In his own words: Estate adviser Patrick O’Rourke
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Estate Planning Source and your responsibilities.
Patrick O’Rourke: We are a national company with a network of attorneys and financial advisers who do estate planning in almost all 50 states. They meet with clients from all walks of life to do financial planning and meet on legal issues to make sure their clients’ money is invested well and help them get everything working with their estate planning so they can leave a legacy for their loved ones. I help with advising the attorneys with questions — they will call me with help on how to frame something or if they have a problem with a client they really don’t know how to address.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
O’Rourke: I was working in private practice in California doing estate planning before I came here. I started off doing immigration work before I even went to law school, which I kind of liked. I thought I would be a typical litigator, but the immigration side was all family and business and we were never in court. I got a job at an estate planning firm. I tried to seek out a job where I wasn’t going to be in court all the time. I could work 9 to 5 and go home and be with my family. The stress level and amount of free time you have is worth it to me. I never really wanted to do it for the big money.
NNBW: What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
O’Rourke: A lot of times an attorney or a client won’t want to take advice, so it’s finding a way to frame things where it’s so clear and concise that they say it’s a good idea.
NNBW: Is this the career you envisioned for yourself?
O’Rourke: Yes, probably from a pretty young age.
NNBW: What was your first job?
O’Rourke: My very first job was when I was 15 1/2, the day I qualified for a work permit. I got a job at Wendy’s, and I stayed there for two years. I was dying to work from the moment I could. I made enough in a half year to buy a car the first day I could. I bought an old beater Volvo for $750 with my summer earnings.
NNBW: If you could hang on to just one memory for the rest of your life, what would it be?
O’Rourke: The birth of my son. I know that is pretty cliché, but having him, there was nothing like it.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
O’Rourke: Mostly with the family. We have been walking a lot lately — there are so many walking trails near our house in the Old Southwest. We can walk near the river, or to a little coffee shop or by Idewild Park. We also drive up to Lake Tahoe and hike.
NNBW: What do you consider to be your biggest professional accomplishment?
O’Rourke: I passed the California Bar on my first try in February of 2012. There was like a 43 percent pass rate on my bar exam. I’m taking the Nevada bar the last three days of this month, so I’m pretty stressed about that. With the Nevada bar I’ll be able to do a lot more legal work for the company as kind of in-house counsel.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
O’Rourke: I liked wildland firefighting, and I wanted to be a pediatrician or an attorney.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
O’Rourke: We saw G Love and Special Sauce at the Grand Sierra with my brother-in-law and father-in-law. We got to concerts a lot.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
O’Rourke: Mostly if was family. We always wanted to end up here. I lived in Southern California my whole life. We lived in Irvine for eight months before we moved up here, and the way of life here is so much better. It’s hard to put it into words. Here, its gorgeous — everywhere you look you see trees and mountains. When you look out of our apartment in Irvine, you saw concrete and a mall. Instead of people going on hikes, people took their kids to the fountain at the mall. That was as close to nature and the water as they got. Here, I feel like we take advantage of everything; we go downtown to events at Wingfield Park, and we can actually afford to go to restaurants here.
To suggest a candidate for NNBW’s weekly question and answer column, look at our editorial calendar (http://apps.nnbw.com/utils/pdfs/9683736R.pdf) and contact reporter Rob Sabo at email@example.com or call 775-850-2146.
Heather Ashbridge, who started with Nevada State Development Corporation in 2008, previously served in several roles with the organization, including assistant vice president and loan officer. She is based in NSDC’s Reno office.