Attorney Spotlight: Nancy Polomis

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

I practice in the homeowners association group. To be honest, I kind of fell into the area. Getting my first job as a lawyer was conditioned on my employer landing a national builder. After that builder retained the firm, I was responsible for drafting the homeowners association documents for each of their new communities in the Twin Cities. I found I liked it and was good at it.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A writer. When I graduated college with a degree in English, I wanted to be a journalist. I had written for several publications in college, and served as editor for some as well. But the prospect of paying off student loans led me to choose the job I was offered, not the job I dreamed of.

When did you decide you wanted to be a lawyer?

After working several years for a mortgage lender after college. I liked my job, and was being given increasingly more responsibility, but, ultimately, I was bored. I looked at the people I’d interacted with, and decided being a lawyer would be interesting and play to my strengths.

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

I’d be a writer, maybe a journalist.

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

My brother, Terry Bishop. Terry was a fantastic litigator, although I had to learn that from others–Terry and I rarely “talked shop” when we saw each other. His best advice was to remember that being a lawyer doesn’t make you any more important than anyone else. Of course, he was right.

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

The collaborative environment. I love getting different perspectives on an issue from my colleagues and offering my perspective to them; it helps us deliver a better product to our clients.

What is the best career advice you have received?

Listen to your gut.

What is your favorite Twin Cities restaurant?

Although The Camelot has long-ago closed, I still have very fond memories of going there for lunch with my parents after kindergarten. I got to have a kiddy cocktail, and the servers always treated me so wonderfully. Nowadays, I can’t pick just one restaurant–I love trying new cuisines, and the Twin Cities offers a veritable cornucopia of options. (Did you catch the food reference there?)

What is your favorite part of practicing law?

The people. I am a collaborative lawyer, so I really enjoy interacting with my colleagues and being able to bounce ideas of them. I also enjoy interacting with my clients and helping them resolve problems.

What is a recent good book you read?

Educated, by Tara Westover. It is Westover’s memoir, and chronicles her upbringing in family whose father did not believe in formal education or modern medicine. Despite no formal education, she achieves greatness. (I don’t want to reveal too much!)

What might people be surprised to know about you?

I’ve been told I have a very calming speaking voice. One client told me she would call after hours just to hear my voicemail; it helped lower her anxiety levels. On the flip side, I tend to be really loud when I’m cheering at one of my nieces’ or nephews’ games. I clap really loudly, I cheer really loudly, and my dad taught me how to whistle REALLY loudly. In addition, although I’m not in any organized group, I do enjoy singing. Music was a big part of my life growing up. It’s a wonderful way to celebrate, to mourn, to calm.

If you have an out-of-town visitor, what are the “must see/do” things in the Twin Cities?

The Mall of America is usually on the top of visitors’ list, though it’s not my favorite place. I like taking them to Minnehaha Falls. Walking around a lake is a foreign concept to many visitors, so it’s fun to walk around Lake Harriet and get ice cream afterwards; we might even get lucky and be able to catch a concert in the bandshell there.