The Columns

Career Paths: McNair Nichols ’17L

— by on March 30th, 2017

McNair Nichols '17LMcNair Nichols ’17L

McNair Nichols ‘17L was born and raised in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He graduated from Wheaton College (Illinois) with a B.A. in History. Here at W&L Law, he served as the Editor in Chief of the Washington and Lee Law Review and was also active in the Federalist Society, Kirgis Fellows Program, Powell Board, and Sports Czars.

Where will you be working after graduation and in what practice area?

I am incredibly excited to begin work at the Washington, D.C. office of K&L Gates LLP. I anticipate doing regulatory or enforcement work.

Did you know coming into law school that you wanted to work for a law firm?

I had my eyes set on landing at a firm in Washington, D.C. I craved the collaborative atmosphere that is a hallmark of law firms, and I look forward to working in that team-oriented environment.

What role did the size and location of the firm play in the search and decision process?

My primary objective was to find a large law firm with a powerhouse office in D.C. Beyond that, I sought a firm that would give me access to high-profile cases and top-notch attorneys as colleagues. K&L Gates is a perfect fit.

Was there anything in your law school or summer job experience that confirmed this career choice?

Receiving valuable input from W&L’s incredible faculty and discussing this career path with my fellow students confirmed my choice. W&L’s Office of Career Strategy was also instrumental in the process. Additionally, experiencing K&L firsthand during their summer program reaffirmed my excitement about beginning my career in a law firm.

What classes do you think are helpful to take to prepare for a your law firm job?

To me, the most worthwhile classes are the ones that expand the scope of your legal knowledge. Rather than focusing exclusively on one area of law, I found it useful to diversify the range of courses that I took. Although I am primarily interested in regulatory and government enforcement work, I found courses such as Close Business Arrangements, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Federal Income Tax to be worthwhile. I’d pick Securities Regulation as my favorite upper level course.

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