Lawyer Diaries: SEC Chairman Interview

LSAT Blog Lawyer Diaries SEC Chairman Interview
The following Lawyer Diary comes in the form of an interview with David S. Ruder. He's a former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. This interview is excerpted from Learning From Precedent.


***

Bloch: In terms of your future career, what was the biggest value of going to law school?

Ruder: After practicing law, I came to Northwestern Law School as a professor, then dean. Eventually I became Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. I would say that the biggest value of law school for all of those positions was the ability to see both sides of issues.

In law school you’re taught that the law is not one-sided. The better lawyers not only understand the points on their side of the argument, but the points that the other side makes as well. Understanding opposing views allows you to be prepared to meet and rebut arguments.

I think that the ability to see both sides of a problem is also very beneficial to the businessperson. I’ve always thought that law is great training for business. If you can see both sides, you can anticipate problems that will arise when you follow your own inclinations.

That’s not to say that there aren’t downsides from training to be a lawyer. For example, some lawyers tend to become risk-averse because they see problems everywhere. To me, the ideal businessperson is someone who is willing to take risks, but can also recognize obstacles that are bound to arise.


Bloch: I’ve heard from many lawyers who say it’s important to learn business, and from many businesspeople who say it’s important to learn law. It seems as though the skill sets of the two professions are complementary.

Ruder: At a major law school like Northwestern, many of our graduates tend to go into the world of business, corporations, and commercial transactions. There are other areas of law such as estate planning, torts, criminal law, and property law that may not seem to involve business. I often find students who say, “I’m not interested in business law so I’m not taking any business courses.” And I say to them, “Do you think your clients are never going to have any business interests? Shouldn’t you be able to understand the business interests of that client? Shouldn’t you be able to understand what obstacles those clients may have in becoming financially successful?” Sometimes I hear students say, “I don’t want to be in business law. I want to go to trial.” And I say, “What kind of cases will you be trying? Do you never plan on having a business case that you’ll try?”

I think that avoiding business matters is wrong. The need to learn something about business is crucial for almost all types of law practice.


Bloch: Are there other sets of knowledge law school provides?

Ruder: I think that many people who have not gone to law school not only don’t understand the nature of the legal process, but also don’t know how historically the law became an alternative to war. In its simplest form, legal practice involves conflict resolution. In conflicts, each side has a different view. In the pre-law days, armies were sent out to decide conflicts. Eventually, lawyers became the combatants. In our legal system, the brightest legal minds, the best arguers, and the best thinkers come together to try to resolve conflicts.


Bloch: How did all of these understandings contribute to your career as a law school dean and as Chairman of the SEC?

Ruder: In some ways, I was fortunate to have been the dean of a law school before I became SEC Chairman. A dean has to deal with various constituencies—students, staff, professors, alumni, university administration, other departments, and other schools. I had a fair amount of experience dealing with these constituencies, and I was sensitive to the fact that each of them required attention.

As Chairman, similar responsibilities existed. I had to deal with investors, staff, other commissioners, Wall Street, Congress, the administration, and the press. In Washington, I quickly learned that no matter how much I thought I knew about something, I always had more to learn. I had some understanding of how Wall Street worked, but not a deep understanding of how individual large firms operated. I had a very steep learning curve, particularly when the stock market crashed only a few months after I arrived.



Bloch: Can you tell me about your time as Chairman? What motivated your move from academia?

Ruder: On the motivation side, as a professor I was interested in corporate and securities law. After 25 years or so as a law professor, I had become intensely involved in learning about securities regulation and securities markets. I had an abiding interest in the regulation of the purchase and sale of securities, in fraudulent conduct in the securities world, and in the operation of the securities markets. From my point of view—from a securities professor’s point of view—when I was offered the opportunity to lead the organization I had been studying all my life, the answer was, “Yes!”

