May 26, 2023

David J. McCabe, National Chair of Willkie’s Private Clients Group, has been profiled in “How I Made Practice Group Leader,” a series spotlighting the industry’s notable leaders and their guidelines for success.

In the Q&A profile, David discussed his path to Willkie and development as a leading trusts and estates lawyer, highlighting the business and management skills that have helped him successfully chair one of the industry’s top Private Clients Groups. 

David has led the Private Clients Group since 1997 and overseen the expansion of the team into a multidisciplinary, nationwide practice. The Private Clients Group, a rarity among elite international law firms, continues to grow by providing exceptional service to clients and leveraging the comprehensive strength of Willkie’s platform. 

“Our long-term goal is to maintain our position as one of the premiere Private Client Group practices in the country and to attract the best talent and the best clients to our practice,” David told

He also offered advice to lawyers on how to grow into leadership roles of their own. David stressed the importance of understanding the commercial side of the practice in addition to mastering the technical legal work, and that personal commitment is paramount in helping clients and colleagues excel in their lives and careers. 

Leadership, David reflected, also comes down to identifying your strengths and weaknesses, and using that to build a stellar team of complementary talents – a tenet he credits to one of his clients.

“I have tried to do that my entire career and I believe I have been successful largely because I have surrounded myself with brilliant, practical, empathetic colleagues who are prepared to work collaboratively for a shared goal.”

Read the full profile here.

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