Kevin Padrick BS ’76, MBA ’79, JD ’79 must enjoy being busy. At Santa Clara, he was a rare kind of Bronco who earned four degrees from SCU: two Bachelor of Science degrees (math and psychology), a JD, and an MBA, all awarded with honors. When he was in law school during the day, he was also earning his MBA at night, all while working. He went on to become one of the youngest partners at Miller Nash, where he worked from 1979 to 1993, most recently chairing the insolvency department and representing debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, and creditors’ committees, and was lead outside counsel for U.S. Bancorp in reorganization matters nationally and internationally.
Today, Padrick holds no fewer than seven current positions: Founder, Sunstone Business Finance, LLC; Director, First Financial Northwest Bank; Director, RADAR, LLC; Director, NemaMetrix, Inc.; Chairman, Symmetrical Networks; Owner and Principal, K2 Enterprises, LLC; and Senior Principal, Obsidian Finance Group, LLC, where he advises and consults on complex financings for matters involving distressed companies, especially companies in finance and aviation.
Somehow, despite this very full plate, on February 28th, Padrick and Karen, his wife, found time to visit Santa Clara University. Padrick came in part to appear in a Q&A hosted by the Law School’s Law & Business Society, an organization for students interested in the intersection of law and business. In front of an attentive audience of law students, Dean Lisa Kloppenberg interviewed Padrick about his extensive experience as a lawyer, savvy business person, and entrepreneur.
Padrick shared stories from his early career as well as some advice, including encouraging students to be good communicators as a way to set themselves apart. “Return phone calls, answer emails, answer texts,” he said. “You would be surprised how many clients don’t get communications from their lawyers. Those kinds of things allow you to differentiate yourself and if you can do this, then your clients want to hire you.”
He also talked about his extensive experience in negotiation, and here he draws on his undergraduate degree in psychology. “There is a perception that for one party to win, the other party has to lose, and that is not, in my experience, the way to be successful,” he told students. “In my experience, it is analyzing your counterparty’s motivations, and, if I understand their motivation, I can design something that creates a win-win situation.”