Member Spotlights

Interviews with NABL Members from NABL News

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MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Michael L. Larsen, Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP, Charleston, SC

Tell us a little about yourself - your family, your hobbies, etc...

I am but a lowly public finance tax lawyer (or “103 lawyer”) in the Charleston office of Parker Poe, where I’ve practiced for the last 7 years. Prior to joining Parker Poe, I spent 7 years in the D.C. office of Orrick Herrington, where Richard Chirls and Ed Oswald saw to it that I always had something to do over the weekend.

I’m married and have 3 children between the ages of 6 and 9. As a result, when not at work, I spend most of my time trying to convince my wife that it’s her turn to wake up with the kids, take the kids to soccer practice, provide the kids with affection, etc.

In my free time, I am routinely humiliated in Brazilian jiu jitsu (which is basically submission grappling). On occasion, I’ll travel to gyms and tournaments around the country to be humiliated on a grander scale.

What first interested you in law?

Early into my junior year of college, I realized that I wasn’t qualified to do anything. So I became a lawyer. Now I’m qualified to needlessly cite Regulations (most of which don’t even exist) in conversations and give non-answers to bond lawyers. I don’t mean to brag, but I think things are going well.  

What is your law specialization within public finance?

I am a 103 lawyer. Or, as I tell my wife, I’m a CIA special agent who routinely gets called away to exotic locations on business (Chicago a few times, San Antonio twice, Phoenix). Either way, she doesn’t care.  

What was the best career advice anyone ever gave you?

Don’t joke around in NABL publications

How (and when) were you first introduced to NABL?

Ed Oswald of Orrick has always been a big proponent of NABL, and he encouraged me to get involved very early in my career. I can still remember participating in my first NABL project and being amazed at how much everyone in the group seemed to know.

How has your participation and membership in NABL been of value to you and your practice?

Aside from the substantive work that NABL does on behalf of the public finance community, membership in NABL has provided me with the opportunity to meet, and build relationships with, many people that I wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to interact with. Over the years, these relationships have proved invaluable.

As a member of the Board of Directors, what do you most look forward to for the remainder of this year?

Ideally we’ll see a return to “normal” in the market. Also, there are several regulatory packages that will hopefully be moved along.

From the questionnaire made famous by Bernard Pivot and James Lipton, "What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?"

My 9-year old son is autistic. When he ages out of school/therapy around the age of 22, I’m retiring from the practice of law and he and I are going to start a business doing something he’s capable of handling. With my luck, he’ll want to be a 103 lawyer.

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