In terms of how I got there, the track was quite different than most people who become Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Most chairmen have some political connections and are active in a political party. I had no political background. I had begun by writing articles in the securities field. As a result of those articles, I was asked to speak. I spoke at a great number of securities meetings with lawyers. As a result of those speeches, I became active in the American Bar Association, and I served in its Business Law section. As a result of my various activities, I was asked to participate in a securities law project for the American Law Institute, the most learned of the legal organizations in the United States.

The then-Chairman of the SEC decided to retire after six years in the position. President Reagan looked for a suitable replacement from Wall Street and from regulators, but finally, decided to look at lawyers. Reagan’s people began to ask around the White House, where many of the top people were lawyers. They asked for suggestions for Chairman of the SEC. It turned out that my name came up on almost all of the lists!

I think I was selected because of a combination of my reputation in the securities field from writing, speaking, and participating in activities of the American Bar Association, and my work in the academic world as a dean. I don’t advertise this, but I knew that I wasn’t a political candidate, so I called myself the “competency candidate” instead!



27 comments:

  1. استشارة قانونية في السعودية - محامي اونلاين السعوديةمستشار قانوني بالتليفون السعوديةاستشارة قانونية بالجوال السعوديةا ستشارات قانونية اونلاين في السعوديةاسأل محامي في السعودية استشارات قانونية محامي السعودية محاماة موقع مكتب

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey thanks for this information. Advocate Narender Singh is Practicing in Supreme Court of India, High court of Delhi and Delhi district courts from 8 years.I am dedicated towards the litigants with results oriented approach.We are a group of highly qualified Indian advocates, Indian attorneys and Indian legal advisers for all kinds of legal services. We have an in-house team of lawyers providing seamless legal services in all the fields of law under one roof at all levels with a wide network. We provide solutions to all multi-jurisdictional legal problems through our highly qualified and experienced team. We have best advocate for supreme court of India who have lots of experience.



    ReplyDelete
  3. Lawyers in our transactional practices represent international and domestic clients in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, business startups, and company liquidations.

    commercial lawyer in Dubai

    ReplyDelete
  4. Worldwide Tweets is your news, entertainment, music fashion website. We provide you with the latest breaking news and videos straight from the entertainment industry. Visit Houston maritime lawyers for more details.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post!!Thanks for sharing it with us....really needed.. We offer residents of Arizona low flat fees and payment plans that meet or beat our competitors’ rates. You can retain a bankruptcy attorney phoenix at the My AZ Legal Team for little or no money down to stop the creditor calls.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing your content. If you are looking for a online platform to find intellectual property lawyers in India, Then you can visit Vidhikarya website where you can easily connect with intellectual property lawyers

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome Resources. At the law firm of AZ Debt Relief Group, PLLC we offer unparalleled legal representation regarding your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy filing for tucson bankruptcy lawyer . Unlike most bankruptcy firms, our petitions are prepared by licensed attorneys from start to finish. Almost every competitor uses paralegals or legal assistants to complete a majority of the work in your case.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for share this information with us this will help a lots of people if you are serching for miami commercial litigation lawyer .

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post with us. This is more helpful for find the best elder law lawyers in the San Antonio City.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Lawyers in Dubai

    Welcome to Everquest-Legal, get a legal expert professional lawyer in Dubai at affordable prices. We listen, we process, we execute.

    to get more -https://everquest-legal.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Great Article!! Thanks for sharing amazing and informative article about lawyer services in Dubai

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great Post! Many bankruptcy lawyers in az are currently facing financial instability. For these families, the stress associated with such financial concerns comes in many forms can be debilitating.

