Dominique S. Fortune

After studying political communication and working in government affairs, I decided to channel my passion for advocacy into a career in law. Last fall, I began 1L classes at Marquette University Law School and was accepted into the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Diversity Clerkship Program. As a result, I was fortunate to be matched with Meissner Tierney Fisher & Nichols S.C.  (Meissner Tierney) and spent my summer working with their Insurance Coverage Litigation Group, headed by Shareholder Mark Malloy.

During my ten weeks, I was involved in the entire lifecycle of a civil case. I gained practical experience preparing pleadings and briefs, communicating with clients and opposing counsel, and conducting discovery. As a law student, the opportunity to practice these essential skills in any respect would be beneficial. However, the team of attorneys at MTFN did more than simply assign these tasks. Attorneys reviewed my work and provided feedback that offered context into stylistic preferences and best practices in trial lawyering. Each attorney engaged with me as I rattled off questions and talked through my analyses. The attorneys at Meissner Tierney truly encouraged my curiosity and were invested in my growth. As a result, the already useful experience became invaluable.

I hear from most attorneys that law school taught them how to analyze law not how to practice it, so I sought work that fell outside the typical curriculum. I sat in on depositions and learned how attorneys formulate questions and prepare experts to be deposed. I attended hearings to observe various styles of oral advocacy and courtroom procedure. And the highlight of my summer: I attended my first trial.

At trial, I watched as Mark turned thousands of pages of discovery and briefing into a succinct argument presented to the judge and jury. What I loved most, and what Mark exhibited best, was the dual challenge presented by a trial that requires both a deep understanding of the law and facts of the case, and the ability to persuade a jury to adapt your argument. Mark put on a masterclass in oral advocacy and the experience solidified my interest in pursuing litigation.

From my first day at Meissner Tierney, I have witnessed exceptional legal work and enthusiastic collaboration amongst colleagues. Each attorney demonstrated staunch advocacy and provided sagacious counsel, exemplifying the type of litigant I hope to become.

I came into this summer with two goals: to absorb as much information as possible; and to return for my 2L year at Marquette with a clear idea of whether litigation was the right path for me. Reflecting on my summer, I am pleased to say that I have accomplished these goals and am beyond excited to continue working with Mark and the Insurance Coverage Litigation group at Meissner Tierney Fischer & Nichols S.C. this fall.