“I think when I started law school I expected to be a small-town practitioner,” Perry recalled. “I didn’t have a very sophisticated understanding of the scope of the practice of law, but I loved Morgantown and knew I wanted to attend law school here after I received my undergraduate degree from WVU.”
Shortly after earning his J.D., Perry received an opportunity to work for Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., then president of the Maryland State Senate. That sparked Perry’s passion for government relations and jumpstarted his career.
As a member of the senate president’s staff, Perry was deeply involved in legislative and political issues for almost a decade and worked on complicated projects at close range with elected officials. According to Perry, the job suited him well and brought with it an obvious path into a future career in government relations.
“Tim started in my office as a clerk and then became my chief of staff,” Miller said. “He would walk through the State House Complex and know everyone’s name as he passed them. No position was too insignificant to him, and he knew what everyone’s job description was. His positive personality, hard work and people skills have brought him nation-wide contacts and allowed him to become a real force to reckon with.”
Perry is now chairman of his own government relations firm, Perry White Ross Jacobson, LLC, in Annapolis, Maryland. After seven years as an associate and partner with Baltimore law firm Gordon Feinblatt, Perry co-founded PWRJ in 2013. The firm serves national and international public and private businesses over a variety of industries including transportation, healthcare, information technology, real estate development, professional sports, consumer goods and services, and entertainment.
“We deal with highly specialized and highly complicated government entanglements. We have been involved in what I like to call ‘above the fold’ topics in Maryland like casino gaming, the state’s healthcare exchange and energy company mergers,” Perry explained. “It is rewarding to have the opportunity to assist clients in navigating a governmental venue that can be confusing and challenging, where they often face significant financial and other business exposures.”
PWRJ has been Maryland’s number one government relations firm in terms of billing for five consecutive years, and Perry has been among the top earners in government relations in Maryland for more than a decade. The firm’s partners are among the state’s top 20 earners.
PWRJ’s clients include Anheuser-Busch, Cisco, Airbnb, First Energy Service Company, AT&T, Fidelity Investments, Nissan, Altria, UnitedHealthGroup, the Washington Redskins and many more.
Outside of the office, Perry makes time to help budding attorneys find their way in the law as they begin their education. He has been invited to speak with Baltimore/Washington-area students who are considering a legal career, and he was recently appointed to WVU Law’s Visiting Committee.
As a first-generation law student and a first-generation attorney, Perry stresses to potential law students the importance of finding a professional mentor that can help them understand what their life may be like day to day after graduation.
“You can acquire that type of mentor through summer work experience like clerking, for example. It really helps if you don’t have a family member who is a lawyer to have someone you can bounce ideas off of or ask questions,” Perry said.
He also advises law students to “study to be the best-educated lawyer” possible.
“They should strive to be able to compete successfully for a top clerkship at the U.S. Supreme Court, regardless of what they actually end up doing after law school,” Perry said.
Perry lives in the Greenspring Valley area of Baltimore County, Maryland, with his wife, Allison, and daughter, Paige. He is originally from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from West Virginia University in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in political science.