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January 27, 2020

My Path to Partnership: Craig Nazzaro

To kick off the new year, Nelson Mullins is featuring newly elected partners in a Q&A throughout the month of January. Join us in celebrating the firm’s newest partners by getting to know them.

Craig Nazzaro serves clients in the banking and financial services, real estate, and technology industries. Formerly of counsel, he joined the firm in 2017.

1. What has been the biggest hurdle you have overcome in your career?

The Financial Crisis of 2008. At the time my practice was heavily focused on representing bank and non-bank mortgage lenders, and about 90% of my clients did not remain solvent past 2010. Staying focused, positive, and driven to find opportunities that allowed me to utilize my skill set while still growing was tough, but I managed to do it. It taught me to just keep moving forward and to make time to find your next opportunities. 

2. Describe how you feel now about your career now that you’ve made partner.

I had a nontraditional path to partnership: Over the past 17 years, I have worked at small local firms, then moved in-house with a large bank in New York, then back to private practice with Nelson Mullins in Atlanta. I would say this has validated the employment choices I have made through the years, and it's also nice to see the progress formally documented.   

3. What are your key components to being successful in your career?

Finding work that is interesting to me as well as finding teammates that I enjoy working with and whom I can learn from on a daily basis. I have found all of these components here at Nelson Mullins, which to me will ensure a successful career.  

4. Who had the greatest influence in your career that helped drive you to partnership?

My father. He worked in banking and financial services for his entire career, and he is clearly the reason my practice has the focus it does today. While he was on the operations side of financial services, he always shared his insight and perspective gained over the years that I continue to use on the legal side to this day. It has provided me an understanding of the industry that is beyond my years. We also have the same name, so I run into his former colleagues through email from time to time who think they worked with me in the 80s.   

5. What’s the best piece of advice you could give an associate who wants to make partner?

Find work that is interesting to you and don’t just look at the projects as tasks in a silo. Take the time to learn your client's entire business — not just the pieces you work on — it’s the only way to continually add value for your client, and it’s the best way to ensure they are always expanding the relationship and relying on you as an essential part of their team.