Foley & Lardner LLP Partner Christopher McKenna is profiled in the Law.com article, “How I Made Office Managing Partner: ‘Success Comes From Being Willing to Do What Others Are Not,’ Says Christopher J. McKenna of Foley & Lardner LLP.” In the Q&A, McKenna discusses his background and rise to leadership, as well as offers advice for younger attorneys.
McKenna, an intellectual property attorney, was appointed Foley’s Boston Office Managing Partner in November 2021. He is also co-chair of the firm’s Electronics Practice Group and chair of Cloud Computing Infrastructure and Solutions within the firm’s Innovative Technology sector. McKenna describes his unique path to leadership from humble beginnings and including a significant previous career in the technology industry, which included a role as chief operating officer of a technology company he co-founded. He said, “This experience gives me a unique perspective that many lawyers do not have. I like to say I have my MBA from the school of hard knocks where I learned business in the trenches.”
He discusses his many responsibilities as an office managing partner and says that they all “ladder up to making sure our attorneys and business professionals are happy while driving the office and the firm forward on its strategy and initiatives. I want our people to have rewarding and productive careers.”
McKenna also comments on how he is focused on client service, saying that, “we want to transform ourselves from trusted legal advisers to trusted business advisers and see our clients’ challenges through their eyes to be more situationally fluent and provide even better solutions.”
On the impact he would like to have on the firm, McKenna says he wants to leave Foley and the Boston office in a better place than when he started, emphasizing his commitment to professional development and mentorship.
“Foley’s people are our greatest asset,” he says. “My job now is to groom the next generation of business professionals and attorneys to continue to grow the office and the firm.” He continues, “The best thing I can do is continue to provide others with thoughtful insights and wisdom that I have gained from my own personal and professional experiences so they can each optimize their own paths forward.”