By NASH NUNNERY
Stuart Lott takes nothing for granted as a young attorney for one of the South’s oldest and most recognizable law firms. He believes in Miles’ Law (‘Where you stand depends on where you sit’), a phrase coined by Rufus Miles, an assistant secretary under former U.S. Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy and Johnson.
Lott, who focuses his practice at Bradley Arant on advising banks and financial services companies about regulatory and compliance matters, says Miles’ Law and some timely mentoring by the firm’s senior lawyers have served him well.
“When you’re dealing with banking and the law, you have to look at an issue from all sides and perspectives,” he said. “I’m blessed to be where I am and stand on the shoulders of a lot of great people. They’ve really encouraged and supported me. It’s been a good year.”
The reserved Lott saying he’s having a good year might be an understatement. Most in the legal profession would agree that the attorney is enjoying an exceptional year.
Lott’s 2016 achievements are numerous. Consider these press release headlines from Bradley Arant’s PR partner:
• Stuart Lott Earns Coveted Bank Regulatory Compliance Certification (CRCM)
• Lott Earns Elite Anti-Money Laundering Credential
• Bradley Attorney Selected for Prestigious Global Leadership Network
• Lott Selected for 2016 Leadership Mississippi and Mississippi Bar Leadership programs
• Bradley Attorney Appointed to Jackson State University Board
Earning the Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager (CRCM) probably ranks as the highlight, according to Lott. He is one of only a limited number of attorneys in the nation who hold the CRCM designation.
“The CRCM will enable me to add value to the firm and its extensive list of financial services clients,” he said. “I wanted to experience the complete compliance universe, and studied for the exam for a year. You’ve got to have a good handle on regulatory issues to pass it.”
However, the 30-year old Lott’s selection to 2016 Leadership Mississippi might be his personal favorite.
“The classes are held all over the state and get me out of Hinds County to interact with leaders from other areas, including the Delta and Gulf Coast,” he said. “It’s very interesting to hear views from different vantage points around Mississippi.”
Born and reared in the Whitehaven area of Memphis, Lott grew up within walking distance of rock ‘n roll icon Elvis Presley’s Graceland estate. While attending White Station High School, he decided that a merger of business and law was the perfect mix for a career.
“My mom was a big fan of ‘Law and Order’ and ‘Matlock’, so I was exposed to law at a young age,” he said, laughing. “I found out later that there were all types of lawyers, not just the ones that appeared in a courtroom trying cases but those behind the scenes, as well.”
Prior to law school, Lott earned a full scholarship to Jackson State University and entered JSU’s Honors College. He received a B.B.A. in finance and graduated summa cum laude in 2008. Deciding on which law school to attend was the next step. For Lott, it didn’t matter as long as it was the best one he could find.
He chose Cornell Law School, an Ivy League institution located in the hamlet of Ithaca in upstate New York. What tipped the scales for Cornell was an abundance of transactional courses in business law and regulation and Ithaca’s remote location.
“It was cold and boring, the perfect environment to study the law,” Lott recalled. “(Ithaca) was one of those towns that revolved around the university. I met a lot of smart people.
“That was good, too, because I really enjoyed not being the smartest person in the room.”
While in law school, Lott spent a semester in Washington, D.C., as an extern at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He also served as a general editor for the Cornell Journal of Law & Public Policy. Upon graduating from Cornell, Lott worked in compliance at a large regional bank before joining Bradley Arant.
An active member of 100 Black Men of Jackson, Lott enjoys being a ‘soldier’ in the community and passing along his knowledge of experience to the next generation.
“I was always told not to get too high on success or too low on failure,” he said. “I tell people there is no straight line to the top. Delayed gratification and sacrifice will get you where you want to go. Work hard and work smart.”
You might call it Lott’s Law.
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