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Nancy Fraser
Nancy Fraser

2021 Unsung Legal Heroes: Nancy Fraser

In her 36 years with Dorsey & Whitney, Nancy Fraser has taken on a number of challenging tasks to help maintain the successful, day-to-day operation of one of Minnesota’s largest law firms. One of the biggest came in early 2020, when the firm’s advocacy group director was asked to lead Dorsey’s coronavirus task force.

Fraser joined the firm in 1983 as a paralegal, after graduating from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. As a political science and social studies major, her interest in the law led her to becoming a trial paralegal. She took a hiatus from the paralegal career in August of 1989, moving to Venezuela to teach English. She returned to Dorsey in December 1990 as full-time administrator in the firm’s trial group.

Fraser is responsible for providing practice group management support to the firm’s trial attorneys, both locally and firm-wide. That includes “helping the partners who run the group with a variety of problems and issues, so they can focus on providing legal services to the clients.”

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Fraser and the task force developed a plan to safeguard the health of lawyers, staff and their families.

She also managed the firm’s contact tracing initiative, developed guidance on remote work environment set-up, provided well-being resources, and developed policies and procedures for return to work in the office. Staying current with rapidly evolving CDC, state and local health orders and communicating them to Dorsey’s 19 offices was another priority.

“COVID has been a very challenging situation. But I have a great team representative of people from across the firm who have pulled together to deal with the challenges we face. The big concern is keeping lawyers, staff and visitors safe; that’s the guiding principle.

Fraser also serves on the steering committee for the firm’s Well Ahead Committee, which provides resources and programming to all of the firm’s lawyers and staff to support their physical, emotional and financial well-being.

“I work with a very smart, dedicated group of lawyers and staff. It’s a very stimulating and rewarding environment.”

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