05.2024 | mvalaw.com

MVA SpotlightHugh M. Ebb

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, MVA is highlighting members of the AAPI community within the firm. In this MVA Spotlight, hear from MVA Financial Services Associate Hugh M. Ebb.

Q: Describe what you do at Moore & Van Allen.

A: I am an attorney in the Financial Services group primarily focusing on transactions in the sports finance, farm credit/agricultural, consumer retail, aerospace and defense sectors.

Q: How does collaboration play a role within the work you do at the law firm?

A: Collaboration is indispensable. As lawyers, our job is to serve our client’s needs, which often involves providing solutions. In a transactional practice specifically, that requires we work together with a lot of different people and groups, with their own interests, motivations, challenges and personal lives, to achieve a common goal. Doing that in a collaborative and solutions oriented way, rather than an adversarial way, produces the best result and leads to a more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Q: Balancing a demanding legal career with personal life can be challenging. How do you manage to maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A: Open communication and being proactive. My career (like my family, health, social relationships, etc.) is something I’ve worked hard to build/develop and it’s an important aspect of my life. I think there’s this tendency to treat careers differently than we treat the other areas that are valuable to us, but I’ve found what works for me is to integrate everything. My coworkers, like my family and friends, know about my goals and interests both inside and outside the office, and each of us works together as a team to create an environment where we can better allocate our time/resources as life and work priorities fluctuate, often unexpectedly. If I have family coming in town, I’ll let my colleagues know and they do what they can to help ease/eliminate work during that time. When I do the same for them, or if I have a particularly busy period coming up, I’ll let my family/friends know and coordinate time/responsibilities with them and their priorities as well. Being open about what’s going on and taking steps to get out in front of things when you can leads to less friction in my experience, especially in a field where we can all be reached essentially 24/7.

Q: What motivates you to get up in the morning?

A: My family and the people that believe in me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a lot of people around me who’ve supported, mentored or championed me in various areas throughout my life and I want to honor their sacrifice and commitment by making a difference, as well as uplift and do the same for others.

Q: If you won the lottery, would you still work?

A: Definitely. If I won the lottery and never had to work (for money), I’d want a job as a high school soccer coach or some other sports related role where I could help elevate youth sports because it provides an outlet for kids and teaches a lot of valuable life skills, like resilience, teamwork, time management and discipline (sports are also fun). The vast majority of the things we are passionate about could be careers, and we actually spend time pursuing those passions in our day to day lives, we just don’t do it “full-time” because we’re not always able to make a living off of it.

Q: Why is Diversity, Equity and Inclusion important to you?

A: Diversity is important to me because it recognizes the value lies is in our differences, not uniformity, and seeks to translate those differences into a better collective with positive outcomes. Everyone is inherently valuable but DEI, at its core, emboldens each and every individual to show up as their authentic self regardless of what that looks like. It demands we deploy that value and translate it into ever improving results. In a society without diversity, we excel at some things and are terrible at others, DEI encourages us to do the, admittedly uncomfortable, work of finding a way to take people and ideas that are, at times, highly divergent and bring them together toward a common goal of prosperity. In the context of a soccer team, a team of eleven goalies will never win a game. You need a team with every position, other skills, people who can’t catch, people who aren’t even athletes to coach or handle player nutrition, people who may not even like sports to manage transportation logistics and team media, people to watch the games, to design the logos. DEI asks us to stop forcing people who don’t want to be athletes onto the field, to stop forcing athletes off of it, and to instead, find a place where that individual feels like they can belong (and if that doesn’t exist, to create that place).

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