In his own words: Karl Olsen of Parsons, Behle & Latimer |

In his own words: Karl Olsen of Parsons, Behle & Latimer

NNBW staff

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about firm its specialties, its history, the size of its staff:

Karl Olsen: Parsons Behle & Latimer started in 1882, and is headquartered in Salt Lake City, with offices in Reno and Las Vegas. We handle matters for clients in many different fields, including mining, commercial litigation, environmental, water, and employment.

NNBW: What role do you play in the company?

Olsen: I am a shareholder in the litigation department, and primarily handle commercial litigation, with a focus on business disputes, construction law, and personal injury.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Olsen: I graduated college with a double major in political science and history, and didn’t really want to continue in either of those fields. Someone suggested I look into law school, and that seemed like it could be interesting. As it turned out, it was.

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

Olsen: Most lawyers, at least in northern Nevada, are genuinely nice, friendly people, who really care about their work. It’s been an unexpected surprise and benefit of being a part of this community.

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

Olsen: Well, I wanted to own a record store when I was in high school, then a bike shop when in college, but someone once told me that I shouldn’t make a job out of a hobby.

NNBW: How do you spend your time away from the office?

Olsen: Outdoors, with my wife, Lauren, and our two boys, Ian and Tate. We go camping and mountain biking frequently in the summer, and skiing in the winter.

NNBW: Do you have a favorite vacation memory?

Olsen: It’s hard to narrow it down, but I’ll have to say hiking the Inca trail in Peru with Lauren a few years back. The ruins along the way to Machu Picchu were, in a way, more impressive since we could walk among the structures without any crowds.

NNBW: Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?

Olsen: Do whatever you like, but like what you do, and you’ll do well at it.

NNBW: What is the quirkiest or oddest job you’ve ever had?

Olsen: The Music Zone indie record store in Salinas, Calif. If you’ve seen the movie “High Fidelity,” it was something like that.

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

Olsen: It’s unprintable, but “___ your turns, don’t ___ your turns!” (Brant Moles, giving ski instruction).

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

Olsen: Like most: The people I work with. I think that’s the key to any job, anywhere. Like least: Sometimes the workload can get a bit overwhelming, but I know that I have the support of my coworkers and my family to get me through it.

The basics

Name: Karl Olsen, attorney, Parsons Behle & Latimer

How long have you been in this job? Two years

How long in the profession? 10 years

Education: J.D., University of Utah College of Law, 1998; B.A., University of California at Berkeley, 1994

Best book you’ve read? I’m not sure if I have a favorite, but I’m currently reading “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey.

What’s on your iPod? All sorts of things – ’70s industrial, ’80s new wave and post-punk, etc. Playing on this morning’s drive in was the Replacements.

The best movie ever? “Casablanca.” “We’ll always have Paris.”

Do you have a nickname? If no, have you ever? No, never had.