Budding Time-Machine Builders: Your Efforts will be Wasted on Rakesh Gopalan

Discovery with Rakesh Gopalan

Published in 2020 North Carolina Super Lawyers magazine

By Rakesh Gopalan on January 22, 2020


I can’t go a day without … playing my guitar. My go-to song to doodle on is “Fade to Black” by Metallica.

If you were in my office, you’d … be surprised how paperless it is.

The quality I most like in a lawyer is … practicality and a measure of emotional detachment. While it is good to advocate passionately for your client, it becomes draining to deal with lawyers who take things too personally. 

When I started, I wish I knew … how important it is to recognize that there are many different work styles and habits that are successful.

On weekends I … focus on my wife and two kids, as quality time on weekdays is rare.

The talent I wish I had is … to play piano.

On my best day I … land a new client, keep existing clients happy, workout, see my family, and pick at my guitar for at least 5 minutes.

On my worst day I … feel way too behind, do not get any exercise, and come home after my kids are asleep.

The last TV show I binge-watched was … Succession on HBO. 

If I had a time machine I’d … completely waste it. The idea of having to re-establish relationships and knowledge sounds horrifying.

The most annoying thing about my job is … when our instant-response culture takes precedence over meaningful and more fulsome reactions.

The most misunderstood part of my practice area is … how creative you have to be—not all clients are the same, and what they want out of a particular transaction may be something entirely new.

I am inspired by … meaningful diversity initiatives, particularly those that are less theoretical and more business-oriented. 

I’d most like to clink glasses with … James Hetfield, lead singer/songwriter of Metallica, my favorite band. It’d probably have to be a lime LaCroix, though, because he’s mostly sober. 

My favorite podcast is … Pod Save America.

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