LAW.COM Features Bao Vu on His Path to Partnership and Career After Becoming Partner

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Consumer products and Prop 65 attorney Bao Vu was featured in a LAW.COM Q&A article titled “How I Made Partner: ‘Make Sure You Are Working for People That Value You as a Person and Are Invested in Your Professional Success,’ Says Bao Vu of Stoel Rives,” published June 2, 2021 (Subscription may be required). Vu discussed what he thinks was the deciding point in the firm making him a partner, what the biggest surprise has been to him in becoming a partner, what advice he would give an associate who wants to make partner, and what advice his current self would give to his younger self.

Vu, who has been at Stoel Rives for about eight years except for a year spent at another law firm starting in 2018, credits his success in growing the firm’s Prop 65 and broader consumer product practices as playing a large part in his being made partner. Taking over leadership of those practices from his mentor, Melissa Jones, when she was made firm managing partner afforded Vu the opportunity to become the day-to-day client contact for many existing, long-term clients. According to Vu, the approach he takes in his practice led to expanded work for those clients as well as new internal and external referrals.

“My clients make a broad range of really cool and important products, and I truly view their success as my success,” Vu said. “That gives me the ability to come up with creative solutions to complex regulatory issues in a way that allows clients to still achieve their business objectives.”

Vu said that though his day-to-day routine has remained generally the same after his promotion, he has been increasingly called upon by the other partners to lead important firm initiatives, including serving as a litigation group liaison for the firm in Diversity Lab’s Move the Needle initiative, a five-year model program created to help five U.S. law firms reach diversity and inclusion goals they set for themselves.

“As one of the only Asian and openly LGBT partners at Stoel Rives, I’m heavily invested in this project for personal and professional reasons and am committed to its mission,” Vu said.

Asked what advice he would give to his younger self, Vu, who growing up wanted to be a police officer and help his community, counsels hard work, persistence and adaptability: “And now I am making a difference but through a different legal profession, by helping small family-owned businesses, as well as major international companies, manage their environmental regulatory compliance.”

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