Brian McEvoy (J.D. ’97) finds many aspects of his career to be serendipitous. He’s the office managing partner at Polsinelli in Atlanta and sits as chair of the firm’s government investigations group. He specializes much of his practice area in health law, which he honed during years of serving as a federal prosecutor for the Southern District of Georgia. At the same time McEvoy was growing his expertise in health law, his alma mater was becoming one of the best health law programs in the country.
When McEvoy began at Georgia State Law, it was still an up-and-coming law school. The college’s reputation early on for training lawyers in a meaningful and practical way was what drew McEvoy to attend. He’s used that practical preparation to launch a successful career serving in the judicial, prosecutorial and private practice sectors. Here, he discusses the many facets of his career and the impact Georgia State Law made.
What do you enjoy about being office managing partner at Polsinelli?
What appealed to me about Polsinelli in a lot of ways like Georgia State, was the opportunity that the firm presented to help be a part of growing something. They had just planted the flag in Atlanta and ultimately, I was the first external hire for the firm here. Getting in early and having the ability to assist with the growth of the office and the firm drew me. Nationally we’re an AM Law 100 firm with 850 attorneys in 21 cities. Polsinelli is a full-service law firm and presented an opportunity in Atlanta to become what we are nationally. Polsinelli has been named Health Care Law Firm of the Year by AHLA, so to be a graduate of Georgia State Law which is one of the best health law programs in the country, working at one of the best health care firms in the country has just been really synergistic.
How has your career fallen into place for you?
I do think if you work hard opportunities will present themselves. For me, going back to my time at the Department of Justice and even before, I had represented health care providers and done overpayment work, peer review matters, some regulatory investigation, false claims act investigations and federal criminal healthcare investigations, so it was not foreign to me. When I went to the US Attorney’s Office in Savannah, a big focus of that office was on health care fraud. Three or four years into my time at the US Attorney’s Office I became the health care fraud coordinator for the district which oversees all of the health care fraud investigations and prosecutions. When I left the Government, I now had all of this health care experience which is an area of great interest to providers, whether it’s a solo practitioner or a large national health care system, so I was able to offer services that were of somewhat of a specialty.
What advice do you have for current law students?
Keep an open mind and try to be well-rounded in your activities outside of the classroom. When I was in law school people used to ask me what I wanted to do, and even though Professor Edmundson’s criminal law class was one of my favorites, I would always tell people I knew I didn’t want to do criminal law. It’s ironic because six or seven years later I would be a federal prosecutor and I now largely make a living defending federal criminal investigations. So, you just don’t know. You have a limited experience in law school about what certain subject areas are really about. There may be opportunities presented in areas about which you didn’t think you might be interested.
Interview by Mara Thompson