Page 42

University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer/Fall 2016

The Last Word After a rewarding 25-year career as a criminal defense lawyer, Mike Sidley, ’88, tried his last case a few months ago. His new venture: focusing on his family’s commercial real estate holdings. The work requires transactional legal skills he generally didn’t use as a litigator, but he’s eagerly embracing the challenge. Grateful for the solid education he received at McGeorge, Sidley, who was president of the Moot Court program as a student, recently made a generous gift that will help fund additional teams. What do you find most satisfying about practicing law? As a criminal defense lawyer, your work has lifechanging consequences for your clients. Although I never won a $10 million verdict or a huge criminal case, simply knowing that my clients were far better off with me than without me is hugely gratifying. I migrated toward real estate once my father, who is also a lawyer, started to get older. One of the benefits of legal training, which I now see firsthand with real estate investing, is that it will serve you in anything you decide to do. The critical thinking and problemsolving skills you acquire are invaluable, regardless of your profession. Tell us about your past flirtations with political office. I’m a big proponent of public service. Before law school, I worked for the Mondale campaign. After I graduated, I ran for state senate. I didn’t win, but the experience opened significant doors for me. One of the frustrating things about being a candidate is that you begin to believe you’re the only one who can solve problems, and you wonder why the rest of the electorate doesn’t see it that way. I occasionally do think about becoming a candidate again, much to my wife’s dismay. Why is it important to you to give back to McGeorge? Thanks to McGeorge, I passed the bar! In all seriousness, the school gave me the opportunity to enjoy a fulfilling professional and personal life. To the extent that my gift helps students gain important practical skills and encourages other alumni to donate, it’s money well spent. From Litigator to Dealmaker Mike Sidley, ’88, extols the versatility of a law degree and the importance of giving back “To the extent that my gift helps students gain important practical skills and encourages other alumni to donate, it’s money well spent.” 40 summer / fal l 20 1 6


University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law - Summer/Fall 2016
To see the actual publication please follow the link above