Current law firm: Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
Law School: Washington & Lee University School of Law
Undergraduate: Glenville State University
Spouse: Ryan King
Children: 1 stepdaughter, Scarlett (8 years old)
Current hometown: Lewisburg, WV
Favorite bar or restaurant in current home city? Why? The Livery Tavern. We enjoy sitting at the Livery bar for dinner. They serve great food (the goat cheese ice cream is worth the visit), and you always end up chatting with an old friend or an interesting new acquaintance.
EMLF Involvement: I have been involved in the EMLF and have attended EMLF events since becoming an attorney. I was co-chair of the inaugural Young Lawyers Committee. I served on the Recruiting Committee when Sharon Daniels stepped back from the Executive Director role and on the Governance Committee to revise the EMLF by-laws. I am currently on the Board of Trustees. I also recently moderated an ethics webinar panel.
Where did you grow up? Glenville, WV
What is your area of practice? Energy transactions
How did you get involved in that area of law? I grew up around the energy industry, as my dad spent his career as a petroleum engineer for oil and gas producers in the Appalachian Basin. Prior to attending law school, I worked as an energy clerk at Steptoe & Johnson, shadowing the energy transactions group. I thought the work was interesting and really liked the team atmosphere. So, landing in energy transactions was a natural fit for me.
How much of your time is spent representing clients in the coal, oil and gas, or other energy industries? For me, it varies, depending on what transactions are ongoing. A typical split might be half of my time spent on coal transactions, with the remainder split between transactions for oil and gas producers, gas distribution companies, and renewables companies. No matter how my time is split, I believe I have been blessed with the best clients. The people in our industry are all passionate about what they do, including the impact they make in their communities and their regions more broadly, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of that.
You have spoken at a couple of EMLF events and have been involved in EMLF committees. Has that involvement benefited you? If so, how? Involvement in EMLF has been very beneficial in making industry contacts and friends. There are several people that I would not have had the opportunity to know but for connections made through EMLF. It has also allowed me to catch up with industry colleagues and friends each year, while benefiting from some of the best educational content that is relevant to my practice.
Now that the COVID-related restrictions on restaurants, gatherings, and travel are ending, is there anything that you have done or look forward to doing soon, that you were unable to do during the shutdowns? We are happy to get back to life as usual, including attending larger gatherings with family and friends over the holidays. We look forward to taking a family vacation this year.
You are still a young lawyer but have been practicing for a few years. Looking back, what two or three things have been most helpful to you in developing as a lawyer and as an attorney at your firm? For me, it has been immensely helpful to find and work with good mentors who are vested in my growth and success. Those people have guided my professional development and taught me best practices. They have also encouraged me to become involved in organizations like EMLF, which has opened doors for broader industry connections.
Is there any advice you would give to new lawyers and law students who are about to become lawyers? Seek out good mentors who will take the time to give meaningful feedback and involve you in their matters, more than just requesting that you complete discrete parts of a larger deal. Nurture the connections you make along the way, both within your firm/company and with your clients, particularly with individuals around your same age who will grow in their careers as you do. Most importantly, always find joy in your work!