What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I am a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges in New York. I decided to become a lawyer after majoring in Government in college – I was inspired by the idea of government service, and thought that a law degree would be a helpful step toward that goal. While in law school I learned that working at a major NY law firm was a good stepping stone toward government service, and was fortunate to get a position at Weil. However, I soon came to love my work at the firm and decided to remain in private practice.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
I truly enjoy my work as an attorney. I have great clients with whom I have an excellent relationship, and have a chance to work on very interesting and challenging legal issues all the time. However, I also enjoy my many roles in firm management and administration, and finding the balance between taking care of clients and taking care of my firm is not always easy.
What is your proudest achievement?
Last year I was elected to the management committee of my firm. It was an honor because it meant that my colleagues and friends at the firm respect and appreciate me. I was very humbled by this. It has caused me to be even more passionate about working hard for my firm and doing my best to contribute to my colleagues in the office.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
I am most inspired by people who manage to do well in their careers while also being human and balanced, and especially those who maintain a good work/life balance and stay close with their family. It’s easy to be a workaholic, ignore your family, and to not care about your team and your community. But those who achieve success and do it with dedication to their family and colleagues get maximum respect from me.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Doing what I do now – litigating antitrust cases, working to improve my firm, collaborating with people at all levels, remaining active in the antitrust bar, and working on diversity issues.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
Work hard, immerse yourself, and embrace your career. As time has gone on, I see that the start of your legal career can have such a major impact on where you end up, how your skills develop, and what kind of lawyer you become. Develop a sincere enthusiasm for what you do, and take it seriously. I am often inspired by the young associates at my firm, many of whom come to the job with great energy and genuine interest in the legal issues with which we are grappling.
Did you have a mentor or do you mentor someone else? How has that experience changed you?
I have had many mentors over the years who were inspirational to me in different ways. At my firm there have been several partners with whom I have worked who are smart, hardworking, and had unbridled energy. I remain in awe of them and try my best to emulate them in my legal work. I am also fortunate to have a managing partner at my firm who maintains positive energy and a smile no matter how difficult or contentious the issues are. He is kind, respectful, and is a true consensus leader. We are fortunate to have him and his leadership style is motivating. There are other people around me, including associates, who may not be mentors in the traditional sense of the word but through their conduct they inspire me and serve as a helpful guidepost in how I carry on my work and my life.