Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Joshua Bonney, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charlotte, NC
Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP
Charlotte, North Carolina
Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, etc...
My name is Joshua R. Bonney. I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. I attended Elon University and obtained a Bachelor of Communications Science with a minor Music Technology. While at Elon University I played on the Elon University Men’s Varsity Basketball as a NCAA Division I Scholarship Recipient. I was also a musical performing artist on Elon University’s in-house record label Limelight Records and produced and performed original musical content on various college campuses between my academic and athletic obligations. After college, I obtained joint degrees through Elon University’s JD/MBA program. I also undertook a research fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership as a component of my graduate-level studies. After completing my graduate studies, I began work with work Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP on April 3, 2017.
I have an older brother based in Los Angeles, California and a younger brother (John Bonney) based in Austin, Texas who is a defensive back on the University of Texas at Austin’s football team. In my spare time, I still enjoy creating and performing various genres of music and poetry.
What first interested you in law?
My earliest understanding of lawyer as a young child was that of someone who helped others in need. I have always been disposed toward that end and still maintain this understanding as the essence of a lawyer’s creed today.
You were one of the 2016 Frederic L. Ballard, Jr. Memorial Scholarship recipients. Was that your first introduction to NABL?
Yes. I had the opportunity to assist with a municipal financing as a summer associate with Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP in 2015. I found the various legal components of the work fascinating and the outcomes that the work produced extremely fulfilling. The practice group’s founder suggested over lunch that I apply for NABL’s Frederic L. Ballard, Jr. Memorial Scholarship. That lunch and that project were my first introductions to NABL . . . and current refunding revenue bonds.
How did your participation help your career?
Exposure is the bridge to engagement. By allowing for my participation in the Fundamentals of Municipal Bond Law Seminar, the Frederic L. Ballard, Jr. Memorial Scholarship provided an instructive introduction to the many working parts that compose the practice of public finance. The seminar’s subject-matter was designed to address relevant issues and its panelists delivered the content in a digestible, practice-applicable manner - even for a law student.
What is your specialization within public finance?
I am part of a team of attorneys at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP that regularly serves as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, issuer's counsel, bank's counsel, disclosure counsel and special counsel to facilitate the financing objectives of various entities in the governmental, public and private education, healthcare and nonprofit sectors on both a tax-exempt and taxable basis.
What was the best career advice anyone ever gave you?
“If you would have your business done, go; if not, send.” – Benjamin Franklin. “The Way to Wealth” (1758).
As a new NABL member, what more do you think NABL can do to reach out to younger attorneys and law students?
My impression is that the public finance space is very obscure and little known to law students and younger attorneys. I imagine that there would be far greater interest in the practice if we as law students were made aware of it during law school. Perhaps NABL might consider alerting the career services offices of law schools in the various cities in which it conducts events/seminars beforehand and offering free entry to a limited number of law students to the extent that space/materials permit.
From the questionnaire made famous by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton, "What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?"
If I did not practice law I would love to be the executive of a musical production company and simultaneously manage a conglomerate of musical performing artists. It would also be nice to be the Commissioner of the National Basketball Association if that didn’t work out.