Today we’re excited to welcome David Raynor, founder and principal at Accelerate Legal, Inc., a San Francisco law firm that provides legal services to startups, entrepreneurs and emerging companies.
Let’s get started!
1. What did you want to be when you were a kid?
I went from fireman to scientist to advertising executive to guerrilla leader. In college I decided I wanted to be an international lawyer.
2. What was your very first job?
Translating letters from orphans in Latin America to their charity sponsors in the US from Spanish into English.
3. What did you think you’d do when you started law school? How is what you do now the same/different?
I thought I would have really big companies as clients. At some point, I discovered I preferred helping small companies succeed, which is what I do now. But a lot is the same: I’m a deal lawyer, and I love advising business clients on their transactions.
4. In one or two sentences, what is your career about today?
I advise startups, entrepreneurs and emerging companies on investment, general business and M&A matters.
5. What’s a typical day like for you?
My main tasks are (i) advising clients by phone, email or in person on a variety of legal matters, and (ii) drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts.
6. What are you currently reading?
A Business Planning textbook. I am preparing to teach a law school class on startups and venture capital this fall for the first time.
7. What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self or a person starting their career?
Follow a career that allows you to pursue your passions. That’s different from following a career in something that you “like.” Lots of people “like” things such as sports, fashion, entertainment, or technology. But a passion is something more meaningful or that affects you in different ways. I discovered that I really enjoyed seeing businesses succeed and go on to hire people and deliver products and services that positively impact their communities. The feeling I get from helping them get there is what keeps me going when I’m drafting a contract at 2 am.
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David Raynor, founder and principal at Accelerate Legal, Inc., a San Francisco law firm that provides legal services to startups, entrepreneurs, and emerging companies. He advises companies in formation, venture capital and other investment transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and on their ongoing business legal needs as outside counsel.
Prior to founding Accelerate Legal, David was an associate in the Corporate & Securities practice at Baker & McKenzie LLP’s San Francisco and Palo Alto offices. His law degree is from the University of San Francisco School of Law, where he is an adjunct professor teaching a course on Startup Companies & Venture Capital Transactions.
David’s clients include a number of cloud infrastructure companies as well as providers of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and other cloud-based services. He advises his clients on the privacy and liability issues involved in such services. In addition, all of the computing and storage resources for Accelerate Legal are run using cloud services.
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