John Burns personifies the unbounded and purposeful spirit which resonates amongst young Washingtonians.
By Adoria Doucette
President Franklin Roosevelt pursued the most ambitious and dramatic effort of nation building in the history of the world when here in Washington DC he instructed all federal agencies to design systems and programs that would rework and progressively invigorate the entire American landscape. Two young idealistic attorneys heeded this call and ventured to the nations capital from Harvard Law School and the University Of Chicago Law School to play a part in what would shape the rest of the American century. The environment of young professionals during that time was one of idealism, hope, and commitment to the type of excellence required to lift the nation out of the economic uncertainty of the time. These two young men, David Krooth and Norman Altman, utilized their youthful energy and founded a small law firm that would go on to play a vital role in establishing new banking, financial, and housing policies which enabled America to emerge from the depression stronger than ever. These two young lawyers were frequent guests of monthly teas hosted by the pioneering Associate Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, famous for graduating with the highest grade average in Harvard’s history up until that time. During these teas Justice Brandeis would stimulate meaningful networking and purposeful conversation amongst young Washingtonians, and Mr. Krooth and Mr. Altman would over the ensuing decades build one of the nations most influential boutique law firms. Krooth & Altman is now home to one of Washington’s most active and promising young attorneys, Jonathan Burns, who in an ironic keeping with the storied tradition of his firm’s founders was greatly influenced by the intellectual giant of his contemporary Supreme Court, former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. Although their first conversation was brief, Justice Stevens instructed Jonathan to “keep working towards something great”, and with the spirit of young David and Norman enhancing his own commitment to excellence, the life of Jonathan Burns is a microcosm of the enormous talent and potential within our nations capital.
By the time Justice Stevens gave him this important advice to seek greatness, Mr. Burns was no stranger to accomplishment. Early on, John developed a great appreciation for giving back through honorable service to others. Hailing from a prominent family of San Antonio, Texas, a middle school age Jonathan Burns worked his way to the top military position at the coveted San Antonio Academy, the first African American to do so in the schools 100 year history. At the exact same time, Jonathan’s older brother (he is exactly 4 years older) held the top military position at the high school of Texas Military Institute, one of the oldest and most storied educational institutions in Texas. Burns’ brother was also the first African American to hold this top military position. Four years later, Jonathan became the second African American military head of TMI, as his brother was the first!! Washington DC is now home to Mr. Burns who personally embodies TMI’s school motto of “Nihil Supra Mores – Ducit qui Servit” (Nothing Above Honor – One Who Serves Leads).
Burns studied Economics and International Affairs at the University of Westminister and graduated from Tufts University, John then received his Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center. As a proficient local attorney, Mr. Burns specializes in commercial real estate, employment and bankruptcy matters. Mr. Burns assist in matters with banks and institutional lenders, developers, holding companies, entrepreneurs, commercial enterprises and individuals. John is also a legal commentator and columnist, he manages his own legal commentary website entitled The Legal Correspondent http://www.thelegalcorrespondent.com/ where he comments on current legal topics and other trending law related issues. He has provided commentaries on various legal topics for a variety of outlets, including, BET, News Channel 8, TBD TV and WJLA (Washington, DC ABC affiliate). He is also a contributing legal columnist for Mwari Magazine. John is also substantially involved in the D.C. metropolitan community as an active volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and a pivotal Executive Board Member of the D.C. chapter of 100 Black Men of America. His ability to not only practice the law but communicate the most important and vital issues of the law in a way relevant to broad society places him in a class by himself within the local community.
The entire world looks towards America for leadership, and our home of Washington DC is the heart and soul of the ideals that are admired around the globe. The future belongs to the dreams, aspirations and hard work of our most talented young people, and on the shoulders of his proud family and the great men that established the law firm he now works in, Jonathan Burns represents what is most exciting about the future of America. His commitment to community and to the ideals instilled in him by his family and his prominent educators have created a youthful energy and passionate focus on purposeful community activities which ensures that Burns contribution to our nation will be far beyond the field of law.