A Badra

Our People

I started at the New York Office of Jones Day on Monday, September 15, 2008. I was hired as a lateral associate from another New York law firm. That date is remarkable to me and to many others because over the weekend the world got notice of the Lehman Brothers collapse. The predictions regarding the global economy were not encouraging. However, Jones Day had big plans of opening offices in Latin America. On my very first week at Jones Day, I happily realized that I had joined a law firm that was different from the others. While most law firms considered downsizing, Jones Day was looking to expand its operations.

My first assignment at Jones Day was the drafting of a memo—ultimately circulated to some Jones Day partners—regarding the nuts and bolts involved in opening a Jones Day office in Brazil. Brazil is known for making it difficult for foreign entities to establish operations. From 2008 to 2011, I was heavily involved in the process of opening the São Paulo Office. Because opening a new office demanded a joint effort by several individuals within the Firm, I was very fortunate to meet lawyers and staff from several Jones Day offices. I learned in the most fantastic way that Jones Day is a Firm of principles and values and its people work with passion and enthusiasm.

In 2011, I was relocated from New York to São Paulo. Moving from one of the Firm's largest and most well established offices to one of its smallest and most promising was challenging and inspiring. Because of Jones Day's culture and commitment, I felt that our lawyers and staff throughout the world were very attentive to, and interested in, the progress of our new office.

Since 2009, I have assisted our partners in recruiting Brazilian LL.M. candidates to work temporarily in the New York Office. Because I had the chance to meet and work with colleagues from almost all the Firm's offices, I always tell candidates that working at Jones Day could be the most enriching professional experience of their lives.

What I found most intriguing during the recruiting process, prior to joining Jones Day as a lateral partner, was to see how passionate each of the partners I talked to around the world felt about the Firm, and how interpersonal compatibility and the desire to work together for the greater, long term good of the Firm and its clients, seemed much more important to my future partners than the more usual short term and individualistic considerations prevailing in most other law firms.

Perhaps more surprising was to immediately discover, working at Jones Day, how this is not merely a general philosophy of the Firm but how Jones Day really operates. Of course, prior to joining the Firm I had known and talked to many Jones Day lawyers for a long time, and many clients I was close to and respected were always very complimentary towards the Firm, so I was not completely shocked. But it is true that every day I feel very fortunate to work with lawyers across the world (whether in São Paulo, New York, Miami, Paris, London, Mexico, Beijing, Tokyo, or elsewhere) who are always ready to assist, and who do so with real enthusiasm and professionalism, providing consistently excellent quality of service and deep breadth of knowledge and experience to our clients. Out of a relatively small office in São Paulo (when compared with our larger offices in the United States) we are able to work very closely with so many talented lawyers across the Firm, on challenging and complex cross-border matters, with such a deep variety of skill sets and commitment to our clients' needs that it makes the experience so much more fun and satisfying.

In addition, and not less importantly, for someone like me—born in Rio, raised in Belgium, and then spent almost twenty years in the United States in places like Cleveland, Cincinnati, Washington, and New York prior to relocating to São Paulo, and always worked on cross-border transactions for multinational clients—feeling completely at home at Jones Day really confirms that the Firm is truly a global legal institution, which to me makes all the difference in the world.

Marcello Hallake Georgetown University, Partner - Energy
As a rising 2L, I knew that I wanted to work at a truly international law firm, one whose presence, practice, clients, and attorneys spanned the globe. While I was not certain at that point in which area of the law I wanted to focus, I knew that working on matters that transcended borders, cultures, and languages was something I desired. Jones Day was among a handful of firms that had the worldwide profile I sought, but through the actual interview process itself Jones Day set itself apart. It became clear in meeting with Jones Day attorneys that the Firm's ethos as a global institution whose focus was squarely set on client service and long term institutional stability was truly distinctive in the legal world. In addition, the attorneys I met were fantastic people and I enjoyed spending time with them, which had an even greater impact on my initial impressions of the Firm.

Spending my 2L summer as a summer associate in the Silicon Valley Office confirmed all of these initial impressions, and I knew that Jones Day was where I wanted to be.

Since joining Jones Day as an associate in 2009, I have not looked back. In my first few years in the Silicon Valley Office (thanks to Jones Day’s New Lawyers Group) I was able to get substantive experience in a variety of different legal disciplines and ultimately discover the areas of the law where I wanted to focus my practice. In 2012, I was able to really pursue an international practice by transferring to the Firm's newly opened office in São Paulo, Brazil to focus my career in Latin America, the region of the world for which I have great personal and professional passion.

In my six years at Jones Day, I have been able to work on matters that literally span the globe. I have been able to grow as a lawyer while experiencing the world from both personal and professional vantage points while working for a Firm of which I am proud to be a part. 

Michael Harper Georgetown University Associate - Antitrust & Competition Law

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