of my classmates are life-long.
Q: Have there been any attorneys at the firm that you’ve gravitated towards that have been inspirational?
Each and every attorney at SMD has provided me with invaluable insight and support. I particularly enjoy working with Shannon Sale. She is extremely kind, communicative, and hard-working. I hope to channel her diligence and positivity when I re-enter the workforce.
Q: How do you enjoy the culture at the firm?
SMD’s firm culture is unmatched. It offers big law services in a boutique environment, which means every attorney is industrious and discerning. Almost more notably though, the firm is remarkably collaborative and dedicated to making sure each individual succeeds. No question is too elementary, and hard work doesn’t go unnoticed. I think SMD is entirely unique in this regard.