Mark Price, BS ’00, MBA ’08, didn’t set out to become a leading executive in the legal industry.
Price, a Philadelphia native, recently became the chief operating officer at Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP, a Delaware-based law firm. His 25-year career has spanned multiple companies and continents, yet his story starts in Philadelphia.
After starting his undergraduate studies at Drexel University, Price took a short break before transferring to the Fox School of Business. He transferred to Temple, he said, because “it had a great reputation, it was convenient to Center City and my job, and it offered a strong undergraduate degree in business.”
While at the Fox School, he found a part-time role at a local law firm, thanks to a referral from a friend.
“Because I was going to school and working at the same time, I saw the practical application of a lot of the classes I was taking, whether it was organizational design, statistics or finance,” Price recalls. “These were all things that we were doing (at the law firm) on a daily basis.”
Since then, Price has taken on roles and responsibilities at various legal firms, from marketing and business development to practice group operations. He found opportunities to work and study abroad, including during his Fox MBA program, which he completed partly in France and Japan.
“Throughout both my educational career and my professional career, this global outlook has been a central theme to all of it. When a move like that puts you outside of your comfort zone, you realize that your comfort zone can be expanded.”
He also highlights his experience with the Fox Management Consulting (FMC) program, which offers MBA candidates the opportunity to work in teams with live clients.
Through FMC, he says, he had the chance to apply the classroom frameworks in the real world. His group’s client was a subsidiary of Lehman Brothers—immediately prior to its bankruptcy during the 2007-2008 financial crisis.
“It was a real learning experience for me,” he says.
Now as COO, Price leads Potter Anderson’s operations across marketing, finance, HR and more. He says that there is tremendous value in having a business background in the legal industry.
“Some of the larger law firms are very complex organizations, [so] bringing somebody with a business education and mentality is helpful for getting organized and supporting revenue and client development.”
For those who aspire to be C-suite executives, Price has this advice: “Start learning other parts of the organization.”
“When you get up into senior leadership roles, they really require a broad-based understanding of how the organization works.” He continues, “Know language that people use—your finance group, your IT group, your client service group. Understand how they talk, so you can talk with them about what they do.”
Price says his Fox MBA program still pays off to this day.
“The MBA program is all about teaching people frameworks,” he says. “I still have a lot of my books from my program up on my shelf that I'll still go back and reference.”