Colleen Fielkow, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC
Law degree received from: DePaul University College of Law, 1997
Colleen Fielkow doesn’t shy away from a packed calendar.
Fielkow, a litigator in Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC’s products liability division, is known for her meticulous planning and delegation of duties to take on a case from all fronts.
The approach is inspiring, said Rebecca Kennedy, a shareholder and products liability team member at the firm who said she considers Fielkow a role model.
“It makes it so much easier to work with someone like that rather than have things come up at the last minute and find out, ‘Hey, this is due next week,’” Kennedy said. “A person who’s a great long-term planner has that ability to be a leader because they are looking far enough in advance that they can give people real opportunities to succeed because of what is delegated and scheduled.”
Defined scheduling keeps “everyone accountable and everyone invested,” Fielkow said. It’s also a foundation for communication between the team and client, and a buffer for the uncertainties that arise from conflict resolution.
“I find if you set deadlines as well as be honest about what’s going on,” she said, “you have a much more productive environment.”
Fielkow’s planning goes beyond individual cases. She also likes to plan for the overall future of the firm, especially the role of women attorneys.
A few years ago, Fielkow was one of three female attorneys who established the Women’s Group at the firm to expand networking and communication among in-house peers.
“I really want to invest in them, in their career, because I know it’s going to be the best thing for the client, the best thing for that person,” she said, “and it’s going to work out well for me.”
Preparation also is in play for Fielkow’s role in recruiting and training lawyer volunteers for the firm’s Domestic Abuse Injunction Program. Attorneys from all practice areas participate in the program, which assists clients filing restraining orders against violent partners. Fielkow said the disparate roles of the attorneys in family court require prep work on little things such as bringing a box of Kleenex.
“They need more than someone taking notes,” she said, “and showing up at a hearing.”