McGuireWoods’ deputy managing partner for the firm’s corporate practice, David Pusateri, was featured in a Sept. 12 question-and-answer article as part of the Pittsburgh Business Times’ “Personalities of Pittsburgh” series.
Asked what led him into the legal profession, he traced his law career’s unlikely origins to a summer he spent as an international student in the Soviet Union.
“I studied Russian in college and thought I’d work for the CIA or the U.S. State Department. I had the opportunity to be a summer student in the Soviet Union in 1980, the year we boycotted the Olympics,” Pusateri said.
During a visit to the Black Sea resort of Sochi, he encountered many Americans with various U.S. government agencies, and they were all lawyers by training. So, Pusateri said, “I got my law degree and then I got a federal clerkship and it all went in a different direction.”
His clerkship was in Pittsburgh during the baseball drug trials. “The caterer at Three Rivers Stadium was selling drugs to Major League Baseball players. It was national news every night and it was our trial,” he said.
He noted in the Q&A that he was in-house counsel for Robertson-Ceco and responsible for managing outside counsel, who often ignored his phone calls. Because of those experiences, he said, he took an abiding dedication to superior client service with him into private practice.
He also said that if he weren’t practicing law, he’d probably be teaching. He noted that his parents were high school teachers and that he taught undergraduate law courses for a while at the University of Pittsburgh.