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A conversation with Philip Koutnik.

Describe your career trajectory.

I’ve worked at Husch Blackwell for nearly half of my life, starting as an intern before attending law school and eventually moving up the ranks to partner. No matter what position I held within the organization, I felt like a key part of an integrated team, receiving invaluable career guidance and support throughout the journey.

What is your advice for a new hire?

Work hard, take a long view of your career, and know that Husch Blackwell will invest in you. The payoff will be worth it, and you’ll have more fun along the way.

What is one thing that makes Husch Blackwell special?

Husch Blackwell’s approach to client service, cultural and diversity initiatives, and firm leadership is cutting edge. The result is a more evolved law firm.

Describe the mentoring and coaching support you have received at Husch Blackwell.

Husch Blackwell’s mentoring and training program is robust. From formal mentoring relationships, to Husch Blackwell University, to informal guidance and friendships that are developed throughout the years, Husch Blackwell’s associates tend to be better trained earlier in their careers than many of their counterparts at other law firms. This provides an incredible edge for our young attorneys as they build their practices.

What is the most difficult skill to learn in becoming an effective dealmaker?

The most difficult skill is acquiring the ability to think like your clients and anticipate their needs, challenges, and goals at the outset of a transaction. Spending time with your corporate clients outside of the context of a transaction and assisting them with routine, day-to-day issues allows a lawyer to more capably think like the client, thereby making that lawyer invaluable in the context of a significant transaction. Best-in-class deal lawyers are able to deliver both sophisticated legal counsel from start to finish in a transaction, while also serving as a trusted business advisor and strategic voice in approaching each element of that transaction. 

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