Alumni Spotlight: Tim Lee (2012-2018; New York, Seoul)

September 29, 2021

To celebrate Cleary Gottlieb’s 75th anniversary, alumni around the globe are taking time to reflect on their experiences at the firm.

Tim Lee, Senior Vice President at iCapital, shares his thoughts below.

What lessons did you learn at Cleary that prepared you for your future career?

Nothing benefits the productivity and culture of an organization like taking the time to help a colleague. Everyone’s busy; there are always emails to respond to, documents to review, calls to prepare for. When I think back to my time at Cleary, some of my deepest memories are when a colleague took time to walk me through an issue or answer some other question, be it while walking to grab coffee, or over chef Eddie’s well done quesadillas. Those few extra minutes that were invested in my learning/development, especially in the middle of a busy matter, saved me hours of spinning my wheels either at that moment or down the road. Even when it was just for my own edification, colleagues were happy to share. Each of these moments reinforced the culture of teamwork and collegiality that Cleary is known for.

What Cleary person and/or experience had a lasting impact on you personally?

I had the privilege of having Jamal Fulton as my office mate during our first year as associates. He was splitting time between bankruptcy and private funds, while I was splitting between capital markets and M&A. We shared late nights, early mornings, mid-afternoon double cheeseburgers and exquisite single origin pour over. He was not only a great sounding board and sanity check on emails, he also introduced me to classics like The Wire. When I returned from my two-year rotation in the Seoul office and joined the private funds group, Jamal was, as always, happy to help me get up to speed and displayed tremendous patience as he answered my questions on claw back mechanics and waterfalls. To this day, when I think about lawyers who personify Cleary’s values of collaboration, respect, and excellence, Jamal stands out. I’m grateful to call him a close friend.

Why do you participate in the alumni network, and what would you say to someone who is considering getting involved?

It’s the best of Cleary outside of Cleary. Smart people, working hard, on interesting things – that’s what I’ve always looked for. It’s the reason I chose to join Cleary after law school. For the many that move on from Cleary, the alumni network provides an opportunity to continue engaging with those smart people, working hard, on interesting things, now at some of the most innovative and ground-breaking companies in the world.

To learn more about Cleary’s global alumni network, click here.