Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News
Keisha S. Palmer, Robinson & Cole LLP, Hartford, CT
1. What are your top 3 reasons for joining NABL?
i. NABL’s reputation as the premier organization for bond lawyers
ii. The quality of NABL’s educational programming
iii. The opportunity to form and grow my industry network
2. At the upcoming Essentials conference, you are a panelist for both IRS Issues & Enforcement and Leases & Non-Traditional Financing sessions. Tell us some key takeaways attendees can expect from these sessions?
From the IRS Enforcement Panel, a key takeaway is when the IRS comes calling, it can be daunting for clients. But, if you are armed with the knowledge of how the process works, bond lawyers can assuage the uneasiness of clients and help them through the process. From the Leases & Non-Traditional Financing panel, the key takeaways are: that (a) leasing and other forms of financing are important tools in your clients’ toolbox that should not be overlooked, and (b) these types of financing are only non-traditional to the extent that they are not plain vanilla tax-exempt bond issuance. On the contrary, they are used routinely by many clients.
3. What would you say to those interested or new to public finance on why they should consider attending The Essentials?
Think of The Essentials like your bar prep classes. You will walk away with the black letter law in many areas and a concrete understanding of how a bond transaction comes together and the roles of various parties. Just as important, you will leave The Essentials with a wider network that will benefit you for years to come.
4. How has The Essentials conference benefited your career?
I attended my first The Essentials conference, that was used to be called Fundamentals, about 6 months into my career as a bond lawyer, and it tied everything together for me that I had been learning over the prior 6 months.
5. What advice would you give to young/new attorneys in the public finance field?
Public finance, especially in the tax area, can seem overwhelming, but once you have crested the top of that long learning curve, your value becomes immeasurable, so stick to it and don’t get frustrated by the process.
6. If you could have dinner with two famous people (from the past and/or present), who would you choose and why?
Michael Manley, former Prime Minister of Jamaica, because I think he’s the best Prime Minister the island of Jamaica, where I was born, has had to date. I would like to hear more about his plans and hopes for a young nation, especially the things he was unable to achieve. My second invitee would be Nanny of the Maroons. She was a woman ahead of her times in terms of leadership and a revolutionary under the worst of circumstances. I would like to learn more about how she developed and maintained her drive and convictions in the face of incredible odds.