Fast Track 2013: E. Daniel Robinson
2013-06-24 05:02:51 PM
E. Daniel Robinson, 45, Associate
Covington & Burling
Fast facts: A former engineering manager, Robinson wrote the program for Quicken Medical Expense Manager, but turned to the law upon finding that folks facing a mountain of medical bills and challenging medical conditions could use a good lawyer. As a patent litigator, he represents some of the largest technology companies and financial institutions including Samsung Electronics Co. and Goldman Sachs, while maintaining an active pro bono practice as an ADA expert and passionate advocate of special education rights.
Word that best describes you?
My first paying job was delivering papers for the Duluth News Tribune. I literally walked miles through the snow every morning. My second, third, fourth and fifth jobs were all washing dishes at various restaurants. My most interesting job before law was touring the country in a ska band for a few years.
Who is someone you count as a mentor?
Hon. Virginia A. Phillips, U.S. District Court Judge, for whom I clerked.
Best advice you ever got?
While trying to choose a law school, I emailed the author of a book about law school and asked for advice. We emailed back and forth, and he learned about my situation: I was 35, married and had a profoundly disabled son who required substantial amounts of care and medical attention. He told me, "Go to the school wherever your wife will be happiest and your son will get the most assistance." Based on that advice, I chose Minnesota over a few higher-ranked schools. I had a great law school experience, and my wife and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this June.
Name a guilty pleasure.
What's the most unusual hobby you've ever had?
I've had a lot of hobbies, but I'm not sure if any are unusual: yoga, playing in bands (guitar, drums and bass, depending on the band), sailing, reading, fun dining, rock climbing, travel.
What do you do for stress relief?
I practice yoga and breathing meditation every morning and take yoga classes one or two afternoons a week. At night, I hold my son until he goes to sleep. I still play in a band, and I go sailing as often as I can.
If you could take a year off, what would you do?
I did take three years off once, and I chose to go to law school. If I had a year off now I would probably do pro bono special education law, take Spanish and ASL classes, and spend a lot of time with my wife and son on a beach and/or sailboat.