If you ask Tim Nettesheim, he’ll say his career has been defined by his willingness to change and learn new things.
After leaving law school, a series of unexpected turns and career changes — including a shift from tax to corporate law — followed before Nettesheim ended up at Husch Blackwell, where he is now a partner.
It seems, however, the secret to success for the 60-year-old Brookfield native, who is a member of the firm’s Financial Services and Capital Markets team, is not just in how he responds to change, but also how he anticipates it.
“Every time you have change, you have opportunity,” he said.
Nettesheim is the only Husch Blackwell lawyer to have been formally trained in negotiations at the Harvard Negotiations Institute, ENS, Northwestern and the Camp Negotiation Institute. Those experiences helped him introduce a negotiations training program which, he says, has now been presented to thousands of clients.
And that’s not the last innovation he wants to bring about. Another proposal, this one on the cusp of adoption, would apply a multidisciplinary approach to legal practice.
The goal here, Nettesheim said, is to make a firm more efficient and expand the services it provides rather than reducing internal costs.
“That’s the future that I saw and that’s what’s happening now in the marketplace,” he said.
And although he has yet to wrap up this latest project, he is already thinking about his next: artificial intelligence.
“I think it’s going to change the face of the industry in the coming years,” he said, noting that he is building a library and reviewing programs to become an expert in the field. “I take the desire to learn more as an everyday challenge in the effort to be great.”
His colleagues have emphasized the contribution he has made to the office’s commercial success and the firm’s position as a go-to regional resource for help with corporate transactions. They’ve also acknowledged his external commitments to the economic development of Milwaukee and Waukesha counties, aiming to rejuvenate manufacturing by connecting the area’s academic resources with business owners; and to his support of community endeavors such as the Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer and the Succinic Semialdehyde Dehydrogenase Deficiency Association.
Nettesheim said his desire to be great reflects the high expectations his mentors set for themselves and for him. But how does he feel when he reflects on the work he’s done?
“It makes me feel like I can do more,” he said.