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Matthew Previn Profiled in Law360's Rainmaker Q&A Series


Matthew P. Previn

Matthew Previn was profiled by Law360 in a "Rainmaker Q&A" where he spoke about client service and delivering results on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

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

A: Fresh out of law school, I worked to become a good lawyer by learning all the relevant legal issues that could impact a client in a case or investigation. That made me a good lawyer, but it didn’t make me a “rainmaker.” I later realized how critical it is to learn and understand a client’s business practices and priorities. My practice is focused on the consumer financial services industry, so years ago I made a point of learning as much as I could about how the industry works, and how my clients operate within the industry.

For example, I start every morning by reviewing various alerts I’ve set up to track developments potentially impacting my clients — press releases, newspaper articles, earnings calls, securities filings, etc. This helps me to anticipate a client’s needs and allows me to offer more nuanced, tailored advice than a lawyer who doesn’t follow these developments. And, perhaps just as important, I think clients appreciate that I am invested in, and care about, the success of their business.

But I suspect none of this would matter much if I didn’t really enjoy what I do. I find consumer financial services to be a tremendously rewarding practice area. It involves really interesting legal and policy issues that implicate a large percentage of the population. If I didn’t love what I do, and genuinely enjoy working with the clients I have, I doubt I’d be successful.

Q: How do you prepare a pitch for a potential new client?

A: It’s really quite simple: I read everything I can about the client so I can understand not just the narrow issues relevant to the matter at hand, but the bigger-picture issues that may be implicated along the way. If I’m pitching to defend a client in a government investigation, I want to understand whether the client has any other investigations or litigation, or perhaps business interests, that may be impacted by the investigation. And I’ll want to anticipate any concerns that the board of directors may have that could drive the strategy for handling the investigation.

I don’t think you can make an effective pitch in isolation; you have to put yourself in the shoes of the potential client so that your pitch is focused on the company’s specific needs. The more I know about a company, the better I can anticipate those needs and propose a strategy that works for the company.

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Originally published in Law360; reprinted with permission.