By Brian Poe, Esq.
Composed and poised at 23 years old, and armed with an MBA earned from Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry, Will Adams landed a coveted sales representative position at IBM. For six years, he moved steadily up the corporate ladder — receiving promotions, making the top 1 percent sales representative distinction in year two, and garnering a six-figure salary before age 25.
Around 1990, Adams began to believe that his strong sense of customer service might arm him to be an effective advocate for clients in another field that piqued his interest — law. After graduating from Emory University School of Law in 1996, Adams built a reputation as a prime labor and employment and commercial litigator with some of Atlanta’s most esteemed firms.
He is presently a member with Taylor English LLP where he litigates in courts throughout the southeastern United States.
1. How has your prior experience as an executive benefited you in your career as an attorney?
I believe I understand better and focus more on customer satisfaction and the importance of the client relationship due to my prior business experiences. It has also been easier to look at legal issues from a business perspective in order to stay focused on the best result for the client from a big-picture business standpoint. Most importantly, I understand that people do business with people they trust and like.
2. How have your clients’ needs changed over the course of your career and what has affected this change?
Clients are much more focused on the bottom line than they were earlier in my career. Clients are also interested in a true business partnership with their attorneys and those representing them.
3. What factors have influenced Taylor English’s growth, and why have you stayed since near its inception?
The founders and leaders of Taylor English had a purpose and vision for our law firm that we believe sets it apart from our competitors. We consider ourselves to be as strong skill-set wise as any working group of attorneys in the southeastern United States. That said, I believe our level of collaboration is stronger because of the stellar attorneys we recruit and because our model and incentives encourage collaboration. There is a greater respect for one’s personal walk outside of the practice of law. In my case, I am very involved in my church ministry. It would be much more difficult to do the things in the ministry in a traditional law setting, and the Taylor English model has been a perfect fit for my demanding endeavors in both the practice of law and my call to ministry.
4. Do any of your positive working traits as a lawyer carry over to the ministry or vice versa?
My spiritual walk helps me maintain a balance with my legal practice. Similarly, having dealt with many pressurized situations and matters over the years has helped me with ministry endeavors. I am very comfortable talking before people. As a litigator I have to digest and articulate very complex issues so that it is understood and appreciated by an audience that has not always had time to digest the information. I have to do the same thing in the ministry realm. Moreover, just as in the practice of law, it is critical to connect to your audience in ministry. In both areas, people rely on your judgment, vision and direction. AT