A casual examination of the life of attorney Drew Reynolds will reveal a young man who has made well-considered and intelligent decisions. His recent purchase of his first home was a significant personal milestone, for example. Becoming a partner at Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams at the beginning of 2014 was a landmark moment for him as an attorney. A closer analysis, however, reveals an interesting tidbit:
Reynolds is a lawyer, rather than a doctor, because he’s squeamish.
“When I was younger, I dreamed of becoming a doctor,” he says, “But if you asked me to cut somebody or something open, I’d squirm, so I decided I couldn’t be a health care provider.”
It was just as well, as Reynolds found himself enjoying English and history more than science and math as a student at the University of Virginia. He retained his interest in health care, though, and after graduating from the College of Law at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and securing a job at Spears Moore in Chattanooga, he was able to engage the industry in a way he hadn’t anticipated while growing up.
“When I came here, I began working with some of the people who do health care liability,” he says. “So, although I can’t do what a doctor does, I still get to delve into narrow slices of the medical field and become an expert on those topics.”
Since joining Spears Moore in 2008, Reynolds has dealt with a wide range of health care liability issues. Many of them have captured his interest, including amputations. “I worked on a case that involved a below-the-knee amputation,” he says. “I learned about not only what led to the amputation but also current treatments. Many of the treatments are a direct result of a war, as advancements in prosthetics technology are often spurred by people who have come back with limbs missing. That was an interesting case.”
Reynolds has suffered one unfortunate side effect from having thoroughly studied a variety of health care liability issues: it’s made him a bit of a hypochondriac. “If a client’s troubles began when he felt a tingling sensation in his elbow,” he says, “I’d think, ‘My elbow will tingle from time to time.’”
Even when injecting humor into a conversation, Reynolds is articulate and thoughtful. He speaks calmly and with what seems to be a deliberately measured cadence, and although his choice of words is invariably impressive (he says the new requirements for making a health care liability claim in Tennessee “weed out some of the less meritorious cases”), he never seems to actually be choosing them. Rather, they flow effortlessly from his intellect, which resides behind thick-rimmed spectacles and eyes that appear to be taking everything in.
Although gifted and bright, Reynolds credits his mentors at Spears Moore with shaping him into the attorney he’s become. “I was fortunate to work under two people who helped me to understand the ins and outs of the law: Art Brock, a fantastic litigator, and Judge J.B. Bennett, who was with our firm before he joined the judiciary,” he says. “Working with Art in particular was good for me because his style as an attorney is similar to mine. I was glad I had someone I could learn from and model myself after.”
Although Spears Moore made Reynolds a partner last year, the 31-year-old attorney says his work is only beginning. “I want to stay on top of the kind of law I practice. I just returned from a Continuing Legal Education seminar that brought me up to date on health care liability law,” he says. “Beyond that, I’ve spent a good deal of time getting to the point where I can handle trials, and I want to refine my skills as an oral advocate and a master of the small things.”
Reynolds also wants to enjoy life in Chattanooga. Although he spent his formative years in Kingsport, Tenn., he says the Scenic City is now his home. He enjoys the ample local opportunities for hiking, going to concerts at Track 29, and taking in stand-up comedy.
He’s also open to new experiences. His girlfriend, Realtor and yoga instructor Sally Bacon, has been trying to turn him on to paddle boarding. “I’m getting better at it. The first time, I was terrified I was going to fall off,” he says. “I narrowly missed going into the water when I sneezed.”
Even taking an unintended dive into the Tennessee River couldn’t dampen Reynolds’s enthusiasm for his new home. “I wouldn’t want to live somewhere else. I have a lot of friends in Nashville and Atlanta, but Chattanooga offers the best mix of things to do and opportunities to develop an active social life, all without having too many people or too much traffic,” he says.
Although Reynolds has reached several important milestones in his life, more lie ahead, and he wants to be able to reach them. He has no reason to worry. His intelligence, focus, and drive have brought him this far, and will surely propel him to new heights in the years ahead.