Get to Know David Nows


Attorney David Nows is a clinical faculty member in the Entrepreneurship Department at Central Michigan University. His classes include Legal Aspects of New Ventures and Venture Development in CMU’s undergraduate program, and he also has taught in CMU’s Master of Entrepreneurial Transactions program, which looks at entrepreneurship through a transactional law lens. 

Prior to joining CMU in January, Nows was an attorney at Foster Swift Collins & Smith, P.C. in Lansing. A resident of Mount Pleasant, Nows is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan.

By Sheila Pursglove
Legal News

What would surprise people about your job? It is extremely diverse in its duties. This semester I’m teaching three courses (on three very different topics), helping to design CMU’s Summer Accelerator program for teams that emerge victorious from our New Venture Competition in April, and sifting through topics I would like to publish law review articles on in the future.  No two days are the same, and it is very different from my days practicing law.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Having a role in mentoring teams in our New Venture Competition at CMU each year. We hold a competition for students with ideas for new businesses, and provide workshops and mentoring opportunities throughout the school year. Then, in April, we hold a pitch competition, and give out a ton of prize money to teams to pursue their business. Last year, we gave away over $90,000. We have begun an accelerator program for some of the winning teams, where they receive more intensive mentoring for the six weeks following the school year. This year, I am helping to design that accelerator program.

What’s your favorite law-related TV show, movie, and/or book? One of my favorite podcasts is “Lessons from a Quitter,” interviewing all types of professionals who have dealt with choosing a profession that was not a perfect fit, and who took the leap to transition to something new. Many guests on the podcast have had experiences that resonated with me in my transition from the practice of law to teaching, advising, writing, etc.

What advice do you have for someone considering law school?
Have a clear picture of what your goals will be, personally and professionally, upon graduation.  Then, choose a school that will provide you with professional opportunities you seek; provide you with an initial professional experience that allows you to pivot to something different, if your desire drives you in that direction; and does not give you so much debt you cannot live the life you want to live.  Law school, more than most forms of education, should be viewed as an investment in your career.  You should go to a school that opens doors for your career, especially if you have big aspirations, but you should be very conscious of how much that education will cost you upon graduation.

What other career path might you have chosen?
Prior to law school, I worked in live sports television, producing and airing University of Michigan sporting events through Big Ten Network’s Student U program. That was one of the most rewarding professional experiences I’ve ever had, and I was very close to pursuing that career path.

What do you do to relax? Anything but work! Honestly, it is very important to me to have a significant amount of time to spend with my wife, Katie, and our families. I also do my best to prioritize an hour to work out 5 to 6 days per week.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self? Learn to get comfortable with falling short of great, or perfect. It is the best way to learn and grow.

Favorite app? I’m no longer an active user (for obvious reasons), but big shout out to Tinder for helping me find my wife!

Favorite music? I have eclectic musical tastes, and I like pretty much anything outside of country music.  My go-to genres tend to be rap from 2000-09 (artists like Nelly, 50 Cent, Lil’ Wayne, T.I., etc.) and ‘90s and early 2000s pop music (Matchbox 20, blink 182, and all the phenomenal one-hit wonders!)

What is your happiest childhood memory? In terms of impact, my younger brother being born—I’d been an only child for almost 10 years, so I was pumped to have a sibling. That said, hitting a game-winning shot in a basketball game is unlike anything else—I’ve made three buzzer-beaters for the win!

What’s the most awe-inspiring place you’ve been? The Temple of Poseidon in Greece—the ruins of the temple, the 60-meter high cliff, and the expansive views of the Aegean Sea are truly remarkable.

What’s one thing you would like to learn to do? I would love to learn how to wakeboard well. Growing up in Traverse City, I loved tubing on the lake, but I was never adventurous enough to try something more extreme. Now, I have a little more of an adventurous side, and I would love to be able to wakeboard!