Meet Nicole Kettwick: 2020-21 HCBA Secretary

PIC - THL - Kettwick
The HCBA welcomes Nicole Kettwick to membership on its executive committee for the 2020-21 bar year. Kettwick joins the officer ranks as secretary, beginning a five-year leadership track that will have her serve as president for the 2023-24 bar year. Kettwick is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas School of Law. She is a partner at Brandt Criminal Defense.

Why did you become a lawyer?
Like so many lawyers, I became a lawyer so I could help others. I grew up with some big advantages, one of which was my dad was a lawyer. When I was young, he practiced in criminal defense and I always admired how hard he worked to stand up for an individual. I saw the challenges and great reward he experienced and wanted to do something similar. I was fortunate enough to meet some of his clients who told me about the impact my dad had on their lives. One even told me my dad saved his life. I cannot think of a more rewarding and impactful career. I am proud to say I have had clients tell me the same thing.

What is your favorite part about your job?
My absolute favorite part of my job is getting a hug from someone I helped through a tough time in life. But a very close second is trial work, cross examination, and winning in any fashion whether a trial or motion practice.

How did you get involved with the bar association?
I went to a New Lawyers Section meeting because I forgot a lunch and saw there was free pizza. I went back to a few more meetings and saw the impact the section had on the HCBA and made great friends along the way. I realized how valuable the connections I made were and continued to participate and stay involved. It has helped my career in too many ways to list.

What are you most excited about with joining the HCBA leadership track?
This is a hard time in our world for many reasons. I am excited to be involved in an organization that will have a voice and an opportunity to make a difference going forward. As legal professionals we have an obligation to make our community a better place and we have some work to do. I think people are eager for thoughtful leadership and open to change and I am excited to be a part of it. I also am comforted knowing I am surrounded by other wonderful, thoughtful, and caring lawyers.

You’ve been chair of the New Lawyers Section and the co-chair of the Criminal Law Section, what advice do you have for new lawyers looking to find their place in the HCBA?
1. Say yes.
It can open so many doors for you in the future. Invest the time in doing
some extras now.
2. Do not be afraid to “admit” you are a new lawyer.
The Twin Cities has a wonderful legal community full of people who will
want to help you learn.
3. Get involved and stay involved.
Sometimes a connection can lead to exponential effects for you: referrals,
friends, or even a new career. If you put in the time, it will be worth it. Just
know it is a long-term investment into yourself and your career.

What’s been the highlight of working from home during the pandemic?
Despite some challenges, the highlight of working from home has meant
more time with my family. I am home for dinner every night and am enjoying
the extra time with my three young kids.