Attorney Spotlight: Elena Harvey

In what area of law do you practice and why did you choose this?

I am a litigator at heart, and take on many different types of cases. I love learning about new areas of the law, and for me, the skills translate across many different fields.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

The list is long and includes professional orchestral musician (flautist); Olympic diver (until I discovered I’m terrified of heights); Olympic swimmer (until I discovered I’m not really that athletic), and Disney animator.

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

I was a journalism major at the University of Minnesota, and took a 3000-level course about media law taught by Prof. Jane Kirtley. I loved the class so much that I took every other course she offered, and decided to go to law school.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a lawyer?

Baking fancy cakes.

Tell us about a mentor who made an impact on your career.

I have had many amazing mentors, including some very patient judges over the years, but the two who come to mind are Judge John Cajacob (ret.) and Wabasha County Attorney Karrie Kelly. They were my first two bosses, in that order, and both gave me a chance to make real decisions and mistakes. I wouldn’t be where I am today without either of them.

What do you like best about practicing law at H&J?

It’s an incredibly collaborative environment. It’s rare to walk down the hall an not see at least one office with two or more lawyers in it talking about an issue or a case.

What is the best career advice you have received?

When I was clerking for Judge Cajacob, I told him I wanted to be a trial lawyer. He told me then and there to go get experience in a public defender’s or county attorney’s office, because I would be in Court every day. He was right, and it gave me the foundation I needed to become a fearless advocate in the courtroom.

What is an item on your bucket list?

To show a horse at the World’s Championship Saddlebred Horse Show at the Kentucky State Fair.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Cozumel, Mexico

What is your favorite Minnesota Lake?

Lake Vermilion

What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?

Broder’s Pasta Bar

When you are not working, what would people find you doing?

Toddler-wrangling, baking, and horseback riding.

What is your favorite part of practicing law?

Being in court or in a deposition. That’s where I feel most at home.

Who is your hero?

Roy Kent

What is a recent good book you read?

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

What advice would you give to the young version of yourself who is just entering law school?

Trust your instincts and not your doubts.

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I am a classically-trained musician.