We have been working with Riggs Brown for a few months now, and have been blown away by his work ethic and insights. If you’ve had the chance to meet Riggs, you know what we’re talking about. If not, we wanted to give you the opportunity to get to know more about this dynamic team member.
What brought you to Traversant Group?
I met Jenn Woods last summer when I was doing work as a student researcher with Arizona State University (ASU) and the Institute of Digital Progress’ (IDP) smart city project. It was the most ideal scenario, since the entire project was built around business innovation that’s funneled through the government. The stakeholders were ASU, Google and the City of Tempe, and they shared the venture and the intellectual property (IP).
The project touched on so many areas about which I’m passionate, including job creation, new data privacy laws and employment law, generating business in Arizona, new business law and licensing. It merged all the fields I enjoy, and allowed me to see a different perspective of everything. Jenn and I kept in touch after this, and I was thrilled to be offered the chance to work on her team when I was looking for an internship this spring.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities, and what part of your position do you enjoy most?
Well, my number one goal with Traversant Group is to add value. Yes, I’m an intern, but that doesn't mean I’ll just shadow the team and put in my 10 hours minimum. I’m so inspired by Jenn, Shannon and Summer, and they set the example of going above and beyond at every stage. I want to be part of all they’re doing and be truly useful to them and our clients.
To that end, my greatest contribution currently is deep research. Rather than keeping up with the news of the day and going to every meeting, I take those hours and invest them into research. Right now, I’m working on digging into the emergency rental assistance program. During a typical day, I’ll research, read, make calls and compile the information so it can be used by our team and our clients. I love it.
How did you land on this career path?
My grandfather was a lawyer and my aunt is a lawyer, so they wanted another one in the family, but I hadn’t seriously considered it growing up. But when I was in my senior year at ASU, majoring in marketing and minoring in film media studies, and thinking about what my next job would be, I was asked to consider law school. I remember thinking it might be interesting but unsure whether it’d make sense for me. So, I met with my mentor over coffee and mentioned the idea, but also shared I wasn’t sure it meshed with business school.
He asked me what I ultimately wanted to do, and I gave that some serious thought. I ended up explaining that I wanted to make strategic decisions and help people, not just be another cog in a machine. So, my mentor helped me see that the knowledge I would acquire in law school would help me make those decisions later and be that valuable asset I wanted to be. And here I am! I’m still deciding on which areas of focus I’ll ultimately zero in on, but so far my favorites have been business law, employment law and IP law.
What do you like most about the political process and working with the government?
I love that we’re all about building great things, rather than tearing them down. When I was getting my undergrad degree, and in law school, you kind of only see one component of business and government relationships. Even in my other internships, you usually just see the lawsuit at the end when something has gone wrong. But I’ve been able to be on the front-end with Traversant Group and be proactive instead.
It’s exciting to see how the laws get made, the risk assessment done at the beginning, what businesses are worried about before a law is enacted, how clients work together, their interplay with certain agencies and how contract negotiations are worked out. It’s all there to prevent a lawsuit from happening, which is why I say we’re building something up, rather than tearing it down. I’ve always believed if you build something right the first time, you won’t have to tear it down later. So that’s been really rewarding and makes this role a great fit for me.
What’s the most valuable lesson you live by in your work and life?
The quote I live by is actually really simple: “Keep it in scope.” I’m a huge idea person and have a tendency to want to do it all. So I get excited and can get a little carried away. Remembering this adage reminds me to stay focused and balance out my enthusiasm with a realistic perspective. Our Traversant Group team members are all great about being grounded in reality, while still remaining aspirational, so they’ve helped me understand the scope of our projects and how to strike this important balance for myself.
What do you like to do for fun?
I’m a big movie person! You can believe I’ll be the first in line when theaters reopen. I also love breweries. It was fun to take advantage of takeaway options during quarantine, and find new breweries to enjoy. I plan events for the law school and have fun engaging students, too. We had a movie night a few weeks back, during which we watched the movie “Holes” and had one of our professors discuss treasure law with us. It was really interesting. Another time, I planned a pizza night in which one of our deans, who is a sommelier, actually taught us how to taste wine and pair it with our pizza. It’s fun to get creative, and the past year has really forced me to do that when it comes to these social gatherings.
Have you read any good books or listened to any good podcasts recently?
I haven’t had much time to read, outside of school books and my research, but I do love it when I have the time. There is a podcast I enjoy a lot, though. It’s called “My Brother, My Brother and Me” and is hosted by three brothers who give advice, but it’s done in a farcical way. It’s pretty ridiculous, but so fun. It reminds me of me and my two brothers, and how we interact with each other.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
I would love to adopt a dog after law school. I’m a major dog lover so that’s my next big goal as soon as I can commit the time.