Corporate Counsel and Compliance Manager
Describe your work: After more than four years as a litigation associate at Bracewell, I recently joined ICF, a global consulting services company, as corporate counsel and compliance manager. It is an exciting transition—I’m enjoying my new and very diverse responsibilities more and more every day.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? My husband, Mingda ’14 (Ph.D. ’10) and I have a very active 2-year-old (Col ’TBD) who manages our extracurricular activities. She has taught us the humbling lesson of taking joy in each day as it comes. We have great fun pointing out deer in the backyard, picking dried Play-Doh from the carpet, sharing pizza at Costco and dancing to her favorite musician, Sade. I’m my best self when we all go to the pool, and I can sneak off to the hot tub for a few minutes.
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? One thing I’ve learned is that life doesn’t always track expectations. I took the scenic route to law school, and, looking back, I’m very satisfied with the choices that I’ve made and the lessons and successes earned along the way.
What do you like about your life 5 years after law school? I feel comfortable in my own skin, which is a great feeling to have. Professionally, I am no longer the green first-year associate fresh out of law school. I can see the steady development of my practice and my own style. I have confidence that I am well-prepared to continue to learn from others and develop my craft for years to come. Personally, these five years have been just as rewarding. I’ve matured both as an attorney and as a spouse, mother and friend to those dear to me. Every day is a new adventure, whether that adventure is beginning a new chapter in my legal career or potty training (my daughter, to clarify).
Photo by Samuel Stuart
Allison Muth ’09
Alston & Bird
Describe your work: As a senior associate in investment management, my work focuses primarily on fund formation and advising sponsors, advisers, investors and other parties on all aspects of fund launches—whether private equity, hedge fund or commodity pool vehicles. On any given day, I may prepare organizational and offering materials; advise clients on structuring, registration and other compliance matters; and research issues on a wide scope of topics. I love what I do, because I feel like I get to learn something new and do something different every day.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I recently joined the Lincoln Center’s Junior Business Council, so I attend a variety of their musical, theater and dance performances. I enjoy the activities coordinated by the Virginia Club of New York, and I travel whenever possible with family, friends or solo. I’ve taken trips to Peru, Sweden, the island of Réunion, Cuba and Australia over the last couple years. I also try to fit in a little tennis when I can!
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life?Graduating from UVA Law in 2009, right in the middle of the economic downturn and all of the related uncertainty, I’m just incredibly happy to be at my current position in my career. I’m very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with an amazing team on interesting matters for great clients, and I am excited about the direction of my practice for the future.
What do you like about your life 10 years after law school?I just purchased my first apartment on the Upper East Side, I’m excited about my practice at A&B, and I’m surrounded by a phenomenal circle of friends and family in New York City. I’m looking forward to family trips to Portugal and Croatia in 2019, as well as my 10-year reunion. Things are great!
Photo by Samuel Stuart
Gavin A. White ’04
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
Describe your work: I am a tax partner in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. My practice involves advising clients on a wide variety of U.S. and international tax matters, including public and private acquisitions, divestitures, bankruptcy reorganizations, equity and debt offerings, and joint ventures. I’ve had the privilege to represent clients in some of the largest acquisitions in the world as well as a variety of other transactions. I also serve as Skadden’s global hiring partner, which means I’m involved in every facet of our hiring process.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I enjoy traveling, cooking and drinking wine, preferably doing at least two of the three at the same time. I typically make it to at least two new countries every year with a few domestic trips as well. I also enjoy spending time with my niece and nephews.
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? I never had any expectations. In law school, I did not spend time or energy reflecting on what my life or career would be like 15 years into the future. I was much more focused on the short term; I wanted to be a practicing tax attorney in New York for the first few years after I graduated. To the extent that I considered any goals on a longer time frame, it was only to conclude that I would figure out what I wanted in the future.
What do you like about your life 15 years after law school? Everything.
Photo by Nathan Cornetet
John Nalbandian ’94
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
Describe your work: I am a federal appellate judge on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals from Kentucky. I guess my work is what you would think of as typical for a federal appellate judge. I decide cases almost always as part of a panel of three judges. I enjoy the variety of cases, including many areas of the law that I had not previously been exposed to. Before being appointed, I was a partner in a major regional law firm in Cincinnati. My practice focused on appellate work, especially in the Sixth Circuit.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work? I have a number of interests. I like to read, especially contemporary fiction like National Book Award and Man Booker nominees. I watch sports on TV, including anything involving UVA. My kids are a little bit older now, but I enjoy going to see my daughter’s shows (she attends a performing arts school). And I like to travel. I’ve also participated in various legal symposia, moot courts and other law-related events. I enjoy meeting law students and young lawyers.
Are you where you expected to be at this stage of your career and life? Definitely not. I assumed at some point that I’d maybe be a partner at a law firm and maybe married with a family. I had no expectation that I’d ever be a judge. Someone told me that becoming a federal judge is like being struck by lightning—and it’s true. As far as my personal life, I met my wife, Caroline May ’94, at UVA in my small section and we got married a week after graduation. Everything about my personal life has far exceeded what I ever expected or deserved—a wonderful wife, two great kids, a great job, etc.
What do you like about your life 25 years after law school?My family, my job— everything. I have a son who is a sophomore at the University of Louisville and a daughter who is a senior in high school who will be attending NYU next fall. My wife is a terrific lawyer who works for the federal government. We both graduated from UVA in 1994 and are looking forward to our 25th reunion and 25th wedding anniversary. I still have many friends in my class and am looking forward to seeing many of them this May.