Advice Served Neat With Randell Wallace

Randell Wallace is Partner In Charge of the Springfield office of Lathrop & Gage, and he’s gotten there thanks to a lot of hard work and years of guidance from great mentors. He’s sharing his best lessons and tips with us over Scotch at Maso Kitchen Bar.

By Claire Porter | Illustration By Dusty Campbell

Jan 2016

Advice Served Neat With Randell Wallace

“I heard [Dr. Robert Spence, former president of Evangel University] say that a lot of his success in life came from simply showing up. He showed up whenever there was a cause or a meeting. I can also attribute a lot of my success to simply showing up. I’m not that much smarter than anybody else or work any harder, but I would simply show up. If there was a meeting for a committee at the Chamber, I’d often show up, take on tasks if need be, and because of that I got a lot of extra opportunities.”

“Jim [Anderson]’s great advice was that it’s all about relationships. Everything comes down to relationships. It was great watching a real pro like Jim develop and manage those relationships, so I’ve tried to do that myself and also tried to pass that along.”

“View your job as working for those you’re leading as opposed to it being a top down management style.”

“One of the things [mentor Fred Hall] stressed with me was it’s not enough just to be an excellent lawyer, just to know the skills of your profession. To be successful, you’ve got to be able to distinguish yourself from all the other lawyers and also to somehow market yourself.”

“I think it’s important to periodically sit back and reflect. Do I have the right balance? I will find myself being over-committed, being stretched too far, maybe neglecting other responsibilities I’ve got. In that instance, I’ll scale back on volunteer commitments. It’s usually after I’ve completed a cycle of a board. I will get off most of my boards and start over again slowly.”

“Hopefully why we practice law isn’t just to make money. It’s that we want to provide service for our clients, be key partners with our clients, be with them through their successes and help them through tough times. If you do that, you’ll get financial rewards. That will come with it, but that’s not what will provide you with your key satisfaction. You’ll get satisfaction from a job well done.”

“Joe [Carmichael]’s advice to me early on was never pick up the last nickel on the table. The reason he said that is there’s going to be some point where you’re going to have to go back to that person and cut a deal, and if you were overreaching, they’re going to remember that.”

“It’s easier doing something right the first time than it is having to explain why you’ve cut corners later.”