Why I Lawyer: Q&A with Tom Reynolds
Why did you decide to become a lawyer?
I had an inclination to become a lawyer as far back as middle school, but I officially decided to go to law school while I was in undergrad. I was attracted to the lifelong intellectual challenge of the profession and the ability to work at an international level given my multicultural and international background with family from both the US and Argentina. It also aligns with my general interests, personality and skills as if it were my dharma. Becoming a lawyer has proven to be one of the best ways to develop my skills and ability to help others.
How has being a lawyer helped you in other areas of your life?
Even though I am primarily a transactional/regulatory lawyer, my first year of practice litigating in the courts of Cook County, Illinois really brought me out of my shell and developed my presence in both professional and personal settings. Early client contact, building a large network and community of lawyers around me, and the demands of the profession further helped me become more outgoing and less self-conscious.
Tell us about a time when you collaborated with team members to successfully deliver great value and impact for a client. Who was involved, what challenges did you have and how did you resolve them?
Recently a client came to us with an emergency request during a time when several countries were celebrating a holiday. Due to DLA Piper’s global footprint, and facilitated by my calls and emails in Spanish, we were able to quickly assemble a team of lawyers to provide support to the client and successfully complete their emergency request.
What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet with officials from the US Department of Commerce, the White House and a foreign embassy. I also presented to several respected authorities in one of my practice areas and was invited to lunch with executives from a national bar association. At the end of the week, I reflected that I am now interfacing directly with clients, key regulators and officials, partners and senior attorneys, and I have a lot of trust and responsibility placed on me as a result of several highlights and wins over almost a decade of practice.
What is your favorite DLA Piper memory and why is it your favorite?
Besides the original 2017 offer of employment that led to my lateralling from a boutique firm in Chicago, I recently ran into (almost literally) a US partner I work with when we were both visiting our office in Tokyo. The global footprint, international aspect and diversity of our firm is our comparative advantage and a great opportunity for us to continue to build upon.