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Image of Erin Reeves McGinnis featured as a woman of NM

March 22, 2022

Introducing Women of NM: Transactions

Featuring: Erin Reeves McGinnis

Atlanta partner Erin Reeves McGinnis is a co-chair of the firm’s Securities Practice. She focuses her practice on securities transactions, including public and private offerings of securities, 1933 Act filings, 1934 Act reporting, corporate governance, SEC compliance, FINRA compliance, and general corporate matters, with a specific emphasis on real estate investment trusts (REITs). She also has significant experience with “Blue Sky" regulatory matters, as well as working with boards of directors and committees thereof, including agenda-setting. Additionally, she counsels clients seeking to create and raise capital through Qualified Opportunity Funds per the recently enacted Opportunity Zone program. Her background includes serving in house with an investment and asset management company, where she handled securities-related and general corporate matters for various alternative investment products, as well as managing meetings of boards of directors and various committees.

Why Securities? 

I find Securities to be a very dynamic practice area.  The regulatory aspect is ever-changing, and I enjoy working with our clients to fit their complex structures and business objectives into the existing legal and regulatory frameworks, which often results in crafting novel approaches.  I also really enjoy partnering with clients and helping them grow, adapt to the business environment, and accomplish strategic objectives through the use of securities transactions.  There always seems to be something new to learn or consider, which keeps things exciting. 

What are some of the traits that you admire the most amongst your peers? 

I work alongside some incredibly smart people, both within Nelson Mullins and outside of it on the other side of deals.  I particularly enjoy the interactions that challenge my way of thinking about an issue or spur me to find a different solution, so I admire the diversity of thought and experience that my peers bring to the table.

What is one piece of advice would you give to individuals who want to get into this industry? 

 Absolutely have a willingness to learn; I think that’s key to being a successful securities lawyer.  Not only are you dealing with heavy regulation on the capital-raising and financial reporting aspects, but it’s important to have working knowledge about the other areas that play in to securities transactions, such as tax and employee benefits.  Also, when you’re counseling a client through a securities offering or drafting disclosures, you have to be able to get up to speed on their business and prospects to be able to draft materials in a meaningful way, so you have to be ready to learn and understand their history, objectives, and challenges.

Who is your biggest inspiration? 

 This is where I show how much of a securities nerd I truly am, but, I get a lot of inspiration from other corporate and securities lawyers who came before me.  When I get to read for pleasure, I often look for books that were written about deals and company transformations.  I’ll find myself focusing on the role of the lawyers in those books, guiding clients and management and board members through high-stakes decisions.  Reading about how others navigate those kinds of situations inspires me.

What’s one piece of advice that greatly impacted you and your career trajectory? 

Be willing to fail; you’ll never know what you’re actually capable of if you only seek out situations where you’re sure you’ll succeed.  The person who told me that was somebody who, on the outside, did not seem like they’d had many failures, but it turned out that their experiences with failure were quite relatable.  This advice led me to take steps in my career that I might have never taken otherwise, and I can draw a pretty straight line from those steps to where my career has ended up.

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