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ATL Interrogatories: 10 Questions with Richard Wiley of Wiley Rein LLP

Ed. note: This is the latest installment of The ATL Interrogatories. This recurring feature will give a notable law firm partner an opportunity to share insights and experiences about the legal profession and careers in law, as well as about their firms and themselves.

Richard Wiley is the nation’s preeminent communications lawyer. He served as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, where he fostered increased competition and lessened regulation in the communications field. Mr. Wiley played a pivotal role in the development of HDTV in this country, serving for nine years as Chairman of the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Advanced Television Service. As head of the firm’s communications practice group (the largest in the nation), his clients include Verizon, AT&T, JP Morgan, Credit Suisse, Motorola, and CBS. Mr. Wiley is a graduate of Northwestern Law and holds an LLM from Georgetown.

1. What is the greatest challenge to the legal profession over the next 5 years?

To control costs and produce added revenue.

2. What has been the biggest positive change to the legal profession since the start of your career?

The Internet and technology changes generally.

3. What has been the biggest negative change to the legal profession since the start of your career?

The difficulty for younger lawyers in finding/keeping jobs.

4. What is the greatest satisfaction of practicing law?

The opportunity to make results happen for clients. This is, after all, a service business.

5. What is the greatest frustration of practicing law?

Never enough hours to practice law, stay current, manage, serve diverse interests and… have another life.

6. What is your firm’s greatest strength?

Expertise in diverse specialty fields.

7. What is the single most important personal characteristic for a successful lawyer in your field?

To really understand a client’s business, needs and problems.

8. What is your favorite legally themed film or television show?

Witness For The Prosecution (affiliate link).

9. What is your favorite legally themed book (fiction or non-fiction)?

Murder at the Supreme Court: Lethal Crimes and Landmark Cases (affiliate link).

10. What would you have been if you weren’t a lawyer?

Baseball player/executive.