The habits that make a successful person and lawyer are developed early in life

A Conversation On Lessons Learned & Life In The Law With Kevin Randolph

So Cal, we’ve definitely arrived, and so happy to welcome Kevin Randolph, our new San Bernardino Office Managing Partner to Fennemore! Kevin’s practice focuses on complex real estate, land use, and public/private economic development projects.

We recently had the opportunity to talk with Kevin about his new role here at our firm.
What’s your vision for the future as we continue to grow in the Inland Empire?

Over the years, I’ve been involved in economic development and public-private transactions involving projects that revitalized communities and improved the quality of life for thousands. Since California eliminated its redevelopment agencies, there has been less of that, unfortunately. Yet that spirit continues with the health and safety receivership cases I currently handle. It’s striking how the elimination of even a single blighted home in a neighborhood can transform an entire street.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on the real estate, land use and economic development sectors?
On a completely separate track, I’m working on an asset purchase transaction for a California-based agribusiness that is acquiring the assets of an Argentine company. My first deal outside of North America.

What would you tell your younger self – or a 1L at Loyola Law School now contemplating a career in the legal profession?
I would tell myself to not listen to those that tell you how bad being a lawyer is. I enjoy practicing law, at least most days. The law is not for everyone and if it isn’t for you, then stop and choose a different path while options are still available. And, above all else, learn to write well!

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?
That’s a great question and I can’t pick any one person who has influenced me the most. I have been privileged to have many people in my life who have guided and encouraged me along with way. The habits that make a successful person and lawyer are developed early in life, so I have to start with my mother who worked tirelessly to raise two children as a divorcee back when that was looked down upon.

I’ve had uncounted mentors who have supported me, taught me, and kicked my butt when necessary. I remember admiring Art Littleworth, a great legal mind and one of the most genuine people I have known. I wish I had the opportunity to work more with him. I owe a debt of gratitude to all those people and many more.

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?
My biggest failure wasn’t career-related. Rather, it was that it took me thirty years to learn to trust myself and to be open to learning through my failures, big and small. To do so, took a long time and happened only after I accepted that I maybe wasn’t as clever as I thought I was. Once I did that, both my personal and professional lives grew and became more rewarding.

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?
The best: You don’t have to be the smartest person in the room to be a great lawyer. A great lawyer is one who not only is subject-matter competent, but who also listens well, has a good emotional quotient, and who people view as genuinely sincere.
The worst: I don’t remember any.

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming?
I am a history and science buff and I tend to listen to both genres simultaneously. I enjoy ancient to modern history from all times and places, especially history that teaches about the lesser known people and places. As to science, I tend to “gravitate” towards cosmology. I’m a Cliffy in many respects. And I’ll also pick up a good Agatha Christie novel occasionally.

Okay, last but not least, you and your family are hosting a lavish dinner party at your home. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.
Well, first, I’m more likely to be throwing a barbecue on the patio than a lavish dinner party. But in either event, I’d be serving good wine. And it’s so difficult to pick just three people from all time, I really don’t know if I could pick three. But if I had to, they would include Gandhi, who set a sub-continent free; Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton, just so I could hear them debate; and either Clara Barton, a distant relative, so I could hear her battlefield stories, and Harriet Tubman, for her courage. And if I had an extra place setting, Abraham Lincoln.

Many thanks to Kevin for your compelling insights – and hats off to all of our new attorneys in San Diego and San Bernardino!
And for more information on how are team can help your organization in all aspects of the real estate business, from acquisition and finance, through development, leasing and sale, please visit:

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