Monday, June 20, 2011 | 3 a.m.
In a city where almost all legal talent is imported, Bill Urga of Jolley Urga Wirth Woodbury & Standish is the exception. Born and raised in Las Vegas, Urga returned to his hometown after law school because he knew it was where he and his family would ultimately belong. Urga talks with VEGAS INC about what makes his firm, and him, different from the rest.
What’s some of the best advice your parents gave you?
My dad said to me that your word is your bond. You have to have trust in your business.
Do you have a business philosophy?
I’m very proud to be a lawyer. This is a profession, not a job. You have to work long hours and do your best on important cases that take time and attention.
You went to college in Colorado. What’s your favorite ski resort?
The very first time I went skiing, my friend just dropped me off on the intermediate slopes; so it hurt. I think that was at Breckenridge. I haven’t been skiing since the 1980s.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
My wife and I love Italy. Closer to Vegas, we also love to go to Laguna Beach.
What was your first job?
I was working for my father on Saturdays in the summer at Clark County Electric when I was 13 or 14. I did anything that could be called grunt work.
What was your worst job?
I’m not sure if I’ve never had a worst job. They’re all so different. One summer during high school, I worked for the telephone company in Henderson. There were a lot of chemicals that would eat through the cables, so I had to go down into holes we dug to help replace all of the wires underground.
What kind of car do you drive?
A Mercedes SL500. It’s some sort of red.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
After I got out of the kid phase of “Do I want to be a fireman or an astronaut?” I always knew I was going to be either a lawyer or a stockbroker.
What’s your favorite power lunch spot?
We go to McCormick and Schmick’s a lot because it’s nearby. One of my favorite places to eat is Spago.
If you could change one thing about Las Vegas, what would it be?
I wish we could go back to the way it was when I was a kid. There was a sense that the locals could take care of anything. When we did something, we did it on our own and we got it done.
If you could bring two albums on a desert island, what would they be?
I’d pick one oldies and goodies album and Paul Simon’s "Graceland."
What’s the one movie you could watch over and over again and never get tired of?
"The Dirty Dozen," "The Great Escape," the original "Stagecoach" with John Wayne.
Do you have a special pen you use when you’re closing a deal?
I don’t. Whatever works. Although I do like to use blue ink. That way, you know it’s not a copy.
What kind of watch do you wear?
I’ve had the same Rolex for 25 years. I had a Rolex before this one that got lost at a golf tournament, so I bought this one.