Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, September 17, 2021

Adams finds love of law in art of deal

Former Corker aide joins Chambliss with health care, nonprofit focus

Jared Adams, an associate attorney who will concentrate on health care and nonprofit clients for Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel’s. - Photograph provided

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel has added Jared Adams, an associate attorney who will serve the firm’s health care and nonprofit clients.

Adams works with organizations, including nonprofits, startups and established companies, on a range of business and regulatory matters.

As a member of the Chambliss Startup Group, he also counsels entrepreneurs and startups, advising them on issues such as entity formation, fundraising and seed financing, and mergers and acquisitions.

Adams previously served as legislative counsel to Sen. Bob Corker and worked for the Tennessee General Assembly.

Before relocating to Chattanooga, he practiced as a transactional attorney in Roanoke, Virginia, where he also served as a board member for Family Promise of Greater Roanoke and Feeding Southwest Virginia.

Adams attended Wake Forest University School of Law in 2017 and was managing editor of the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy. He also graduated magna cum laude from Middle Tennessee State University.

Here, Adams discusses his attraction to the law, his service with Corker and life in the Scenic City.

Sen. Corker reportedly had a rule about loving Chattanooga in order to work for him. You must have convinced him you met this contingency.

“My grandmother was born and raised in Highland Park, so I came to Chattanooga a lot as a child. It’s a unique place and very special to me.”

What’s one thing about working for Corker that surprised you?

“When you look at the legislative process from the outside, your view of it is very superficial. The first thing I learned about Corker was the sheer degree of professionalism in his office. He surrounded himself with staffers that were exceptionally qualified.

“He also did his homework. He wanted to know the ins and outs of every policy item because he realized the importance of his position, not just for Tennessee but also for the country. He took his work very seriously.”

What did you take away from working for Corker?

“The importance of details. While I worked for him, I collaborated with one of his other advisers on Senate legislative procedure. That taught me how to dig into something that’s filled with minutiae and then dig my way back out.”

What was it like working in the nation’s Capitol?

“You almost can’t believe you’re there.”

Take us from your work in D.C. to your arrival in Chattanooga.

“After Corker retired, I worked for a firm in Roanoke, where my wife, Sydney, was going to physician assistant school. Once she graduated and we had our daughter, Florence, we started thinking about moving back to Tennessee.

“We’re both from here – I was born and raised in Smithville and she’s from Johnson City – so we wanted to return home. When Chambliss presented me with the opportunity to work for its nonprofit and startup group, it was the right opportunity at the right time. We moved here at the end of March.”

What sparked your interest in the law?

“I became interested in politics in high school. I went to MTSU initially as pre-pharmacy, which lasted all of two weeks. After I switched to political science, the question became, ‘What can I do with a political science degree other than go to law school?’

“But the law didn’t pique my interest until I took a constitutional law class. At that point, the question was no longer, ‘Am I going to law school?’ but, ‘When and where am I going to law school?’

“Seeing the massive impact of judicial decisions and how the Supreme Court interprets the law captured my interest. It tied together my interest in politics and policy.”

Given what attracted you to the law, how did you end up doing transactional work?

“I entered law school knowing I didn’t want to be a litigator. Being in a courtroom never interested me. Constitutional law appealed to the part of me that likes policy work, so I developed that, as well as my understanding of transaction work, in law school.

“While working with Corker, I considered earning a Master of Laws and becoming a tax attorney, but once I entered private practice, I realized I enjoyed making deals – helping companies and nonprofits grow and move from phase to phase.

“Also, my dad was a contractor for most of my upbringing, and I liked seeing a tangible product rise out of all the work he put into a project.”

Are you enjoying the law, or do you wish you’d stuck with pre-pharmacy?

“One thing I like about Chambliss is you actually become a partner with your clients. We’re outside counsel, but a lot of our clients allow us to become part of the process of their development, which is very gratifying.”

You demonstrated an interest in community service in Roanoke. Is that something you’ll continue in Chattanooga?

“Becoming a part of the community in which we’re living is important to my wife and me, especially now that we have a child. We want to do whatever we can to help make our city better.

“When we were living in Roanoke, I joined the board of Feeding Southwest Virginia and helped them raise money through Legal Food Frenzy, an annual fundraising competition in the Virginia legal community.

“I also joined the board of Family Promise of Greater Roanoke. They help homeless families get back on their feet.”

There’s a Family Promise chapter in Chattanooga as well. Have you considered volunteering there?

"My wife and I have spoken with them. We’re ready and wanting to become involved with the nonprofit organizations in this community that are trying to make Chattanooga an even better place.

“We didn’t make the decision to move here lightly. We could have stayed in Roanoke and been fine, but we wanted to move back to Tennessee, and knew Chattanooga is a great town. So, we want to do our part.”

How is life in Chattanooga?

"We’re loving it. Sydney is working for the Center for Sports Medicine. We live on the Southside, so there’s no shortage of restaurants to check out, and we enjoy taking the dogs and the stroller out and walking around. We’re looking forward to learning more about the area and the different parts of the city."