L AW Y E R S F O R J U S T I C E
PERSONAL INJURY LAW JOURNAL
My Road to Becoming a Lawyer
BY RENEE NORDSTRAND
It’s fitting that we’re launching this first edition of our newsletter during the holidays — after all, it’s a time for gratitude and self- reflection. I can think of no better way of beginning this publication than to express how grateful I am for you, our friends and clients. Thank you for the trust and confidence you have placed in us over the years. As I look back on the road that led to the foundation of this law firm, I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve accomplished. From the time I was a teen, I wanted to be a lawyer. I recall my father being very animated as we sat at the dinner table and he told our family about his cases — the people he represented, the challenges they faced, and what he was going to do to help them. He was passionate about helping his clients and telling his clients’ stories, always asking our opinions on the case. My father’s passion for fighting for his clients’ rights and helping people inspired me to become a lawyer. Throughout the years, my father’s clients often let him know how happy they were with his assistance, giving him handcrafted works, cards, and great praise. Seeing these acts of gratitude, even as a kid, drove home that my father had really made a difference for these people. When I was 17 years old and thought I was invincible, I had a serious accident and came to understand what these clients had gone through. Unfortunately, during a ski trip at Mammoth Mountain, I decided that I would ski a run called Hangman’s Hollow, which would be my last run that day. Flying down that steep, rocky slope, I caught an
edge and wiped out. My face and body hit the rocks, causing a serious brain contusion, concussion, facial injury, nerve damage in my arm, and a compression fracture in my back that would cause me pain for the rest of my life. Thankfully, my parents, family, friends, and teachers were there to support me through recovery, and I graduated high school with my class. Although I went through a long recovery process, which involved surgeries, learning how to walk again, wearing a back brace, and suffering lingering chronic pain, one lesson has stuck with me: Traumatic accidents can impact your entire life. I have the context to understand the hardship that my personal injury clients endure. My wanting to help injured people comes as no surprise. I followed directly in my father’s footsteps. In fact, my dad still practices law in LA, and we often talk about our cases and have worked together on several cases. Since founding Nordstrand Black PC (formally Law Office of Renee Nordstrand) over 25 years ago, I have represented hundreds of clients for many different types of injuries resulting from every type of pedestrian and vehicle accident, trip/ slip and falls, defective products, animal and dog bites, construction and industrial accidents, dangerous property conditions, and negligent handling of remains, to name a few. I love the law and am satisfied that I am able to give those facing serious injuries a voice against large insurance companies. I feel grateful that I can help my clients and their families find the treatment and support they need.
Practicing law in Santa Barbara has been rewarding and being able to give back to the community, fulfilling. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and at Girls Inc. Nordstrand Black regularly donates to Transition House as well as many other charitable organizations. I have been a member of Santa Barbara Women Lawyers (SBWL) and SBWL Foundation for 25 years and served as President of SBWL. For the last five years, I have served on the Foundation Board for Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation. If you’re currently recovering from an accident, I know how frustrating recovery can be. The best advice I can give, as someone who has been injured in a serious accident, is to be patient, work hard in therapy, and keep a positive outlook. If you haven’t found a solution to your chronic pain, don’t give up. Different treatment modalities work for different people. As for me, about six years ago, I finally found relief for my chronic unrelenting back pain when I discovered Iyengar yoga. So, keep searching for solutions, and live life to the fullest.
Best wishes for a healthy and happy holiday season,
– – Renee Nordstrand
805-962-2022 • 1
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