I truly like helping people- it’s part of me

A Conversation On Leadership & Life In The Law With Attorney Chris Brown

Attorney Christopher Brown is a director in our firm’s Fresno office. Chris’ hybrid practice encompasses real estate, energy, water, land use, environmental, title insurance, non-profit, secured transactions/banking, and entity formation areas of law.

We recently had the pleasure of talking with Chris about lessons learned and his life in the legal profession.

The holidays are here, and in this week’s leadership profile we turn the spotlight on attorney Christopher Brown in our Fresno office! What were your favorite moments from this year? And what are your goals for 2023?

The opening up from Covid and moving back towards normalcy. To continue my course with work and family.

In this season of giving, you’re known for your non-profit work and activism in the Fresno community. Why is this work so important to you?

I truly like helping people – it’s part of me, whether they are clients, Fennemore people, the community or the environment we live in.   

What would you tell a 1L at the Santa Clara University School of Law currently contemplating a career in the law?

Make sure you truly enjoy the process of law, find the area of law you enjoy and foremost find a firm that will support you in your growth and path. There are a lot of law firms, but I am not sure many are good places to work. You should try to find one by asking the right questions in interviews. I believe Dowling Aaron and now Fennemore are such a place, or I would have moved to the coast where all my wife’s and my family are located.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in your hybrid practice that encompasses Real Estate, Business & Finance, Natural Resources and Agribusiness?

Right now the intrigue is trying to guide clients through moving forward in the new year with high inflation, world security uncertainty and lack of supply of water for Ag, which forms one of the bases of economic stability for our region. Its about providing our clients more than one solution/approach and raising issues (like the above) that they may not have thought of in moving forward with a particular transaction.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and

My wife. She is a true altruist and does things in the community not for her or our family’s direct benefit, but for others that are needy that may or may not want to advocate for whatever reason for themselves.

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I would not call it a failure, but adversity. When I was in 5th grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia, and had about a 1st grade reading level, which, of course, had significant effects on my confidence and my grades.

When I was finally diagnosed in 5th grade and was given the proper instructions for the same, I went from a 1st grade reading level at the start of the year to a 6th grade reading level at the end of 5th grade. I learned, among other things, always keep trying and working no matter how discouraged you are or impossible the task. I moved forward by having a very strong internal drive to succeed that has nothing to do with how my “competitors” or “equals” were doing – all internal.

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Best: It is all about customer service – return calls within hours or the day at the latest to clients and do good work.

Worst: Don’t go into law – it’s a grind. (Discovered those attorneys were practicing in areas of law they did not like). However, my worst advise did make me hold off on entering into law school and to obtain work in another career to make sure I wanted to be a lawyer. It also made me more assertive in the areas/type of practice I wanted to do in interviews even if it meant I didn’t get a call back, because I wanted to do real estate law during the recession that was on us at the time.

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?

Eclectic on music – Classical, jazz, pop, rock, reggae…. 

Documentaries, White Lotus, Amazing Race.

Last, but not least, if you and your family were hosting New Year’s Eve dinner at your home this year, name the three people – from any time in human history – who you’d invite.

Thomas Jefferson, Jesus and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Many thanks to Chris, and all of the attorneys and allied legal professionals in our Fresno office who make such a positive impact on our firm – and in the communities where we live and serve.

For more information on how we can help your Central Valley-based business, please visit: https://www.fennemorelaw.com/contact-us/fresno/ .

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