In her own words: Leigh Goddard, McDonald Carano Wilson |

In her own words: Leigh Goddard, McDonald Carano Wilson

NNBW staff

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us a little about your company its specialties, its history, the size of its staff.

Leigh Goddard: McDonald Carano Wilson LLP has been in existence since 1949. It is one of the largest law firms in the state of Nevada, with offices in Reno and Las Vegas. Our attorneys provide the full range of legal services to businesses ranging from business entity formation to representation of clients in disputes. The firm has an extensive practice in estate planning, construction, appeals, energy and environmental law.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Goddard: I co-chair the energy, environment and natural resources practices group. I help renewable energy developers build their projects and deliver their energy to market. In addition, I assist large energy customers to participate in the regulatory process to reduce their utility bills. And when I am not working on energy matters, I represent many local businesses in resolving disputes, either informally or through the litigation process.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Goddard: I have worked in the legal field since I was an undergraduate student. I worked as a legal secretary and paralegal before going to law school. I admired the attorneys that I worked for and felt that they really made a difference in the lives of their clients. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in business finance, I decided I wanted to become a lawyer as well.

NNBW: What is something no one knows about your job?

Goddard: In recent years, most business disputes do not end up going to trial due to the high cost of litigation. However, I have found that attention to detail in drafting contracts and other business documents can save a lot of money in attorney’s fees if a dispute should arise.

NNBW: If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn’t it your first choice?

Goddard: I would have been a professional chef because I love to cook.

NNBW: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

Goddard: Spending time with my family, gardening, and generally being outdoors.

NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?

Goddard: The legal field can be extremely rewarding, but requires hard work and dedication.

NNBW: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why would you want it?

Goddard: The power to heal. I have had so many friends and family members who have been touched by cancer and other serious illnesses. I wish I had the power to heal and to take the pain away.

NNBW: What person, living or dead, would you most like to have dinner with, and why?

Goddard: Martin Luther King (to discuss his dream and how we can continue his legacy) and Julia Childs (for a fantastic meal and foodie talk).

NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Goddard: In terms of my profession be prepared.

NNBW: What do you like most about your job? What do you like least?

Goddard: I enjoy helping my clients resolve disputes and working with the members of my firm. I dislike opposing attorneys who are rude or unprofessional.

NNBW: What five words would most people use to describe you?

Goddard: Intense, committed, professional, loyal, and caring.

The basics

Name: Leigh Goddard, Partner, McDonald Carano Wilson LLP

How long have you been in this job? With the firm since 2002

How long in the profession? 13 years

Education: JD, University of S. Carolina; BS College of Charleston, Charleston, SC

Best book you’ve read? There are so many, my recent favorite is Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

What’s on your iPod? Hundreds of songs, but my “Girl Power” playlist is my favorite with songs from Sara McLachlin, Edele, Tori Amos, and others

The best movie ever? It seems that I have only watched children’s movies for the past five years, and from that selection, I would say Ratatouille was great

Spouse, kids or pets? Married, two wonderful children, two dogs