An overview of my role is:
I am in-house counsel for a group of financial services companies that includes proprietary trading, broker-dealer, cryptocurrency market-making and private fund businesses. My primary role is to support the organization’s private fund business, but we are a small legal team so on any given day I am working on various company matters.
I wanted to work in-house because:
I enjoy being able to support business initiatives on a long-term basis and truly understand the inner workings of the company for which I provide legal services.
The best thing about my current job is:
Fund work has been the dream (I’m serious) since the very beginning of my career, and now I get to do it every day.
The most challenging thing about my current job is:
The businesses I support are in highly competitive and fast paced environments. The prop trading and private equity worlds are high stakes, so I can never be on “autopilot.”
What I’ve accomplished as an in-house lawyer of which I’m most proud:
It’s tough to identify one thing. Overall, I would say developing the ability to learn on the fly and put in the work to become a business as well as legal advisor. Despite having no background in finance (as you can tell from my degrees), I knew early in law school I wanted to practice in financial services and have been able to focus my career there while garnering a broad-based understanding of the industry along the way.
Worst job I ever had (not necessarily law-related):
While in law school, I tried face-to-face canvassing for a non-profit. I lasted one day.
Advice I would give to new in-house lawyers:
(i) Don’t try dazzling people with how smart you are, dazzle them with how hard you are willing to work;
(ii) Communicate as clearly and simply as possible; and
(iii) Being pleasant and relatable gets you a long way in the corporate world.
What I like most about ACC’s Chicago Chapter:
The membership is vast and active. I have been able to reconnect with people at ACC events who I hadn’t seen in many years (even from back in law school).
Most valuable life lesson that I still apply:
I grew up on a horse farm in Kentucky. When I was ten, I was thrown off a horse and broke my arm. As he drove me to the hospital, my dad told me: “Son, there ain’t a horse that can’t be rode, but there ain’t a cowboy that can’t be throwed.” I think about this almost every day as a reminder that no one is immune to failure, but challenges are made to be overcome.
If I were not practicing law, I would probably be:
If money were no object, I would be a travel writer. More realistically, I would probably be some type of engineer or industrial designer.
My favorite movie is:
Kind of a weird one…The Ninth Gate. It’s a late 90s horror movie about a rare book detective who investigates a book that is purported to conjure the Devil.
My favorite vacation spot is:
Domestic: Coronado, CA is the most relaxing place on Earth, and my wife and I hope to retire there.
International: I love practically everywhere in the UK, and London is my favorite city (besides Chicago of course).
When I am not working, I like to:
Seek out adventure and learn new things. I get pretty deep into hobbies; some of my bigger ones include wrenching on and riding my motorcycle, collecting and studying about watches, and traveling near and far.
People may be surprised to learn that I:
Had never played golf until this summer. I am now on a seemingly endless journey to become a not-embarrassingly-bad golfer, and boy is it hard.