Morgan Burns, partner in Faegre Baker Daniels' Minneapolis office whose practice focuses on capital markets transactions, securities regulation and corporate governance, and mergers and acquisitions, recently discussed his distinguished career as a corporate attorney in the Law360 series, "Rainmaker Q&A."
When asked how he became a rainmaker, Burns responded that it's all about relationship building, and stressed the importance of being good at what you do and keeping your ego in check.
"I have received a significant amount of business over the years from lawyers who were on the other side of transactions," he said. "When opposing counsel view you as a friend and are impressed with your work, they will think of you when they've moved in-house or have a conflict that prevents them from handling a particular project." He added that lawyers should always remember that their job is to serve the client. "Ego impairs legal judgment because it restricts the lawyer's perspective to how each issue or decision point will affect him or her, rather than the client."
Burns had advice to aspiring rainmakers as well. "When looking for people to surround yourself with, you don't need to look far. Your peers, both within the firm and at your clients, are the future partners, executives and general counsel. Treat them right, because they're going places. Your peers at 25 will still be your peers when you're 35, 45 and 55." When working with junior associates, Burns said that he seeks associates who have a clear goal in mind when working on cases with him. "I want to work with associates whose work is about more than completing tasks. They see and own the role that each task plays within the big picture."