Daniel Wilson of Santa Rosa law firm Anderson Zeigler wins North Bay Forty Under 40 award
Responsibilities with your company: I'm an attorney who represent clients in a wide range of civil litigation. I also have various internal firm management duties, ranging from managing the firm's electronic and paper research library to arranging networking lunches with potential referral sources.
In 25 words or less, how do you exemplify the spirit of being a top Forty under 40 professional?
New to the North Bay (two years), but have totally thrown myself into the community, prospered, and am thrilled to be part of its future!
Years with company: 2
Length of time in current position: Two months
Number of companywide employees: 30
Number who report to you: 5
Greatest professional accomplishment: Thriving at one of the most prestigious international law firms (Morrison & Foerster LLP at its San Francisco headquarters), then moving out to Sonoma County where I was promoted to partner at one of the county's oldest and most respected law firms in less than two years (and less than six years' legal experience total).
I also am proud of having the strength to leave Morrison & Foerster (which was a major financial sacrifice) to focus on raising my now four-year-old twins and having a more well-rounded life.
Greatest professional challenge: Balancing the demands of work and community involvement with raising four-year-old twins and my kaleidoscope of personal interests.
Also, litigation is inherently stressful and, as a generalist, I'm constantly jumping around different areas of the law and different types of clients -- which keeps it fresh and fun, but is taxing.
Another major challenge is that litigation is expensive and many clients have limited budgets. Therefore, I often have to make complicated strategic decisions about what to do and what not to do and how, balancing the goal of providing the best possible representation with financial realities.
Best advice received: Keep calm and carry on. Take your work seriously, but not yourself. YOLO
Single most important event in your professional life in the last 12 months: Being promoted to partner was nice. It's not so much that it changes my day-to-day work life (it doesn't really), but it was a very meaningful recognition of the quality of my work, my relationships with clients, and how the firm sees me as an important part of the firm's future and the future of the legal community.
What steps is your company taking to sustain your organization and morale in the current economy?
Our firm has a deep ethos of being kind, compassionate, and supportive toward attorneys and staff. We recently for the first time had a full-day retreat with all attorneys and staff, guided by a professional coach, to reflect on these values, discuss how we want to see them operationalized better in the workplace, and receive feedback on how we in general could do better as a workplace.
Next professional goal: Since I'm relatively new to the North Bay, I just want to continue immerse myself into the community, build my network of clients and connections, and learn, learn, learn.
Also, my firm -- like many of the long-established firms in the North Bay -- is in the process of an interesting transition, where many attorneys who have been staples of the community for decades are reaching retirement age. This presents a lot of opportunity to reinvent what it means to be a Sonoma County law firm, build upon their legacy, and lead the next generation of Sonoma County lawyers and community members. This is both a scary and exciting process which, as a partner, I'll be able to actively direct.
Education: Bachelor of Arts degree, University of California, Berkeley. Graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. MSc, London School of Economics; J.D. University of Pennsylvania
Hometown: San Carlos, California
Community/nonprofit activities: Currently serving on the board of the Children's Museum of Sonoma County, including the Museum's oversight committee. Currently serving my third term on the board of Active 20-30 Santa Rosa #50. Previously served as board secretary. Member of Leadership Santa Rosa Class XXXV. Finishing my second (and last) year of the program, and actively planning days and events for the next class (Class XXXVI).
Mentor/admired businessperson: Ram Dass. Not a business person, but his life and message continues to inspire how I want to live my life (and work).
What is your most disliked industry buzzword?
Not so much a buzzword, but the (relatively common) idea that an “aggressive” attorney is the most effective attorney
Typical day at the office: There is no typical day. It is a constant whirlwind of different clients, matters, areas of law, community events, etc.
Best place to work outside of your office: Any time I have to meet clients off in beautiful, rural parts of the County!
Hobbies: Playing guitar. Rock climbing. Trail running. Creative writing. Reading non-fiction.
What you wanted to be when you grew up: Novelist, pilot, and professor
#1 thing you want to accomplish by the time you turn 40: Publish a supposed-to-be funny novel I've been playing with for a few years
First job: Barnes & Noble
Social media you most use; Facebook
Favorite book: Too many. My favorite that I've read in the past year or so probably are: (1) “Bad Blood” by John Carreyrou (about Theranos); (2) :”Inside Scientology” by Janet Reitman; and (3) “Blitzed: Drugs in the Third Reich” by Norman Ohler.
Favorite movie: “The Dawn Wall” (documentary)
Favorite App: Spotify (I love music)
Favorite after-work drink: Cider and margaritas
Last vacation: A quick getaway to Yosemite the first weekend of January 2020. Bushwhacked through brush and snow in shorts to the top of Liberty Cap, above Nevada Falls.
What does your mom or dad brag most about you?
I was far less wild than my siblings. Also, I'm very even-keeled.