Della Nelson | Alumni School of Law | SIU

Southern Illinois University

Della Nelson | Alumni School of Law | SIU

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SIU.EDU

Della Nelson

Class of 1984

Della Nelson

Civil personal injury litigation concentrating on traumatic brain injury cases.

"My son had a traumatic brain injury a while ago, which changed my work and life focus.  My work now gives me the flexibility to enjoy an active lifestyle here in Colorado. I am able to train for and participate in  triathlons, marathons, and trail races.  It also makes my day to be able to work with my daughter every day."

Educational Background:

J.D., SIU School of Law.

B.A., Southern Illinois University, Psychology. Cum Laude.

A.A., Springfield College. Magna Cum Laude.

Current Role:

Civil personal injury litigation concentrating on traumatic brain injury cases.

What do you like most about your work?

The best part of my job is finally being able to work for myself. I’ve worked as both an associate and law partner in large to mid-size firms in the past. The freedom to work for myself allows me to concentrate my work on what I am passionate about.

Can you work 40 hrs/week and be successful?

If you want to raise a family, you simply have to realize that your work goals will be interrupted by family life. There will be constant bumps in the road that will affect your work/life balance (kids with fevers, learning disabilities, ball games, homework, etc.). Most firms, especially larger firms, expect you to work 70-80 hours a week.  That’s almost an unspoken minimum for them. In order to become really successful as an attorney, your main focus in life needs to be your work. Having said all that, everyone has to determine what their definition of success is.  I believe that my years of putting my family first was the right choice for me. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR LAW STUDENTS AND NEW GRADS?

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