Chris Machera says that working as a busboy, waiter and bartender in restaurants in his teens and early 20s was both a formative experience for him and excellent preparation for a career at a large law firm.
“Working in the restaurant industry is as good a training as you’ll get for this job,” said Machera, the co-head of U.S. private equity at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in New York, on this week’s Drinks With The Deal podcast. “It’s the focus on client service, dealing with stressful situations, multitasking, working late.”
Machera decided to go to law school after a stint as a paralegal at another large New York firm where, he said, “I really loved the camaraderie, which is what I love about the job today.”
After starting at Weil as a private equity associate in 2005, Machera went in-house as a private equity lawyer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) in 2011 but returned to Weil in 2016. He ended up doing work for people he met while he was at Goldman.
“My clients, by and large, are my friends,” Machera said. “They’re people whom I would want to hang out with. If I have a client dinner, I’m excited to go to dinner to catch up with the people because they’re my friends.”
Check out the podcast with Chris Machera below: