Why did you choose to practice law and how did you decide to practice in your particular area?
It fit me. Though I remain unsure whether it was a compliment or criticism, many told me to consider a career in the law. I was fortunate to intern at a great firm before I decided whether to apply to law school. What I witnessed – strategic planning, solving knotty problems, comfy office digs, and an endless supply of coffee – convinced me that practicing law could be a good way to spend a few decades. Regarding my practice area, it chose me. I always envisioned my role as that of consigliere - a role that applies even if the specific tools are different. In 2007, I started focusing on transactional real estate work and moved into commercial litigation during the throes of the recession in 2009.
What do you like best about being Hiring Partner?
Helping find the future leaders of Alston & Bird – those talented individuals whose contributions will wow our clients, further our culture, and improve our communities.
In your opinion, what makes Alston & Bird a great place to work?
It’s rote, but true: the people. As you go through the recruiting process, you will find yourself gravitating to specific people and groups. Lean into that tendency because practicing law is both demanding and a group sport. It’s infinitely better if you like the folks around you.
If there was one piece of (career) advice you could provide to a law student, what would it be?
Keep in mind that, while there are lots of lawyers, the legal community is small. How you treat others – classmates, interviewers, the wait staff at the recruiting event – will be noticed and remembered. The relationships you make and nurture will have a profound effect on your career, whether they result in you being hired for a matter, being able to secure your client’s preferred outcome, or being able to do diligence on a potential new member for your team.
What was the most memorable recruiting experience for you personally as a law student?
Thanks to a “hot” recruiting market, I interviewed for jobs both as a 1L and 2L. I had callback interviews with the same partner both years, at different firms. It reinforced to me that it is important to focus on culture because individuals occasionally do move around.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
My two daughters keep me occupied with sports, events, library runs, and playtime. Otherwise, I try to stay active by cycling, taking the occasional yoga class, and getting outside.
What is your favorite quote?
"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt, Citizenship in a Republic
Who inspires you and why?
My wife, Katy. Her passion to create places (she develops multifamily and mixed-use real estate projects) and improve Dallas is remarkable. Her efforts and board service, particularly with the public improvement district, Uptown Dallas, Inc., have led to her selection to participate in Leadership Dallas and be among those recognized by numerous publications.