Nicholas F.X. Gumina
Associate attorney, Eardley Law Offices PC, Rockford
The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2010
Where did you grow up? Please provide one memorable anecdote about your childhood.
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan. As the youngest child, there are many lessons I learned from three older brothers, the most important being “snitches get stitches.”
Outside of family, who was an important mentor in your life and how did this person impact your career?
Justice Elizabeth Weaver. I interned for Justice Weaver in law school. She taught me the importance of integrity and ethics in the practice of law, and fighting for what you believe in. Her decisions were not always popular among her colleagues, but she always followed her conscience, and she refused to simply go along to get along. Though she retired four years ago, she still fights for what she believes in.
What was your first job? What did you learn from the experience?
Caddying at Cascade Hills Country Club. I learned the value of a hard day’s work, and I learned to love one of the most frustrating sports invented.
Name a big blue-sky goal that you would like to accomplish in your career.
Argue in the front of the U.S. Supreme Court
Please share your best tip for balancing your professional life and your personal life.
My wife says I’m still working on that. It’s tough. Litigation is deadline driven, and it’s hard not to bring work home with you. I think being a new father has helped to an extent. Now when I bring work home I have a toddler crawling around and trying to get into everything, so work has to take a back seat.
If you could not be a lawyer, what occupation would you choose?
College history professor.
Everyone has a “guilty pleasure.” What is yours?
What is your favorite vacation spot?
Barcelona, Spain. My brother studied abroad in in Barcelona while he was in law school, and I was fortunate enough to visit him and travel around Europe. I’ve wanted to go back Barcelona ever since. Italy comes in a close second.
What are two things about you that not many people know?
I was an All-American hammer thrower in college. For those unfamiliar with the event, the hammer throw is a 16-pound metal ball, similar to a shot put, with a long metal wire attached to it and handle on the opposite end. Most throwers generally swing the hammer around their head two times while in a stationary position to build up momentum. The thrower then completes three or four rotations of body in a circular motion. The ball moves in a circular path with the thrower increasing speed with each rotation until released. World-class throwers can generally throw over 250 feet. Also, I’m a really good cook; I make most of the meals in my house.
How would you describe yourself in one word?
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