Tuesday, Apr 30, 2019

9 Questions for Nan Walsh: A Q&A with Our Managing Shareholder

Earlier this year, Nan Walsh was interviewed by Virginia Lawyers Weekly magazine for their 2019 Influential Women of the Law publication. Read the Q&A below to learn more about our managing shareholder, Nan Walsh.

One of the go-to land use lawyers in Arlington County, Nan has successfully forged compromises to balance the needs of the community and her clients to get approvals for developments ranging from high-rises to schools to small businesses. 

I lived over two years in Amsterdam during first and second grades and then grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. Growing up in Princeton, which is considered the ultimate “urban village,” has definitely affected my view of the quality of developments proposed by my clients. That is, the bar is high.

My first job was shucking scallops in Menemsha, a small fishing community on Martha’s Vineyard. The incredible work ethic of those who worked beside me in order to financially support their families was both humbling and inspirational to me.

My best friend’s father was a professor at Princeton University who headed the math department and he had a huge influence on me while I was growing up. He influenced my view of the world through the eyes of a scientist, which ultimately resulted in my majoring in math in college.

Work hard, work harder than anyone else. Set the bar high. Be prepared, be over prepared. Be a team player. Keep your head down and represent your clients to the best of your ability, and everything else will fall into place. Finally, if you make a mistake, let the client know immediately and have a plan to fix it.

My area of practice is land use and zoning. No two cases are ever the same. The diversity is so interesting and fun. My representation ranges from small day care operators, to churches, to hospitals and also includes mixed use two million square foot developments. Land use also draws on a number of skills, including advocacy, oral argument, lobbying, and detailed research and writing. Finally, it is not an office practice and involves many meetings and public hearings, which makes my job always stimulating and interesting.

I think it is very important to make sure that you do not only work. I have two primary hobbies. One is to always be involved in sports, since I love to work out — run, hike, practice yoga, and swim. I work out every day and I never miss. My second hobby is that I love to cook and I do a lot of it.

I built myself a 44-ft long salt water pool and I swim in it every day, weather permitting. 

Our house in Florida.

I am very outgoing so it would surprise many people to know that I am a homebody. Also, I love to gamble — but that may not be a surprise given my specialty area in law!


Source: Fletcher, Paul. “Nan Walsh.” Virginia Lawyers Weekly: Influential Women of the Law, 18 Feb. 2019, p. 30B.