Gardner Armsby (J.D. ’15) Speaks To Health Care Transactions Class
Gardner Armsby (J.D. ’15) may have graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University College of Law in 2015, but on Oct. 12 he was in class as an invited guest speaker for the Health Care Transactions practicum. The three-hour, advanced health law class, taught and co-created by Professor Erin C. Fuse Brown is offered every fall.
Armsby, 30, is an associate at King & Spalding in the firm’s Healthcare Practice Group and took the class when it was first offered in 2014, because, he said, “It was the exact area of practice I wanted to go into.”
“He was a terrific student,” said Fuse Brown. “He really showed a level of fluidity when it came to the law in addition to being good at draftsmanship.”
Speaking alongside attorney Laura Little, with the Polsinelli law firm, Armsby gave the nine students a casual but pointed overview of the basics of practicing health care law. He and Little informed the class of “real life,” as opposed to academic, aspects of the field in addition to explaining how health care differs from other industries. Armsby spoke easily on what a single day or entire project might entail and gave a talk-through of the ideal due diligence process and a typical transactional timeline touching on the mundane to the more complicated.
Some of the information entailed basic reminders.
“Make a list of what and who you need to know about in a deal. Don’t go to a partner eight times when you can send one email with your questions,” Armsby said.
Some instruction highlighted how information is shared. Following the letter of intent, Armsby explained that the next step for an associate was to be given access to a data room.
“The data room is where all the documents go,” he explained. “In the olden days it used to be an actual room, and I’m told in some deals it still is an actual room, but I haven’t seen one.”
“Nowadays it’s an online portal, usually controlled by the bankers who put the deal together, but it can be controlled by other parties, maybe the sellers themselves,” he continued. “Typically you will have no idea what you will find in there. There can be 5,000 documents or a dozen, depending on the progress of the deal.”
“You will be asked what all is in there and one of the first things you will usually do is write up a summary of what you see,” he added.
Armsby seemed comfortable and sure in his knowledge and ability to speak to the students who are where he was two years ago. He expressed delight at being back at the university, where, as a student he was a member of the Georgia State University Law Review.
“It felt great. I really enjoyed seeing the new building and the way the law school has grown,” he said. “It was great see Professor Fuse Brown again. A lot of the knowledge, I use in my practice I learned in her classes. It was also great to see the students who are interested in this field.”
It’s a field that interests Armsby immensely and intrigues him on a daily basis in his office.
“You touch on a lot of different aspects of law, like corporate governance and all kinds of different issues like employment and real estate,” he explained. “It’s a broad range of things I can be involved in.”
Armsby came to Georgia State Law after receiving his degree in economics from the University of Georgia.
He’s not the first lawyer in his family. His mother, Karen Armsby (J.D. ’96), attended Georgia State Law when Armsby and his sister were in elementary school. She specialized in bankruptcy proceedings and worked with the State Attorney’s office and Department of Law until her recent retirement.
“I’m a legacy,” he grinned.
As much as he enjoys his practice as an attorney, he also enjoys Georgia football, follows the Atlanta Hawks and likes to spend time outdoors and on his mountain bike.
Prior to studying law Armsby worked as CFO and corporate compliance officer for a non-profit provider of job training services for adults with disabilities. Among his responsibilities: maintaining CARF accreditation and compliance with service and documentation standards under Georgia’s NOW and COMP Medicaid Waiver programs.
He feels that his studies and career path have been true to who he is and sees only health-care law in his future.
“This is where I want to be,” he said.