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Josh Gaul - Spotlight

Presenters: Josh Gaul
Seattle partner Josh Gaul knew from a very young age he wanted to be a lawyer, but his path to the practice of law was not traditional. With plans to serve in the U.S. Navy following his graduation from the University of Notre Dame, he was inspired by Tom Cruise’s performance in “A Few Good Men.” An uncle whom Josh admired was a lawyer and served as a great role model. Josh eventually enrolled in law school after completing the nuclear power training program and serving as a watch and division officer for three years on the USS Phoenix and the USS Norfolk.

Relationships and trust are critical in the military and just as important in the legal profession. Not realizing the correlation until he started practicing, Josh believes all young lawyers should understand the value of relationships. “Associates have an unfettered ability to get to know lawyers early on in their careers and should recognize this is an opportunity to build a strong foundation. Relationships with colleagues and clients are both vitally important.” His experience in the Navy has also given him a better sense of perspective. As a corporate lawyer, Josh regularly deals with negotiations breaking down or closings not going accordingly to plan and puts the client’s needs at the forefront. “The military teaches you that the best way to get through a stressful situation is to be calm and not panic.”

Since Josh joined the firm, K&L Gates has quadrupled in size. This growth has been extremely positive for his practice and clients. “Our global platform and growth is hugely beneficial to a corporate practice serving clients – including regional clients – who are themselves global in their outlook.” With this growth, the firm has been able to maintain its focus on sustaining a collaborative environment, and that’s exactly how Josh describes the culture of K&L Gates. “Collaboration is key at all levels here – whether it be within a practice group, between groups in an office, between offices, or globally. There is definitely a sense that we are all collaborating to build this firm into something that is unique in the legal profession.”

What initially attracted Josh to the firm seven years ago – a global footprint, a sophisticated law practice, and quality people – are even more prevalent now. “As the firm continues to expand its reach, the ability to serve a client’s needs in almost any legal area, in any region of the world, is an incredible advantage.”