By: Daily Record Staff//March 17, 2022
By: Daily Record Staff//March 17, 2022//
Partner, Rochester Office Managing Partner, Nixon Peabody LLP
Years in current role: 5 (16 as Partner)
What do you enjoy most about practicing real estate law?
In most cases, real estate law is not adversarial. Both sides are working toward the common goal of closing a transaction that will lead to new or revitalized homes, expanded services, community resources, or workplaces that bring jobs to our area. So it’s different than litigation, in which the parties are frequently at odds. We also have a relatively small real estate bar in the Rochester area, so many of the attorneys know each other and work together often. There’s a familiarity and a shared respect that is really appealing.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
The biggest challenge for everyone in a client-centric business was continuing to provide exemplary service during a second pandemic year. The economy gained steam in 2021, and that created opportunities for our clients. Our challenge was to provide the same level of attention, guidance, and sound advice our clients expect from us, and we did that. As a national and international law firm in Rochester, we’ve always been “remote workers” in a way, because many of our clients and colleagues are based elsewhere. So we met this challenge head on. Consistency, reliability, and excellence defined the year for us.
What do you see as the biggest changes in real estate law in the next 3-5 years?
Rising interest rates, limited supply, and the effect of inflation on project costs are just some of the challenges ahead for real estate dealmakers (and their attorneys). In addition, we’re seeing a continued move away from brick-and-mortar commercial properties and physical offices to online commerce and remote work. One of the developments we need to monitor is the downstream effects of these changes. As more work and workers go virtual, how does that effect small entrepreneurs in our communities that rely on the movement of people for their businesses to thrive?
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
I’ve been a volunteer firefighter with the Pittsford Fire Department for 34 years. This is a Lusk family tradition — I am the fourth generation to serve at the same firehouse. I joined when I was 18. The people who serve with me there are like family to me, and they come from all different walks of life, which provides a wide and varied perspective. For me, it’s a good way to step back from work for a little while.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
I’m looking forward to creating a new work routine that’s not dictated by COVID. I want to go to the office more often, spend more time in person with clients—all the things that have been difficult during the past two years. And what I really want to find out is, what does the future look like for all of us? The flexibility of hybrid work is here to stay, and that’s exciting, but some of the day-to-day details are not clear yet.