Fennemore’s Reno office is buzzing! We have new digs, and as Nevada continues to boom post-pandemic, the “Biggest Little City in the World” (ranked #1 best small city in the U.S. by BestCities.org) is at the heart of the Silver State’s revival as businesses and entrepreneurs again flourish, while tourists again experience world-class gaming and the outdoor wonders of Lake Tahoe.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with attorney David Lewandowski about the current legal climate in Reno, as well as his life in the law.
You’ve recently been promoted to Of Counsel – congratulations! Talk about your expanded role in our business and finance practice group, and some of the projects you’re working on.
Thank you Terence. It is exciting to grow and expand into this new role with Fennemore. I believe that the "of-counsel" position will give me the ability to hopefully attract more new business to the firm particularly in those instances where clients desire to work with a more seasoned attorney than that typically expected of an "associate".
Recently, I have had the opportunity to assist many local businesses and entrepreneurs and just closed a $5+ Million Dollar financing for a local start-up, as well as assisted with the purchase and sale of an $8MM business.
What advice would you give your younger self – or perhaps a new attorney looking to climb the ladder at a law firm?
I really think it is important to stay true to the areas of the law that most interest you. It can be hard at times. When I came out of law school in 2010 the economy was still recovering from the Great Recession, and as a result, there were absolutely no law firms hiring for transactional attorneys. Despite this situation, I was persistent to find a way to practice business law and started with a small firm and quickly thereafter started my own practice. I could have more easily taken a position in a different area of the law, but am thankful that I followed my true passion which later enabled me to join Fennemore in the business and finance practice group.
What’s the business climate like right now in Reno? And how do you like Fennemore’s new office digs?
In my 10 years of practicing law I have never been this busy. Entrepreneurs and business owners are anxious as ever to ramp up following the COVID lockdown last year. I absolutely love our new office. Sitting on the back patio overlooking the grass fields and ponds is a great way to enjoy the lunch hour.
You always come across as friendly and accessible with such an entrepreneurial spirit, especially with your tech accelerator/incubator background. What energizes you most as an attorney – and gives you the greatest satisfaction?
As an entrepreneur and previous business owner, I truly enjoy connecting and building relationships with people. I love hearing about creative new ideas and working with entrepreneurs who are generally very optimistic people. What I really enjoy most about being an attorney is being a trusted advisor that people feel comfortable turning to when they have specific legal questions or needs. Being a part of Fennemore (with over 150 attorneys) allows me to connect our clients with attorneys outside of my practice area that I think will best be able to assist the client. This deep bench of over 150 attorneys is a tremendous asset for our clients.
Tell me something about yourself that others may be surprised to know about you.
Ever since I was a child I was intrigued with magic. If you ever want to see a magic trick (or two) I would be happy to show you!
Who’s your hero – or the person who had the greatest impact on your life and career?
Outside of my parents of course, the person who has had the greatest impact on my career is a mentor and friend of mine that I met in 2005, Mark Schopper. I interned for Mark before going to law school and have become good friends since this time. Mark is extremely bright and has always given me tremendous advice in both the practice of law, and in life. I am truly grateful for him and the time and advice he has given me over the years.
What’s next? What are your future plans – both in your career and personal life?
My goal is to continue to serve the business owners and entrepreneurs in Northern Nevada. I love this community and hope to continue to be involved in projects and businesses that continue to make this area a great place to live.
Post-pandemic, what are you listening to, reading, and streaming or watching?
As I spend most of my time reading and writing in front of a computer screen, I use most of my free time outside. During COVID I made it my goal to learn as much as I could about lawns and growing grass. My wife and friends will tell you that I have become a bit crazy with my lawn (always making sure to apply the right amount of nitrogen, iron, and micronutrients like Milorganite).
What have you learned from raising your son and daughter?
Raising both a son and a daughter has taught me just truly how different and unique everyone is. While my kids have a lot of similarities, I have learned that certain things come more naturally or are more difficult to one over the other. I have learned to understand, appreciate, and celebrate these differences.
You love the outdoors – camping and fly-fishing on the Truckee River. If you could travel anywhere in the world, what would that adventure look like?
Aside from golf or fishing, I would probably say that at some point I would love to do the Camino de Santiago in Spain with my wife and kids. My wife and I did the Camino in 2007, and it would be a great experience to do this 500 mile hike again with our kids.
Here’s to David, and all of attorneys in Reno, making an impact on our clients’ businesses – and in the community (and we can’t wait to see that magic trick!).
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