James Falvey comes from a long line of businessmen. His grandfather ran a chain of men’s clothing stores, and his father was a community banker. So it was no surprise that after more than a decade as a lawyer, Falvey went back to school for his MBA to further his business education.

“From a legal perspective, it helps me be a better lawyer and serve my clients better,” he says. “I’m able to communicate with my business-side colleagues and hopefully provide them with the service they’ve come to expect and deserve.”

That business acumen has served Falvey well as he’s built a legal career in the futures industry. In January, he joined R.J. O’Brien & Associates (RJO), the largest independent futures brokerage firm in the U.S., as its corporate general counsel. In private practice since 2008, Falvey previously served in senior legal positions with numerous futures exchanges, including chief administrative officer and general counsel for the
U.S. Futures Exchange.

“It is a very interesting and at times challenging industry, but that’s what makes it fun,” he says. Falvey says he likes how those challenges force him to be creative when solving problems with no clear answer.

And as the sole attorney–assisted by one paralegal–on RJO’s legal team, Falvey says he looks forward to helping the company continue to grow and build on past success.

“All the feedback I’ve gotten [since my appointment] from people is, ‘You’re with a great group at a great company doing wonderful things,’” he says. “All that has reinforced that my decision to join RJO was the right one.”