What are some of your proudest recent achievements? I am most proud of the achievements of the team that I work with every day. As the managing partner of a growing office and the practice chair of two practice areas that have nearly doubled in size and production in the few short years that I have led them, I couldn’t be prouder of the accomplishments of our team. Our team of military and national security law attorneys, including more than 20 of our nation’s veterans, has worked to improve efficiency and performance in everything that we do. The constant willingness to seek feedback and to improve what we do everyday has helped us to increase the number of clients we can assist and has helped us to improve the quality of the representation we provide. Our teams in the Buffalo office, the military practice group and the national security practice group have never been stronger or more successful.
Name a lawyer or mentor whose leadership inspired you. I am lucky enough to be a law partner of one of the lawyer-leaders who has inspired me the most throughout my legal career. Through his ability to constantly remain two steps ahead of the competition and world events, his ability and willingness to pursue aggressive business plans, expansions, or improvements that many would be intimidated by, and his willingness to help others around him who might be in need, Tully Rinckey’s founding partner, Mathew Tully, has inspired me in many ways. Our common ground as disabled combat veterans who later pursued legal careers to assist our fellow service members and veterans has helped us to build a professional relationship, but his guidance was instrumental in my becoming a valuable part of the team and eventually an equity owner in the firm. It’s this relationship that motivates me to be part of the long-term plan for Tully Rinckey. Before ever being admitted to practice law, I sent my resume to Mathew Tully and Greg Rinckey explaining that I would like to be part of the firm. They both personally contacted me immediately and have inspired me and assisted in my development every day since. That resume was the first and last resume I have ever sent to a law firm.
How are the business and profession of law changing, and how should lawyers adapt for the future? This profession can be difficult at times. Not all attorneys enjoy what they do for a living. Don’t let that scare you, but you should know what you’re getting into. You will read a lot. You will type a lot. Most attorneys do not litigate daily. Those who do will tell you that litigation can sometimes be stressful as well. The biggest recent change has been the push toward virtual hearings and appearances, which means more time sitting at your desk. Know that going in.
What is the best advice for someone considering a career in law, or someone already in the profession who is seeking to make a greater impact? You will get out of this field what you put into it. If you are looking for an easy job, this probably isn’t the career for you. If you are willing to work hard, you will do well. When looking to get established, instead of randomly sending 100 resumes, identify your potential niche. What makes you valuable? How can you leverage that in your legal career? Focus on the place where you want to work and show them why they should want you to be there. After you have established yourself, give back.