Nolan N. Atkinson Jr.
Partner and Chief Diversity Officer, Duane Morris LLP
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
My greatest strength is my willingness to listen to opposing views, which hopefully will enable me to understand all sides of an issue.
I’m inspired by anyone who has overcome great adversity in fighting for equal justice. Their stories have motivated me to strive to improve myself and to work to better the lives of others—especially those who have talent, but need instruction and guidance as they enter adult life.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
I challenge them to do better. I usually do this by relating stories about events in my life.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
Our greatest challenge is the unwillingness or inability of government to provide additional resources to millions who live in poverty.
I give back by mentoring or sponsoring African-American talent of the next generation. As a young lawyer, I had the good fortune of having several mentors and sponsors who guided me in overcoming barriers to building a successful law practice. Having many senior colleagues and friends, whom I respected greatly, guide and advocate for me was invaluable. Helping the next generation find opportunities for success is a major focus for me.
In your professional life, which hopefully will last 40 years or more, you should always treat others the way you would want to be treated.
I maintain balance by being thankful for what I have and starting each day with enthusiasm.
I’ve learned that I love new challenges.
Life is a marathon. There will be “ups and downs.” Try and maintain a steady and positive attitude each day.