Wright, Constable & Skeen LLP
James Constable comes from a long family line of lawyers, judges and elected representatives. The partner with Wright, Constable & Skeen is the fifth generation of Constable to practice law, and there are more on the way, he said.
Constable fondly remembers the advice his father gave him, which he now passes along to the next generation: “Do not practice law for money. It is all about the client, satisfying the client with advice that best meets the client’s needs is your reward. You will never starve.”
Constable’s business law practice has included working as local counsel for Fortune 500 companies and guiding the growth of small to midsize companies on issues like taxes, contracts, mergers and acquisitions, human resources, real estate and regulatory matters.
“My clients have not been interested in jumping from one attorney to another when the subject matter changes,” he said. “Rather, they look to me as a quarterback. I need to know the client’s decision-making processes, priorities and tolerance for risk. I try to be prompt and accessible at all times and get the client to the goal line as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.”
Constable also works with nonprofit clients on education and environmental matters, with a special interest in land and historic preservation. He has had leadership posts with a number of nonprofits, including as a trustee with the Maryland Historical Society, Preservation Maryland and The Preservation Society, and as the founder and chair of the Manor Conservancy.
He urges young lawyers not to specialize too early in their careers but to gain experience in many disciplines. He also encourages young professionals to get involved in civic activities and move into leadership positions to become well-rounded and respected.
Effective leaders, Constable said, understand human nature, develop people skills and are good listeners. “They must be civil and practical, capable of identifying talent in others and helping it blossom. Do not rob the spotlight; instead recognize the team. Most important, focus on the goal line.”