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Rainmaker Q&A: Buckley Sandler's Michelle Rogers

Law360

Michelle L. Rogers

Michelle L. Rogers is a partner at Buckley Sandler LLP in Washington, D.C. Rogers represents institutions in a wide range of enforcement and litigation matters, including government enforcement actions, class action litigation, regulatory examinations and internal investigations. Her breadth of experience is exemplified by the range of clients she supports, which include bank and nonbanking financial services companies, mortgage originators and servicers, secondary market purchasers, auto lenders, and telecommunications companies.

She has represented clients before the U.S. Department of Justice, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Federal Housing Finance Agency and state regulators such as state attorneys general and bank regulators. Rogers is currently focused on several False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act investigations and a number of CFPB examinations and investigations.

Prior to joining Buckley Sandler at its inception in 2009, Rogers was an associate at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher and Flom. Rogers is a frequent speaker at financial services conferences on fair lending, UDAAP, and false claims acts issues, and has published a number of articles about these and other subjects.

Q: What skill was most important for you in becoming a rainmaker?

A: Listening — to clients, colleagues and myself.

First and foremost, this job is about client service. It’s so important to understand your client’s goals, to explain the risks of the decisions and issues at hand, and to help them achieve a result that balances their concerns with their desired outcome. The same facts with the same decision points might mean completely different things for different clients, so you have to learn about what is important to them, learn their business and understand their culture. You also need to solicit their feedback on how things are going, what’s working, and what isn’t. I think client feedback has made me a better lawyer and a better business partner.

I also learn so much from soliciting feedback from my colleagues. I have been incredibly fortunate in my career to have wonderful mentors who have helped to guide me, both professionally and personally, and colleagues who help me to enjoy the job that I do. Being able to solicit feedback from them on substantive legal issues and business development items helps to ensure I am giving my clients the best and most current advice possible.

Lastly, I had to get comfortable with listening to myself, which I think comes with time. Many of the issues I deal with aren’t found in case law or neat fact patterns. You have to trust your instincts and your own expertise to address new issues as they emerge — but just as importantly, you need to be comfortable with saying “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

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