Meet Me! Attorney Q&A for Mark Spitz
What do you do for your clients?
Either in person or by phone, I meet with new clients to learn about their background, business, plans, hopes, and goals. Only by knowing as much as possible about my clients can I build a relationship based on trust and honesty. I see my role in part as a teacher — I help to communicate often complex legal concepts and requirements in a way that my clients understand and can apply to their business. I also help to protect their company from risk, which allows them to focus on achieving their business objectives.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
Having formerly been a math teacher and university adjunct professor, I enjoyed communicating new information and concepts, and putting them in an understandable and usable form for my students. I also enjoy counseling and mentoring, and am fortunate to be able to do a lot of that in my career. In many ways, I see my role as an attorney much like being a teacher to my clients.
What gets you up in the morning? How do you typically start your day?
What gets me up in the morning is the opportunity to serve and help others. Unless I have an early meeting to go to, I’ll typically start my day by watching the morning news, having breakfast, reading the paper (what a quaint practice!) and going over the coming day with my wife, who often has evening events as part of her job working at the University of Denver.
Why did you decide to become an Auxana GC?
I spent 16 years as an in-house attorney, including work as a general counsel, and greatly enjoyed being part of the business and seeing projects from beginning to end. I value working with people from all areas of expertise, such as marketing, operations, finance, and sales, as I learned a lot about business, as well as the issues that those positions face on a daily basis. As a law firm attorney, much of the work involved is based around very discrete projects where you don’t have as much involvement with the client on a day-to-day basis, and less insight into the client’s business. Working as an Auxana GC will allow me to use my in-house experience again to support clients’ companies becoming more successful.
What is your stance on the innovation of the legal industry?
It is desperately needed. Practices such as the billable hour continue to be a perverse incentive that benefits attorneys and hurt clients, especially in larger law firms where the pressure to bill hours is so great. After all, why take an hour to do something efficiently, when one can bill an hour and a half and make more money for the firm?
What would you do if you weren’t an attorney?
I would be a history professor in a university.