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April 17, 2006

Do What You Love: Hero 4 - Julie Elizabeth McGuire

Even serial over-achievers are impressed with a person who was graduated first in her class from both college and law school. In this case, our subject Julie Elizabeth McGuire has raving fans, most of them accomplished themselves, all over--in Fortune 500 companies, giant firms based abroad (especially in western Europe) and business lawyers worldwide. A multi-talented corporate tax and transactions lawyer, and CPA as well, Julie can land a job tomorrow morning at any in-house counsel shop or law firm she wants. A former in-house lawyer at Alcoa, she knows how General Counsels and CFOs think and what they worry about. She's what clients want in deals: a savvy business person and a tough, shrewd negotiator. At the same time, Julie McGuire has few if any enemies--just people who want to be more like her. It's not just the resume. She's serene, kind and genuinely friendly. She focuses on others. In a phrase, she's as nice as she is brilliant.

So what's Julie McGuire doing with me? In fact, people never politely or in passing ask "So, how did you two become partners and form Hull McGuire PC anyway?" Instead, they ask, in an intrigued, puzzled and slightly embarrassed tone: "Uh, how did you two even meet, anyway"? It's just difficult to believe that a Universe with any order or compassion would put Julie--with her no-nonsense Carnegie-Mellon Mathematics and Business Management double majors (try to be first in your class in that stuff!), her Midwestern values and charm, conservative political views, Yoda-like serenity and kindness, and real appreciation for the mysteries of Pittsburgh--in the path of a litigator and lobbyist with a liberal arts background and an enemy here and there, who loves Washington, D.C., old books, and old Europe, once wrote a senior History paper on "How the Shi-shi Got the Chutzpah to Overthrow the Bakufu", and prefers to serve subpoenas on Friday afternoons.

An American professional odd couple--but we are fast friends. We do have something else besides friendship and a law firm in common, and we are obsessive about it: Julie and I (1) both love practicing law, our clients, and traveling all over the U.S. and the world to act for them; (2) both think corporate clients are getting a raw deal on both quality and service at many large and traditional law firms; and (3) both are convinced that nimble, aggressive law boutiques with the right talent can do 85% of the legal work done for Fortune 500 companies, keep those clients safe and happy and have fun doing it.

Posted by JD Hull at April 17, 2006 03:49 PM


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