Brandon F. Moseberry, 33, Baker McKenzie
Practice area: Data privacy and cybersecurity.
Law school: Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 2010.
How long have you been at the firm? Eight years.
How long were you an associate at the firm? Seven years.
Were you an associate at another firm before joining your present firm? No. I summered at Baker McKenzie as a first- and second-year law student.
When did you make partner at your current firm? January 2019.
What’s the biggest surprise you experienced in becoming partner? I’m still new to the role, and so far it’s been close to what I expected.
What do you think was the deciding point for the firm in making you partner? Was it your performance on a specific case? It was a combination of developing relationships at the firm and a subject matter expertise, as well as learning to not be selfish with my time. I was fortunate enough to intern at Baker McKenzie in college, and I summered at the firm after my first and second years of law school. This allowed me to establish relationships that I leaned on to understand the firm and what it took to matriculate to partner. The pivotal moment was likely my third year at Baker, when an eighth year associate and primary work provider moved to an in-house role. Although it was a lot of responsibility to take on as a third year, I saw her departure as an opportunity to become the go-to associate on consumer data privacy issues. So in my “spare time,” I read and watched as much as I could to understand the technologies and key privacy issues for clients in order to take on the additional responsibility. Lastly, I’d credit learning to not be selfish with my time, which meant taking on matters outside of my comfort zone or under tight or inconvenient time constraints.
Describe how you feel now about your career, now that you’ve made partner. I’m definitely proud of the accomplishment and excited to have an opportunity to shape my practice and serve as a mentor/example for colleagues coming up the ranks. I was on parental leave when I learned I made partner, so the accomplishment didn’t really hit me until I returned from leave and changed my email signature.
What’s the key to successful business development in your opinion? Although not revelatory, I believe clients enjoy working with people they like, so I’ve focused on first developing personal relationships with people, because the work will likely follow. I also focus on providing practical, business-oriented advice that helps clients push the business forward. Otherwise, I’m not a value-add.
What’s been the biggest change, day to day, in your routine since becoming partner Thus far, the day to day has generally remained the same given how much responsibility I was given as a senior associate. There are certainly more meetings, emails and bills to review, which is bit of a change.
Who had the greatest influence in your career that helped propel you to partner? It’s difficult to name just one. Two leaders in my practice group, Brian Hengesbaugh (partner) and Amy de La Lama (partner), were instrumental in my matriculation to partner. They invested in me from the beginning, presenting me with every opportunity to succeed at the firm and trusting me to lead significant matters. Karen Sewell (the eighth-year associate mentioned above) also played a significant role in the beginning of my career by mentoring me and helping me refine my skills as an attorney.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give an associate who wants to make partner? Learn to make yourself indispensable by developing a subject matter expertise and taking ownership of matters, as well as learning to not be selfish with your time. Practically, this means supplemental reading on your off-time and when taking on assignments, coming up with a proposed solution rather than simply asking the senior associate/partner to provide the answer. My approach developed into something along the lines of, “Here is the issue, here is what I’m proposing and why,” and have the senior associate/partner let me know if and where they disagreed. Lastly, be nice to people and have a sense of humor, because life is short and first and last impressions matter.
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