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John W. Daniels Jr. featured in article “Powering Up”

Diversity & the Bar

It’s a sentiment shared by John Daniels Jr., chairman of Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee. Daniels is one of a handful of attorneys of color nationwide to occupy the top spot at his firm. He says that above all, a managing partner of color must strive to be an exceptional managing partner. And for young attorneys of color hoping to one day make partner or managing partner, he has a simple piece of advice: Don’t seek out the management roles. Instead, Daniels says, work hard and the recognition will come.

“My path to chair of the firm has really involved my going from an associate of the firm and then to partner and then taking on other leadership roles,” Daniels said. “I went through all the major functions of the firm. But frankly speaking, I’m a client guy. I wake up and go to sleep focusing on how I can drive the interests of clients, and that has been the thing that has distinguished my career. You’ve got to be able to create value for your colleagues in the enterprise, and you’ve got to be able to create value for the people you’re going to serve. There’s no road map, but ultimately what partners and clients want is to see a person who provides value and good judgment.”

Originally published in Diversity & the Bar, May/June 2011