Melinda Hightower '11: Employment Law Litigation from the Inside

July 2, 2009

I have had the good fortune to spend my summer in Minneapolis working for both Littler Mendelson P.C., a leading labor and employment law firm and Ameriprise Financial, Inc. a key financial planning, asset management and insurance company.

Melinda Hightower '11 is working for both Littler Mendelson and Ameriprise Financial.

Littler utilizes innovative employment law solutions to help employers successfully navigate the ever-changing regulatory environment. As a summer associate at Littler, my assignments have been intriguing and incredibly varied. For instance, I have conducted research on the standard for electronic discovery sanctions, drafted memoranda on workplace bullying, and attended depositions and court proceedings. Each attorney with whom I have worked has taken the time to provide me with valuable feedback, further developing my legal research and writing skills. Through Littler, I have gained an in-depth, hands-on introduction to employment law and life as an associate.

My legal internship at Ameriprise offers a unique in-house perspective. While the General Counsel's Office serves a captive client, Ameriprise, the issues range from compliance to corporate finance. The office uses legal expertise to help its business leaders accomplish their goals. Ameriprise has given me the opportunity to experience firsthand the complicated intersection between law and business.

On a personal note, as a native Midwesterner, I am delighted to have the opportunity to live and work in Minneapolis. Minneapolis has a thriving arts and music scene, quaint neighborhoods, a vibrant downtown and, of course, the Mall of America. In short, Minneapolis is Midwest living at its finest.

My summer experience has been intellectually stimulating, personally rewarding, and fun. I hope to have the opportunity to work in the labor and employment field after law school.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

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