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Associate Spotlight: A Day in the Life of Peter Wilder

May 17, 2011

5:30 a.m. Get my day started. After checking to be sure I have no urgent emails on my Blackberry from the previous night, I am at the gym for an early morning run. I have always been an early-riser, and I find that a quick workout before heading into work helps prepare me for my day.

6:45 a.m. Arrive at my desk at work, grabbing the first of many glasses of ice water. (I'm not a coffee drinker.) I am usually one of the first people at the office, which allows me to get a number of things done without much distraction. I catch up on local and national news and read a daily email from a banking trade group about what happened in the industry the previous day.

7:30 a.m. Check my voicemail and email. I add any additional items to my "task list" that I have on the whiteboard in my office. Today, my top priority is responding to a number of questions some of our clients have on a new rule published by the Federal Reserve Board that impacts how they compensate their mortgage lenders. I have been given the job of becoming the Financial Institutions Practice Group's "expert" on the new rules. I research and respond to various questions.

9:45 a.m. Check in with the other folks on my team. My assistant has stopped in to chat for a few minutes and pick up anything I have for her. I stop by the office of Jim Sheriff, a shareholder on the Financial Institutions team, to talk about which Godfrey & Kahn attorneys should attend a breakfast meeting that I am coordinating with a client.

10:15 a.m. Take a call from a client. He has a number of questions regarding the legality of a new compensation policy he asked us to review under those new Federal Reserve rules. I clarify his remaining issues while he is driving into the office to discuss the new policy with his employees.

12:00 p.m. Lunch. Fellow associate Josh Torres and I run across the street to grab a sandwich. We talk about what we're working on that day. I eat my sandwich in my office while catching up on some more news.

1:00 p.m. Respond to another question from a client. The client wants to know the mechanics of early termination of a letter of credit with the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. I helped them obtain the letter of credit over a year ago and look at the operative closing documents before confirming my analysis with Andy Guzikowski, a shareholder on the Financial Institutions team with an expertise in this type of financing arrangement. I email our answer to the client.

2:00 p.m. Prepare materials for a committee meeting. I am working with several employees of another client to prepare meeting materials for a committee of its Board of Directors. I make several phone calls to the authors and send them my edits.

4:00 p.m. Conference call regarding bank regulations related to real estate appraisers. More new Federal Reserve rules applicable to how banks deal with real estate appraisers are about to become effective. I have been asked to guide a client's regulatory compliance group through the process of ensuring its operations comply with the new rules, and we have a call once per week to track progress. This week, I had to give an analysis of the client's new proposed procedures compliance under certain anti-discrimination laws (the Fair Housing Act) and laws prohibiting fee "kickbacks" between service providers in real estate transactions (the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act).

5:15 p.m. Respond to client question. A banker emailed me earlier in the day asking if she could accept a Power of Attorney she had received from a customer. Our conflict check came back clean, so I look at the Power of Attorney and run my response by Dave Patzer, a shareholder on the Estate Planning Team. We both find the form acceptable, and I email the banker our answer.

5:45 p.m. Wind down my day. I finish my time entries for the day, prioritize my "task list" again, and walk down the hall to be sure none of the remaining attorneys on our team need help before I leave.

6:00 p.m. Leave the office. I am going home to have dinner with my wife before we head out to one of the downtown bars for a beer and some trivia with friends.

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