    ReplyDelete
  13. من هو افضل محامي في الرياض بالمملكة العربية السعودية ؟
    محامي في الرياض ، هو مكتب افضل محامي في الرياض وسائر مناطق ومدن المملكة العربية السعودية،يضم المكتب العربي للقانون طاقم متخصص من افضل المحامين في الرياض
    محامي بالرياض من هو افضل محامي في الرياض وما هو رقمه ؟ السؤال الذي يطرحه الكثير منا على بعضنا البعض عند التعامل مع المشكلات القانونية .
    حقاً أين أجد افضل محامي بالرياض مناسب لجميع القضايا القانونية بما في ذلك القضايا التجارية والطلاق والاحوال الشخصية ونقل الملكيات والشيكات والمحاكم العمالية ؟
    اذا كنت تبحث أيضاً عن افضل محامي في جدة فيسعدنا إخبارك باننا نضم افضل محامي بجدة خبرة وعلماً على مستوى المملكة العربية السعودية.

    ReplyDelete
  14. New lawyers may start with Estate Lawyers which mostly involve in planning a will and estate, and estate dispute in corporate world.

    ReplyDelete
  15. من هو اشهر مكتب محامي بالرياض في المملكة العربية السعودية ؟
    محامي في الرياض ، هو مكتب محاماة واستشارات قانونية بالرياض وفي كافة مناطق ومدن المملكة العربية السعودية،يضم المكتب العربي للقانون فريق متميز من افضل المحامين في الرياض
    محامي بالرياض من هو اقوى محامي بالرياض وما هو رقمه ؟ السؤال الذي يطرحه الكثيرين من رواد منصتنا القانونية للمحاماة والاستشارات القانونية ، فلا يمكن تحديد من هو افضل محامي في الرياض دون الرجوع الى خدمات مكتب المحامي القانونية لدى المحاكم والموكلين .
    حقاً أين أجد افضل محامي بالرياض مناسب لجميع القضايا القانونية بما في ذلك القضايا التجارية والطلاق والاحوال الشخصية ونقل الملكيات والشيكات والمحاكم العمالية ؟
    تجد ارقام محامين بالرياض عبر دليل المحامين الذي توفر الهيئة السعودية للمحامين عبر موقعهم الالكتروني .
    حيث ان الموقع يضم قائمة اسماء المحامين المعتمدين بالرياض وجدة والدمام وفي كافة مناطق ومدن المملكة العربية السعودية .

    ReplyDelete
  16. فوائد المشورة القانونية من محامي بالرياض
    يمكن أن تكون النصائح المفيدة الخطوة الأولى نحو تعاون طويل الأمد بين محامي في الرياض ورجل الأعمال. عادة ، في المحادثة الأولى ، يحدد العميل في أغلب الأحيان ما إذا كان سيتعاون مع محامي أو مستشار قانوني سعودي.
    إن مفتاح القرارات الإيجابية في قضايا الجرائم أو حماية الحقوق هو عمل افضل محامي في الرياض مدروس بعناية وعالي الجودة.
    المبادئ الأساسية للاستشارة القانونية في الرياض السعودية:
    الفهم الصحيح لجوهر المشكلة ؛
    البحث عن الطرق المثلى لحلها.
    للوصول إلى الخدمات عن بُعد ، يمكنك الاتصال على رقم محامي في الرياض . يمكنك أن تطرح عليه أسئلة تتعلق بهذه الأنواع من العلاقات القانونية:

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like this post and very use full information please provide few more information about this post Advocate for Supreme Court of India

    ReplyDelete
  18. Really very informative and the way you present your information attracts visitors to read a more informative blog from your website. So I look forward to seeing the next update. Find the best Miami Class Action Law Firm.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks for providing a great informatic and looking beautiful blog, really nice required information & the things I never imagined and I would request, wright more blog and blog post like that for us.miami contracts lawyer

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks for sharing very helpful information. Here is another Edmonton Commercial Real Estate site, they provide very helpful services. Looking forward to more great content.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Very interesting post. Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog for us. Very helpfull content. Looking for some of the advocates, you can Visit https://merlynlawfirm.com/

    ReplyDelete
  22. These are excellent suggestions for choosing an Elder Law Lawyer for any legal problems. I'm confident that by considering these criteria, everyone will be better equipped to choose an expert for their particular situation.

    ReplyDelete