Jessica Timmington Lindstrom: 2020-21 New Lawyers Section Chair

Jessica Timmington Lindstrom is the 2020-21 chair of the New Lawyers Section. She is an associate at Winthrop & Weinstine. 

Can you introduce yourself and say a little bit about your practice?

I grew up in the western Twin Cities suburbs, attended Minnetonka High School, and graduated from the University of St. Thomas. I took some time off to work and figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I thought I wanted to go to business school, but I wound up taking the LSAT instead. I graduated in December of 2013 from the Hamline Law School Weekend Program. Working full time and going to law school was the most challenging thing I have done thus far—I also got married and bought a house during that same time period. People thought we were nuts, and looking back, we definitely were! We also started fostering dogs during that time and adopted our first pit bull, Diesel.

I am an elder law and trusts and estates attorney working at Winthrop & Weinstine. I specialize in elder law, which is an umbrella term that encompasses assisting elderly and disabled individuals plan for their estates and long-term care, and assisting them with obtaining benefits from government programs such as Medical Assistance (Medicaid). I handle guardianship and conservatorship matters, along with drafting and administering special needs and supplemental needs trusts. I also maintain a regular estate planning practice, including drafting estate plans, administering estates and trusts, and handling probate matters. I love the variety of my practice, the hands-on client interactions, and being able to help those in need.

How has the New Lawyers Section adjusted programming during the pandemic? 

I am really proud of the creativity everyone has brought to the table to ensure this year is a great one, no matter the pandemic. We have successfully shifted from in-person meetings, programs, and happy hours to fully virtual events with great success. I am pleased with the CLE programming we are presenting and the networking events we are offering. The section has flourished in a way where we have more people able to participate because they don’t have to come downtown for meetings. Instead, they connect remotely with us. We have had many new faces join us, which is exciting. Our revamped social events have been extremely popular and we’ve been able to try out new ideas in a fully remote world. The section’s monthly trivia league has been a hit, as was our last cocktail-making class, and panel discussion. 

At the beginning of the 2020-2021 bar year, I challenged everyone to be flexible and nimble with the changing times due to the pandemic and to become leaders of change. I think we are accomplishing that through our activities, actions, and inclusivity. 

What’s your pitch to recently admitted lawyers to attend NLS events and meetings? 

The pitch is that it is easier than it has ever been to attend bar association events, meetings, and CLEs. Just hop on the Zoom call and you are a part of the group. We have really enjoyed getting to know new people who join our group and I have been trying to connect with all the new folks who jump on a Zoom meeting. Plus, we have a ton of fun and are still able to network with one another. No longer do you have to awkwardly stand on the outskirts of a room trying to decide who you are going to approach, if anyone. Being remote has fixed that so that you don’t have to have those anxious feelings any longer. 

What’s your favorite part about being involved with the NLS?

My favorite thing about the New Lawyers Section is that it has taught me networking and communication skills I would otherwise not have. I have been able to meet a whole variety of practitioners. Not only that, but I have met so many wonderful colleagues that have encouraged and supported me throughout my emerging legal career. They have helped develop who I am and who I want to continue to be. 

How did you get involved with the HCBA? 

I got involved with the NLS by attending the meetings. I didn’t know how much involvement I wanted to have, so I just attended the meetings for a while and then was approached by the current board to take on a leadership role. You don’t have to show up and ask for a place on the board, you can just quietly attend the monthly meetings and social events. 

What’s some good advice you’ve received from more senior lawyers? And what do you think more experienced practitioners can learn from the newest generation of lawyers?

Advice from senior lawyers: don’t take everything personally, which is hard to do. In the elder law practice, you really must understand where a client is coming from and meet them there. You also have to get very good at not getting emotionally involved and leaving work at work. If you don’t, you run the risk of fatigue in your attempts to try and solve everyone’s problems.

I think experienced practitioners are learning already from the newest generation of lawyers that flexibility and balance are key. You don’t necessarily need to be in an office to learn or to be the person who is the last one to turn out their light at the end of a long day. This generation wants to work hard, to learn, to be successful, and to help clients to their best ability, but they also want a fulfilling life while doing that work. They want to be able to enjoy time with their loved ones, have a family, and take a vacation without feeling the constant pressure and stress to do more. Stress and anxiety plague the legal profession for these reasons and many more. It causes new lawyers to drop out at an alarming rate. For the new lawyers who stick with it, many end up with debilitating stress, anxiety and depression. This generation wants to fix these issues, enact real change in the field, and address needs that have previously been ignored. That should be a cause for concern, as new lawyers who are bright, smart and intelligent are likely to drop out of the industry to achieve better balance, flexibility and self-care offered through other employment. 

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

I have owned and shown American Saddlebred horses with my uncle since I was five years old. We have continued that tradition to this day. We currently own two American Saddlebreds who are in training with DesMar Stables in Lexington, Kentucky. Riding has always been a passion of mine. It is something that gets me away from the world, lets me relax and truly be myself. I have been so blessed to have my uncle support me and join me in this passion. Recently, our four-year-old gaited colt, Lewis, was the unanimous champion for Junior Five Gaited horses out of a three-judge panel at the 2020 National Championships, which was thrilling.

Apart from showing horses, my husband and I fell into fostering and rescuing bully breeds and rottweilers with A Rotta Love Plus, a Twin Cities nonprofit. We have had numerous fosters come through our house, all with different loving personalities. I can’t speak enough about how wonderful these breeds of dogs are—we have had all shapes and sizes and fell in love with all of them. We currently have the two dogs we adopted. Frankie is a 3 year-old pit bull who is training to be a therapy dog so she can go visit hospitals and nursing homes, and we have Vinny, a two-year-old Staffordshire Terrier who has turned out to be a great sporting dog who enjoys Flyball and is now just starting in agility training and loving it. We also have three rescued cats who rule our house with an iron fist and terrify our dogs. 

If we are not at home with the dogs or at the barn, then we can be found at Lake Vermilion, our little slice of heaven. We enjoy water sports, including wakeboarding, knee-boarding, water-skiing, and wake-skating. 

We also love to see Broadway shows, have a nice meal out on the town, and enjoy a good bonfire in the backyard with friends. 
Jessica’s Favorites:

TV Shows
F1 Drive to Survive
Big Mouth
Parks and Rec 

Book: Outlander

Movie: The Man from Snowy River

Local Restaurant
Meritage or 
Blue Door Pub 

Managing Editor
Elsa Cournoyer

Executive Editor

Joseph Satter