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As co-chair of Fox Rothschild’s pro-bono committee, Archana Nath oversees pro bono cases in the Midwest and on the West Coast. (File photo)

Breaking the Ice: Complexity, changes keep health care practice fresh

Name: Archana Nath

Title: Partner, Fox Rothschild

Education: B.A., philosophy, Colgate University; J.D., University of Minnesota Law School

Archana Nath, partner in Fox Rothschild’s Minneapolis office, likes the complexity of health care regulations as part of her in her national business litigation practice.

Nath began working in matters involving health care regulations early in her career with encouragement from David Potter, her mentor and a former partner at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, which joined Fox Rothschild in 2016.

“It’s not an area where somebody who’s been practicing for 30 years is in a better position necessarily because everything is always new,” Nath said. “There are always new things to learn every day.”

As co-chair of the firm’s pro-bono committee, Nath oversees pro bono cases in the Midwest and on the West Coast. Her community and pro bono activities include volunteering with the Children’s Law Center and Tubman, which provides pro bono legal representation to domestic violence victims seeking protection orders.

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

A: I’m pretty outgoing so coming up and starting to chat is the easiest way. I seem to have this inviting face so people will come up and chat with me, which I like. I like to get past, “How’s the weather?” and talk more to get to know them.

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

A: I was one of those kids that wanted to help people. In college I was an RA. I ran the crisis center for a time. I did Teach for America after college in D.C. That cemented my desire to help people. During law school I worked for the public defender in Hennepin my first summer and had a Legal Aid fellowship my second. So I was really focused on the change-the-world aspect of things.

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

A: I’ve been on the “career mom” kick reading about strong women and their careers for inspiration. I have the Michelle Obama book, “Becoming,” and “Lean In,” is on my list too.

Q: What is a pet peeve of yours?

A: Dishonesty, especially in my field, is something that I find difficult.

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

A: I love the complexity and the problem solving of litigation, on top of helping people.

Q: Least favorite?

A: There can be a lot of unnecessary fighting. Minnesota has a pretty good professional legal community, but some people just seem to want to be difficult. That doesn’t help move the case along and doesn’t help their client.

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

A: Hanging out with my 2-year-old. She’s, of course, amazing. In my non-mom life, tennis has always been my favorite activity.

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

A: I’m from a small town in Westchester, New York, just north of New York City, off the Hudson River. I would take them to every deli and pizza place that I loved growing up.

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

A: I clerked for Justice Paul Anderson at the Minnesota Supreme Court before I started at my firm. I never met anybody as committed to his job as Justice Anderson.

And David Potter. He retired a few years ago but also was passionate about his work. He had high expectations but helped you reach them.

Q: What is your favorite depiction of the legal professional in popular culture?

A: Pre law school I loved “Law & Order.” Now that I’m a lawyer haven’t found any fictional depiction to be accurate. When I was on maternity leave I watched the entire series of “The Good Wife.” It was entertaining because it’s so off-the-wall, nothing like real practice.

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