Mike Reeves, chair of Trenam’s Executive Board and co-leader of the Business Transactions practice group, was profiled in Law.com’s “How I Made It to Law Firm Leadership” series on December 14, 2022, wherein he discussed his career trajectory to his current leadership position, lessons along the way and pride in Trenam’s culture and success throughout years at the firm.
When asked about an accomplishment he is proudest of in his time as a leader with the firm, Reeves highlighted his perspective from a leadership role watching the firm, attorneys and staff stay together in both great economic times and challenging economic times. While it was a tremendous honor for him to be elected to the firm’s executive board in 2017 because it meant the shareholders had confidence in Reeves for that position, he noted how the longevity of attorneys and staff speaks volumes to having a great culture. “I have been with the firm for 18 years, and while the practice of law has its challenges, great attorneys and staff tend to stick around if they like the people they work with,” Reeves said. “We are really proud of the culture here and what we have built. The longevity of our attorneys and staff speaks volumes.”
Along those lines, Reeves echoed the importance of a firm culture when asked how he keeps teams motivated during unprecedented times. “We try to stay connected with our attorneys and other team members on both a professional and personal level,” he said. “Professionally, we empower our lawyers to take on as much responsibility as possible, and we bring them into the process as early as possible so they take ownership. When you encourage ownership of a project, team members tend to be motivated to do a great job.” He added the importance of taking a genuine interest on a personal level, including getting out of the office and developing real relationships, which ultimately become the most rewarding.
Culture was also a key piece of Reeves’ own personal journey to leadership, with his advice for those wanting to ascend to firm leadership being to volunteer early for any and all leadership positions, mentor young lawyers and really immerse yourself and buy into the firm’s culture. “For example, our culture can be characterized by an atmosphere of togetherness, a team approach. We are proud of the fact that we really care for our colleagues personally and professionally. Acting in consideration of this attitude is crucial to entering leadership at Trenam, as we want to ensure that cultural identity continues into the future.”
Reeves’ own ability to bring people together, in line with Trenam’s overall culture, is one factor he believes led to this point of his career, especially as he cites the need to collaborate and ensure there is teamwork and buy-in for each decision along the way to effecting change. At the same time, he notes the importance of accountability when leading effective initiatives and the importance of learning from, but not lingering on, mistakes made along the way.
Finally, when asked to encapsulate his focus for 2023 in three terms, Reeves answered “Growth. Teamwork. Excellent client service.”
For the full Q&A, please click here.