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Chelsey Buck
Chelsey Buck worked in public accounting for two years before pursuing her other long-held interest, the law.

Breaking the Ice: Accounting experience adds to M&A practice

Name: Chelsey Buck

Title: Associate, Lathrop GPM

Education: B.Acc., B.B.A., finance, University of North Dakota; J.D., Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Chelsey Buck, a third-year associate at Lathrop GPM, says experience crunching numbers and creating spreadsheets as a certified public accountant is benefiting her mergers-and-acquisitions practice and legal career.

Buck worked in public accounting for two years before pursuing her other long-held interest, the law.

“The biggest way that my accounting experience benefits my practice today is being able read and understand financial statements and reports and also just understanding general accounting and tax concepts and principles,” Buck said. “That’s been a big value add to my practice.”

Having worked in client service and being familiar with billable hours, Buck said, also help her hit the ground running at Lathrop GPM, she also works with startups and does general corporate work.

“I hope to continue getting experience and building my skills in M&A work,” Buck said. “That’s what I’ve found most rewarding. It’s a really complex, fast-paced and exciting practice.”

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

A: Tell me where you’ve traveled and which destination was your favorite. I really enjoy traveling and like to get my inspiration for future travels from other people’s positive experiences.

Q: Why did you study law and pursue it as a career?

A: From as early as can remember I’ve been interested in law. In high school and in undergrad I took business law classes. I was interested in accounting as well so that’s the path that I took in undergrad and worked as CPA in public accounting. I enjoyed that work. I loved the client service aspect. But I just couldn’t shake the feeling of still wanting to become a lawyer. I ultimately decided to go to law school but had the intent of becoming a business lawyer to leverage my experience working as a CPA.

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

A: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “My Own Words.”

Q: What’s a pet peeve of yours?

A: The lack of attention to detail.

Q: What do you like best about your work?

A: Being able to work on a team and work closely with the client and get to know the client really well and get that M&A transaction across the finish line for them.

Q: What do you least like about it?

A: Probably time recording.

Q: What do you like to do away from work?

A: I grew up in Fergus Falls, which is surrounded by a ton of lakes. I grew up on the lake and love spending time with friends and family on the lake.

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

A: I would probably take them to my family’s lake cabin. We’d probably spend the day on the pontoon and then go to Zorbaz on Otter Tail Lake. Since March of 2020 I’ve been living at my family’s lake cabin outside of Fergus Falls. I’m spending a lot of time here so that’s probably where I would bring someone.

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

A: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in particular because of her passing but also all the things she did for women in law, making it possible for us to be successful professionally and personally. I’ve had several amazing formal and informal mentors at Lathrop GPM — in particular, Dave Bahls, Mark Williamson, Alyssa Hirschfeld, Chris Carlisle and Dan Tenenbaum. They’re fantastic attorneys, mentors and people and have taught me so much.

Q: What’s a misconception people have about your work as an attorney?

A: A lot of people think that I see the inside of a courtroom, which I don’t at all. My goal is to help our clients avoid that.

Q: What’s a favorite book, movie or TV show about lawyers or the legal profession?

A: “Suits.” It makes the profession look super glamorous but it’s also not realistic at all, particularly my practice, where I don’t ever see the inside of a courtroom.

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