GOODPeople: Jamie Firsten
I had the pleasure of meeting with Jamie Firsten to ask him about his life and legal career. On top of having a successful corporate and commercial law practice and being a star in e-sports law, Jamie is a fun and easy-going person.
What initially drew you to Goodmans?
Above all, the people and the culture. I was drawn to the fact that everyone is able to practice at such a high level and not take themselves too seriously.
How did your e-sports practice come to be?
In 2017, a long-time client decided to try to buy an Overwatch franchise. Although neither of us knew anything about video games, we flew to New York and put together a bid for the team, which we ended up winning. Since then, we have raised approximately $75-million, bought two more franchises, and we still know nothing about video games.
Do you find e-sports work particularly interesting or is it just everyday corporate law with a ‘sexy’ client?
E-sports is a new and exciting area because although no one knows what it will look like yet, it seems quite certain based on the volume of eyeballs and users that it will be major industry in the future. From billionaires, to hockey players, to musicians, everyone wants to get into e-sports and Goodmans represents arguably the most relevant Canadian company in the space. It’s the “it thing” for now, and that’s cool to be a part of.
What is the strangest experience you have had as a lawyer?
On my first day as a lawyer, I was sitting in a boardroom wearing a new suit that had a tag sewn into the pocket. Only, I didn’t know you were supposed to take those tags off. The Managing Partner walked in and, before he gave his opening address, he picked up a pair of scissors and cut the tag off my suit in front of everyone. Then he turned to me and said “you’ve got potential”. Ok the second part might have been more like “why didn’t you cut the tag?”
If you had a year off, what would you do?
In the pre-kid era, I definitely would have said travel. But, in the post-kid era, I would focus on spending quality time with my family. On second thought, maybe I would just take them travelling!
And if not a lawyer, what would you be?
I think I was meant to be a psychologist. Otherwise, I would have been a really short basketball player.
Last but not least, what advice would you give to young lawyers starting their careers?
Success in the profession is about relationships. My advice is meet everyone. Talk to everyone. Build a strong network of people starting at law school, and continue to do so throughout your career.