Kimberly Magrini, JD ’10, had contemplated specializing in environmental law when she started a summer associate position at Ballard Spahr, LLP (Ballard) during her second summer at Kline School of Law. Magrini, an Alabama native, was well suited for it, after all. Before starting law school, she had completed a master of science degree in environmental science at Drexel University.
However, during her summer at Ballard, Magrini found herself drawn to the public finance sector, changing the trajectory of her career.
On January 4, 2021, a little over a decade later, Magrini made partner at Ballard, where she works in public finance and counsels investment banking firms and investors, municipalities, issuers, and trustees in all types of public finance and municipal securities transactions.
As part of Kline Law’s ongoing series “Alumnae Rising,” Magrini recently answered a few questions about her path to making partner.
Please talk about your journey to becoming partner:
I would say once I started the journey at Ballard, becoming a partner was always in the back of my mind, and as I came to be a more senior associate, it became a concrete goal. There weren’t really specific steps I took to meet that goal, but more like making sure my work product (whether delivered to partners or to the client directly) was mistake-free and a polished final product, taking the time to learn as much as I could about all aspects of a deal, both substantive and in terms of client development and relationships, volunteering for opportunities to speak or write articles or e-alerts to help raise my profile and Ballard’s profile, and working on maintaining and growing relationships with clients across the industry and also with colleagues and fellow public finance lawyers.
What advice would you give a student or alumni interested in becoming a partner?
I got some advice as a very junior associate that I took to heart and I think made a big difference in my approach to work from the beginning: “as a junior associate, your clients are your partners.” This helped me realize that every piece of work I produce or work on should be a reflection of my work ethic. In addition to work product, I think being a partner involves paying attention to client concerns and broader industry developments so you can be of assistance to clients when new trends are developing or new issues arise.
What are the main skill sets you need to thrive as a partner?
Well, I’m just starting my journey as a partner! But I think time management, intellectual curiosity, attention to detail, and a desire to understand client concerns are big ones.
What has been your experience in practicing your area law?
With a background in science (rather than finance), I have found the breadth of the public finance practice area amazing (we finance anything from hospitals and universities to toll roads and airports to housing and bioenergy recycling facilities) and constantly growing and changing.
Now that you’ve made partner, what’s next on your horizon?
I’d like to continue to build my practice and become an expert in my area.