Majed Nachawati grew up with working class parents who often struggled to make ends meet. The perspective from his childhood gave him an acute understanding of the need for advocates, and he has dedicated his career to speaking up for people and entities that might otherwise struggle to have a voice.
Nachawati is co-founder of Fears Nachawati Law Firm, based in Texas. The firm is heavily involved in the multidistrict mass tort litigation against opioid makers and distributors in Texas (although the 2020 trial dates in that case, have, of course, been postponed).
Lawdragon: What does your practice look like these days?
Majed Nachawati: Right now, my practice is a mix between mass torts and cases involving defective medical devices, as well as representing states as special assistant counsel for attorneys general.
LD: Looking back through your career, what would you say is the most interesting matter you’ve handled?
MN: The work we’re doing on behalf of states, cities and counties in this ongoing opioid litigation is among some of the most interesting we’ve ever done. It’s affected different parts of the country in so many different ways, and finding the right solution for each community has been a unique but rewarding challenge.
LD: Since you founded your firm in 2006, has there been a specific client or case that came in that felt like a turning point or especially meaningful for some reason?
MN: Representing various public entities has been the most interesting professional movement the firm’s achieved. We’re very proud of the work and the impact we’re making. Specifically, as it relates to mass torts and environmental issues, as well as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
LD: Is there a specific lesson you take away from your work?
MN: I’ve found you get out of the work what you put into it. The more dedicated you are, the better the outcome for the client. And that’s what really matters.
LD: Why did you pursue a career in the law in the first place?
MN: I was raised by a single mother who, because of economic circumstances, wasn’t able to complete law school. Carrying that torch for her and finishing law school was something that was very important to me. My father was a line worker for General Motors and a United Auto Workers union member for 30 years. Growing up, things were tough. I saw my dad laid off, with seven children to take care of. My mom struggled to find work throughout my entire childhood. I saw firsthand the ways in which blue-collar workers need advocates for themselves. Someone who can level the playing field against big businesses. Doing that type of work – advocating for the people – is personal to me. I don’t see it as a job or a career. It’s a calling.
LD: Do you have any advice for current law school students?
MN: You should pursue a job in law because it’s your passion and you believe in the work. Not because you think it’ll pay well. If you do what you love, success and everything else that’s positive will follow. Law isn’t for everyone. And to be honest, it’s not easy. It’s not a regular 9-to-5 job. It’s a lot of hours. So if you do it, do it because you love it.
LD: Do you still love it?
MN: I really do. Seeing the difference our firm makes in the lives of those we represent never gets old. It’s the motivation that keeps me going, even when the work gets tough.
LD: Was there an early experience or mentor who really helped shape the course of your professional life?
MN: Professor Meredith Duncan at the University of Houston Law Center was my tort law professor, and a driving influence towards my passion for this area of law. Another is Justice Linda Yáñez at the 13th Court of Appeals, who gave me my first clerkship when I got out of law school. Both were very strong female role models whose approach to the law made a big impression on me. Jesse Ferrer, an attorney in Dallas, was also a great mentor to me when I was learning how to navigate my early career after law school.
LD: How has your practice changed since the early part of your career?
MN: When Bryan Fears and I founded Fears Nachawati, we were a very small firm with only a handful of staff. Through years of hard work, we’ve grown to nearly 200 employees with multiple and complex practice areas. Our abilities and what we’re able to accomplish have grown so much.
LD: How would you describe your style as a lawyer?
MN: I’m hard-charging, resilient and aggressive on behalf of those I’m fighting for. Which every good lawyer should be. I know that even when I lose, it’s important to keep fighting. I’m not afraid of risk.
LD: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in your leadership role as the firm has grown so exponentially?
MN: Not being in the weeds as much as I used to be due to the number of lawyers I manage and the complex nature of running a large law firm. Any boss will tell you, managing a large group of people presents its own challenges. Everyone we hire at Fears Nachawati is a hard worker. Part of my job is to provide them with the right tools so that they can work hard and be effective. I work with an amazing group of people, so fortunately leading them is pretty easy for me.
LD: Can you share some lessons from this time?
MN: I’ve learned to only worry about the things I can control. When it’s not up to me, all I can do is my best. If the outcome isn’t what I wanted it to be, at least I can say I did everything I could.
LD: What would you say is unique about your firm?
MN: It’s unique in that we’re unquestionably committed to getting the best results for the client. We’re able to find new opportunities and ways of doing things as we partner with and work alongside some of the best lawyers in the country.
LD: What do you do for fun when you’re outside the office?
MN: I enjoy spending time with my wife and children. I also work with nonprofits that are committed to making the world a better place by raising the quality of life for the average person, not only here in the United States but the rest of the world as well. I consider myself to be a very fortunate person. My family and I have the things we need, so I’m eager to help others get the things they need as well.
LD: Do you have a favorite book or movie about the justice system?
MN: “The Insider,” with Al Pacino and Russell Crowe, is one of my favorites.