BBA Alum becomes a well-rounded business attorney: January aMaizeing Alumni

Nicholas Goldsworthy graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) concentrating on Operations Management and Finance. As a student, he was a part of the Entrepreneurs Society, a SOM student organization. Outside of academics, he spent time at the UM-Flint Rec Center where he met his future wife! In 2021 Nick became a partner at Witt & Goldsworthy, PLLC, and has practiced law there since 2016.  As our featured alumni of the month, Nicholas gives advice on working in law, his path to becoming a lawyer, and his favorite memories about UM-Flint!

Q: Were you involved in any clubs or extracurriculars during your college experience? If so, what organizations/clubs?
A:  Entrepreneurs Society

Q: Where are you currently working and your title? How long have you been in this position or at this organization? 
A: I work as an attorney with Witt & Goldsworthy, PLLC. I’ve practiced law with this firm since 2016, and I became a partner in 2021.

Q: What is your job like day to day?
A: I’m usually working on a matter on behalf of my client, and the work varies depending on whether the matter involves a transaction or litigation. Transactional matters involve negotiating, drafting, and closing contracts supporting a sale, and what is sold ranges from real estate, goods, services, or businesses. In that context, my job involves supporting my client by advising them in the negotiation process, performing due diligence, preparing documents that minimize any legal exposure or risk of loss to my client, communicating with the other party’s attorney, and assisting the client with closing on the deal. For litigation matters, I spend a lot of time educating clients on the litigation process, preparing and filing motions and briefs in court, discovery, negotiating settlements with the opposing party, and attending court hearings. 

   When I’m not doing work for clients, I spend time working to generate new business for the firm and to improve how we deliver legal services. This requires networking with potential new sources of business and consulting with outside advisors.  

   I’m fortunate that I get to do most of these activities from the comfort of my home!

Q: Why did you choose to attend UM-Flint for your degree(s)?
A:  I chose UM-Flint because I had a great experience touring the campus, and UM-Flint was an affordable option for me and my family.

Q: Share your best college memory
A: My best college memory was meeting the woman I would later marry. We met at the UM-Flint Recreation Center!

Q: What is the most important thing you learned while you were at UM-Flint? 
A: The most important thing I learned at UM-Flint is to get involved. Get involved by asking questions, networking, and taking advantage of the resources you have available to you.

Q: How did your education at UM-Flint prepare you for what you are doing today?
A: Since I majored in operations management and finance, the education I received at UM-Flint has made me a well-rounded business attorney.

Q: Describe your career path.
A: I worked a lot of service jobs when I was younger. I worked various sales jobs, waited tables, and worked at a golf course in the summertime. When I started college at UM-Flint and joined the Entrepreneurs Society, I sought opportunities to work in positions where I had greater autonomy. One notable opportunity was working for a bioenergy startup company that was primarily grant funded by MDARD. While working in that position, I also clerked for a small law firm. Coincidentally, the principal investigator on the MDARD grant was also an attorney, and I introduced him to one of the attorneys at the firm I was clerking with at the time. The two attorneys eventually formed their own firm, and I ended up working for them before, during, and after I attended law school and passed the bar. Now I’m a partner at that firm.

Q: Why did you choose to go into the career path you are currently in?
A: The main reason I chose this career path is because I know I can help people and businesses in a meaningful way. Another reason is because practicing law is what I’ve always wanted to do, as I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at a young age.

Q: What advice would you give current students or recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in your professional field?
A: Get good at researching and writing more. Sound research and analysis are critical to success in law. If you can write well and know your way around the library and online research databases, then you can be a serious asset to any organization.
    Seek a mentor. Mentors can help you avoid common errors and connect you to other professionals. It may seem daunting but take the time to find someone working in an area of law that you’re interested in. Do some background research on that person, then contact them to learn more about what they do, why you’re interested in what they do, and if you can help them in any way. If you find that you “click” with your target mentor, ask if they would be willing to meet/call for 20-30 minutes on a monthly basis.

Q: Fun Facts! (Examples: sports fan, long-term goals, favorite vacation, future travel plans/ideas, or come up with your own!)
A: I’m looking forward to taking my 2-year-old daughter to the beach for the first time.

Q: What is something people may not know about you?
A: I love to cook, and I do my best to replicate authentic Italian cuisine.