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Mitchell S. Nusbaum

Managing Partner, Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP

Years in current role: 4

What was your biggest success in 2021?

In comparison to the fear and uncertainty that reigned in 2020, last year felt like a return to normalcy and stability. With the lessons of 2020 as guideposts, the firm was able to operate efficiently and effectively despite the ups and downs of the pandemic, all while maintaining our client service and community support. This would not have been possible without the commitment, flexibility and resilience of our team members. I remain truly grateful to be part of such a committed and cohesive team.

What are your expectations for 2022?

On a business level, I expect 2022 to be a continuation of the trend started in 2021, namely a return to more predictability and stability, albeit in an ever-changing environment. The legal and business markets in Rochester were strong in 2021, and I see that trajectory continuing in the coming year. On a personal level, I am hopeful that 2022 will allow all of us to spend quality time with those we care most about (and I don’t mean over Zoom).

What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?

I believe that the pandemic has been more of an accelerant for naturally occurring change than a cause of change in itself, and there is no reason to think that things will go back to the way they were before the pandemic. My biggest takeaway from all that has transpired over the past two years is the importance of embracing change and finding new ways to operate. For a workplace to survive and thrive in this fast-changing environment, its leaders should listen carefully to the ideas and suggestions of their employees and customers and accept the risk of doing things differently. Although things may be returning to normal, the new normal will look a lot different than it has in the past.

What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?

After growing up in Rochester, I spent the early part of my career practicing law in a larger city. When I returned home, I realized that I had been missing the strong sense of community here. I have been continually amazed at the caring and support that exists in Rochester. Whether businesses helping businesses, or neighbors aiding neighbors, Rochester is an empathetic and supportive community. At the same time, we face unprecedented economic disparities and challenges, and we as a firm continually strive to foster strong community partnerships and work to better the community. I am proud that Woods Oviatt makes its home in the heart of the city and know that our firm will continue working to make our city safe, prosperous and welcoming for all for years to come.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2022. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at


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