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Attorney Ryan Miske says having gone to business school helps him “speak the language of business and relate better with corporate clients." (File photo: Bill Klotz)

Breaking the Ice: Business, law degrees boost M&A practice

Name: Ryan Miske

Title: Partner, Faegre Baker Daniels

Education: B.A., political science; Carleton College; MBA, University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Ryan Miske, partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, likes his role in the sale or acquisition of a company and leading the team that accomplishes such a milestone.

“It’s pretty process-oriented and you get to be a leader, a quarterback, for a transaction,” Miske said of his mergers and acquisitions work.

Miske brings a joint degree — MBA and law — along with management experience from working at an industry supply company in Chicago to his practice.

Having gone to business school “helps you speak the language of business and relate better with corporate clients,” Miske said. It also helps him integrate better with accountants, investment bankers and other advisers.

Transactions may close in 45 to 60 days, six months or more or years with some entrepreneurs, Miske said.

“It’s thrilling and exhilarating to get there on closing day and call it closed,” Miske said.

Q. What’s the best way to start a conversation with you?

A. Mention current events, Boy Scouts, which I’m still very active in, or obscure facts. I’m an Eagle Scout. I was a national officer for a segment of the Boy Scouts when I was college age. I’ve served on one of their national committees and currently serve on the executive board for the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Q. What prompted you to study law and pursue it professionally?

A. I had mentors in the Boy Scouts who were lawyers and whom I looked up to.

Q. What books are on your bedside table or e-reader?

A. I’m reading “12 Rules for Life” by Jordan Peterson and “The Power of Purpose” by Richard Leider.

Q. What is a pet peeve of yours?

A. Pop-up ads. Online pop-up ads.

Q. What are your favorite aspects of being an attorney?

A, I enjoy the opportunity to help business owners reach those significant milestones by helping them acquire, build or sell their business and bringing together the internal team and leading the team to do that.

Q. Least favorite?

A. It doesn’t happen very often, but sometimes working with opposing counsel that is overreaching, that drags out negotiations or that is slow to compromise when in the end it would be more beneficial to our respective clients to strike a fair and reasonable deal.

Q. What’s a favorite activity outside your job?

A. My favorite is probably going on road trips. It’s a great way to explore and see a lot of Minnesota or the country.

Q. If someone visits you in your hometown, what would you take them to see or do?

A. I spent the first 18 years of my life in Rockford, which is a relatively small town about 45 minutes west of Minneapolis. A lot has changed, but I would take them to see a hometown softball game on a nice summer evening.

Q. Is there an attorney or judge, past or present, whom you admire most?

A. Andrew Humphrey, the former managing partner of our firm. Chris Hofstad, the current chair of our corporate group, and Bruce Engler, the long-standing chair of our M&A group. Each has had a significant influence on my development as a lawyer. One of the most important things that they taught me is how important it is to package or frame our advice or deliverables in a way that is helpful to a client.

Q. What’s a misconception people have about working as an attorney or judge?

A. The misconception that I have found in the practice of law is that you’re actually ready to practice when you graduate from law school. Instead it’s really more of an apprenticeship and takes several years to learn the trade so it’s important to have good mentors and supervisors.

Q. What if any is your favorite depiction of the law, the legal professional in popular culture?

A. “Suits.” It’s not really an accurate depiction but there are a few elements that do resonate and make it fun to watch. It’s more focused on a corporate law firm.

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