Santa Rosa Beach-based attorney Nathan Cordle’s youth belies an incredible amount of experience, and he’ll take over as the managing attorney for Provident Title and become the president for the Walton County Young Professionals next month.
WATERCOLOR — Nathan Cordle is used to the question.
Even when it doesn't come his way in the nicest way, which happens less and less, he still manages to handle it with grace.
"I do look young; it's OK," Cordle said, laughing. "So it's fine when people ask how old I am, in whatever way they want to ask it. I think if you know what you're talking about and conduct yourself in a certain way, then it doesn't really matter how old you look.
"Be confident wherever you're at and that will help make up for what people might assume you're lacking in experience."
Cordle, who is 29 years old, certainly doesn't lack in experience.
Starting next month, Cordle will be the managing attorney for Santa Rosa Beach's Provident Title after three years in real estate and probate law for Pensacola-based firm Clark Partington's offices in Santa Rosa Beach.
Monday morning, he was a man on the move, finishing up work for Clark Partington — his last day is Jan. 3 — and checking out his new offices in the bucolic WaterColor community.
"(Cordle) is very bright, very organized and very ambitious," said attorney Mark Davis, Clark Partington's Senior Partner in Santa Rosa Beach. "I'm not surprised with the move for him because he's somebody I figured was going to move upward and onward as soon as he could.
"He's got a really bright future and I'm happy for him ... he will do great."
Cordle has big plans for 2020, not only with the new job, but in his role as president for the Young Professionals of Walton County after serving the last year as vice president. He's also on the board for the Walton County Chamber of Commerce and for Westonwood Ranch, a farm-based learning school for individuals with autism.
"One of my goals when I moved here was that I wanted to really immerse myself in the community right away," Cordle said. "So when I did come here, I was looking for nonprofits to plug myself into ... The Young Professionals, Westonwood Ranch, and the Chamber of Commerce were natural fits."
"With all of the companies out here that are hiring young people, places like St. Joe Company and Sandestin Hilton, we think we have something really great to offer the people that do come here. I know a big part of the next year is going to be working on corporate memberships and sponsorships for all different types of levels and all different types of companies.
"In addition to our scheduled networking and professional development programs, YP also plans to collaborate with local nonprofits to give back in a greater way to our communities."
Incredibly, Cordle's hometown of Opp, Alabama, was named after an attorney, Louisville and Nashville Railroad's Henry Opp.
Cordle received both his undergrad and law degrees from the University of Alabama — "I'm a double grad, Roll Tide," Cordle said — and graduated summa cum laude for his Bachelor's degree. That means he got straight As, the whole time.
"My mom always likes to say she didn't have to pressure me too hard when it came to grades and stuff," he said. "If I was in a study group and things got rowdy, she would usually find me studying by myself."
He went into private practice in Tuscaloosa after graduating from law school in 2015 and opened up a title company with his law partner in that time. It was an easy fit for Cordle, who began working in the industry when he was just 19 years old and sold real estate during his undergrad studies and in law school.
Clark Partington came calling three years ago with a job offer and was already familiar with Cordle after he did an internship there in law school.
"I hated to leave (Tuscaloosa) and what we’d built there, but that was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up," he said. "To work for the premiere law firm in the region, in the 30A offices, and to get to live where we live ... it was really something I knew I had to do."
For all Cordle's already achieved, perhaps his best quality is his demeanor. It's easy to see how he can sit at any table, in any room, and feel comfortable.
No matter what his age.
"He does have a great way about him in that he's not arrogant and he's good with his peers," Davis said. "I mean, he's not only accomplished at a young age, but you see what he's doing and he's continued to grow professionally in that same time."