Years in current role: 8
What has been your biggest success over the past year?
My biggest success over the last year was leading the firm in an office move. We are now in a modern facility, with everyone on the same floor, and improved accessibility and access for our clients. There were many people who helped make the move a success, including our firm’s director of operations. I am proud of how our team pulled together and the transition to our new space was seamless. Now that we are in our new space, we are in growth mode. We have added five new attorneys and two paralegals, and we are still looking to add more.
What are your expectations for the next 6-12 months?
Our firm is poised to grow, and we are still looking to add people, especially corporate/transactional attorneys. In litigation, a great deal of our recent work has been and will continue to be in estate matters and defense of real property tax matters. Both of these areas should be able to weather whatever may happen in the economy.
What advice would you give someone starting out as a litigator right now?
Don’t be afraid to ask a partner to become involved in a case you think you might enjoy working on. When I was a young associate, some of my older colleagues were talking about a case that just came into the office over lunch. The case involved a reverse discrimination challenge to a long-standing voluntary school desegregation program. I asked one of the partners if I could help, and now that I look back on this case, it is one of the highlights of my early career. As a young associate I was able to help write the trial and appellate briefs and I was lucky enough to accompany lead counsel to oral argument at the Second Circuit. This might not have happened if I had not asked to help with this case.
If you could practice one area of law that you haven’t practiced in your career, what would it be and why?
Patent law. I was originally a physics major in college. Had I stuck with science, I might be in a position to practice in this area. More recently I was fortunate enough to serve as local counsel in a patent case. Though much of the case was handled by commercial trial lawyers like myself, I found the substantive patent-related issues to be fascinating. I would love the opportunity to handle more cases like this.
What is one personal goal you have for the next year?
One of the benefits of working in our firm is that we have the flexibility to make sure that we do not miss the important things with our families. We all work hard and provide excellent service to our clients. But it is important to attend as many of my kids’ games, meets, matches, and concerts (I never miss concerts) as possible. The challenge is to balance being the best husband and father I can be with the challenges of being the best managing partner for my firm and the best trusted advisor and advocate for my clients as I can be. Over the course of the next year, I need to continue to focus on refining my time management skills to enable me to meet these challenges.