By Carla Short
2017-07-072017-07-07https://wvuieleaders.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/[email protected]WVU IE200px200px
Jeff Robinson always had in the back of his mind that he wanted to be a lawyer. He decided to pursue an engineering degree in case law school didn’t work out. As he progressed through his courses in Industrial Engineering, Jeff began to have second thoughts about law school.
Jeff decided that he would go to work as an IE rather than apply to law school. As an engineer, he was heavily involved in helping IBM’s clients outsource some of their support functions. “At the time, IBM was doing large outsourcing deals that required complex negotiations at many levels,” Jeff comments. “As a project manager, I worked closely with our attorneys essentially engaged in mergers and acquisitions (M&A) work, which caused me to reconsider the decision to pass on law school. After a year at IBM, I applied and was accepted at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.”
“I couldn’t have had a better undergraduate degree for law school than IE,” Jeff says. “One of my professors said: ‘We can teach you the writing skills needed to be a lawyer, but it’s really hard to teach the analytical skills.’” Jeff felt that his IE education gave him an excellent background in analytical thinking. “The work ethic you need to have to get through the WVU IE program also prepared me well for law school,” Jeff says.
When Jeff graduated from law school, he joined a large international law firm with offices in Pittsburgh. Jeff did a lot of work in mergers and acquisitions and investment financing. He was often the lead attorney on smaller deals and supported the lead attorney on larger deals. “I got a tremendous amount of experience very early.”
Jeff was on the partnership track with the law firm, but the hours were very demanding. He was sought out by a head hunter and decided to move to Danaher, a multi-national corporation that acquires companies that have recognizable brand names and fit within its strategic divisions. As Danaher is a corporation that has built its reputation around operational efficiencies, it loved his combination of an IE degree and law degree. While at Danaher, Jeff continued to be involved in M&A work but got involved in tax law as well.
Again Jeff was sought out by a head hunter. He decided to return to Pittsburgh to work for the Hillman Company (http://hillmancompany.com). The Hillman Company provides investment advisory and family office services to the Hillman family. The Hillman family supports a number of philanthropic activities in the communities where the Hillman family lives. Jeff is a Vice President and Associate General Counsel for the Hillman Company. He has an active role in most of the investments made by the Hillman Company’s advisory clients as well as providing general corporate legal advice for the company.
As Jeff reflects on his career, he comments: “IE gave me a diverse set of skills. As an IE, you can adapt quickly and understand different types of businesses. This has been invaluable to me in my legal career.”
The Hillman Company – Pittsburgh, PA
Associate General Counsel, April 2015 to December 2016; Vice President and Associate General Counsel, January 2017 – Present
Danaher Corporation – Mayfield Heights, OH
Corporate Counsel, September 2009 to April 2013; Director and Tax Counsel, April 2013 – March 2015
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP – Pittsburgh, PA
Summer Associate, May 2002 – August 2002; Associate – Business and Finance Group, September 2003 – August 2009
IBM Global Services – Research Triangle Park, NC
Help Desk Transition Manager, June 1999 – August 2000
New York University School of Law – New York, New York
Master of Laws (LL.M) in Taxation, February 2017 (Grade Average: 3.7/4.0)
University of Pittsburgh School of Law – Pittsburgh, PA
J.D., summa cum laude, May 2003 (Grade Average: 3.85/4.0; Class Rank: 3)
Awards: Order of the Coif; Robert Maxwell Debroff Prize for excellence in corporate law; Gerald K. Gibson Memorial Award for excellence in bankruptcy law; Pittsburgh Tax Club Prize; Benjamin H. Teplitz Memorial Award for highest grade point average for third-year work; David H. Bookstaver Award for excellence in property transfers; Semester Honors (3 years); Dean’s Scholarship (3 years); CALI Excellence Awards in Contracts, Legal Process, Bankruptcy, Secured Transactions and Tax.
Activities: Executive Editor, University of Pittsburgh Law Review; American Inns of Court; Business Law Society; Intellectual Property and Technology Society; Teaching Assistant – Legal Research and Writing; Golden Gavel Olympics.
West Virginia University – Morgantown, WV
B.S., Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, summa cum laude, May 1999
(GPA: 3.96/4.0; IMSE Class Rank: 1)
Awards: Presidential Scholarship; Professional Engineers Certificate; Ralph M. Barnes Senior Scholastic Achievement Award; Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarship; Dean’s list (4 years).
Activities: Alpha Pi Mu; Tau Beta Pi, Golden Key National Honor Society; Member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers; WVU Crew Team.
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