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Timing is Everything: A Conversation with Jared L. Shwartz

Jared L. Shwartz is an associate at Hinckley Allen’s Boston office. He advises businesses on a wide variety of matters, including governance, entity choice and formation, mergers and acquisitions, contract and financing negotiations, and related transactions. Jared provides strategic advice and guidance to clients on legal issues arising in day-to-day business operations. In addition to this work with the corporate group, he is a member of the firm’s healthcare industry group. In this capacity he counsels industry clients on transactional and regulatory matters and is a trusted advisor on these issues.

Here, he tells us about his path to Hinckley Allen, what concerns are top-of-mind for his clients right now, and why you should never write off your dream job.

HA: Tell us about your path to Hinckley Allen? 

JS: Hinckley Allen is a firm that appealed to me years before I finally joined. I had first learned about the firm when I was in law school, and it checked a lot of boxes for me. I just loved the idea of being able to work for a big firm in my home market while also gaining substantive legal experience and maintaining direct contact with clients. I had applied to be a summer associate, didn’t get the job, and instead chose to work at a regional firm in Connecticut. Having again applied unsuccessfully a few years later, I applied for my third time in February of 2017 and it all finally worked out for me. Some might say that I am a two-time Hinckley Allen “reject,” but I like to think that timing is everything.

HA: What has the firm done to retain you?

JS: I had always wanted the opportunity to work directly with a number of different clients. I love that my job lets me have my hands in so many industries. I’ve gained exposure to clients in the manufacturing, food processing, and petroleum testing industries, to name a few, and I get an amazing education in various regulatory requirements and the inner-workings of these businesses. It’s all so interesting to me.

The projects at Hinckley Allen are particularly fascinating because they are all incredibly varied. Sometimes I’m working with national companies on very complicated matters and sometimes I’m working with closely-held family businesses on issues that are extremely straightforward. Moreover, in terms of career development, Hinckley Allen has all the resources to support its associates: whether that’s supporting our business development efforts or making sure we have the right training and mentorship, the firm is really invested in our professional success. I also appreciate that our firm is collaborative—it does not matter where an attorney “sits,” we operate as a single firm and my colleagues are always willing to assist, no questions asked.

HA: What does your work consist of?

JS: I am thankful I can play in two worlds: Part of the time I’m engaged in healthcare work, supporting the health care group and the senior living team (I actually have a professional background in elder care administration).  The other world is business law. I do a lot of mergers and acquisitions for small- and medium-sized businesses and in many ways act as an advisor to companies that can’t afford full-time, in-house counsel. I advise my clients on acquisitions and sales, staff issues, contracts related to business operations, succession plans, and joint ventures they’re entering into with other businesses.

I tend to work with smaller teams at Hinckley Allen (often just one other person), and I truly enjoy that. I think you just get so much more hands-on experience with your clients that way, and it allows you to grow exponentially as a lawyer. I believe that clients appreciate working consistently with the same attorney, and it’s a great way to build mutual trust. I find that when you’re dealing with folks one-on-one, they’re more willing to impart their knowledge and also take your advice.

HA: How has your work changed in the last year?

JS: We’ve seen substantially more exits by owners of long-held family businesses. When you think about the last 20 years—9/11, the housing crisis, COVID—there have been so many major events that have really shaken certain industries in a short period of time. People don’t want to wait for the next catastrophe to happen, and in many cases they’re just worn out. It’s interesting because you’d think that in this current time of economic downturn one would see less deal activity in general, but my sense is that many business owners are telling themselves, “I can only go through this so many times.” They’re finding willing buyers and good opportunities to move on to the next venture. They really only have one shot to get out of their businesses in a successful, profitable way, so we take what we do very seriously.

HA: And how have you been impacted by working remotely?

JS: Many of the people I work with aren’t located in Boston, so remote work has not felt that much different for me than when I’m in the office. Hinckley Allen has been extremely supportive as we navigate this new normal, too. I have two young children and if something comes up with them in the middle of the day, no one at work gives it a second thought. It’s an environment that is very trust-based, and I think that brings out the best work in people. I’ve seen Hinckley Allen embrace the idea that, as long as you get the work done and prioritize client service, it doesn’t matter so much where you might be doing your work from.