Lew Clark: On Leadership

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Attorney at Law Writer Rachael Brooks sat down with Lew Clark to discuss his career, heroes and his practice. 

Brooks: When did you first know you wanted to become an attorney?

Clark: I knew I wanted to be an attorney in high school, but I had no idea why. At the time, it seemed like a great way to avoid math.

Brooks: Did you ever want to be anything else? Did your family ever want you to be something else?

Clark: I wanted to be a radio disc jockey. My Dad wanted me to be an engineer. He didn’t think I would be a good lawyer because I wasn’t argumentative enough.

Brooks: Do you have any mentors or professors that encouraged you along the way?

Clark: Several, both within the firm and outside the firm. I was blessed to have two excellent mentors at my first law firm who taught me how to serve clients and how to be a true trial lawyer and counselor. My Squire mentors are too numerous to mention. Our office founder, Bob Matia, has been an excellent mentor and counselor. My immediate predecessor, John Welch, has been an outstanding mentor and friend, too.

Brooks: Who are some of your legal heroes? Why?

Clark: Bob Matia. Bob taught me more about empathy than anyone else. He taught me, by his example, about not only caring about the people you are responsible for leading, but also how to show empathy and true regard for their well-being. He taught me that being a colleague or advisor is nice, but being a friend is the relationship that matters the most.

Brooks: What do you find particularly rewarding about being an attorney?

Clark: The relationship with clients is the most rewarding aspect of the practice. I enjoy really getting to know the clients and adapting guidance, advice and advocacy to match their culture and business goals.

Brooks: How would you describe your practice? What is your main area of law?

Clark: I have practiced labor and employment law for 25 years. I have the good fortune of working with a number of local businesses, as well as worldwide clients, helping them create best practices and policies for one of their most valuable assets their employees.

Brooks: What drew you to your current firm? How would you describe the culture there?

Clark: What drew me to the firm and the description of our culture are the same. Collegiality. Although our office is one of 44 offices in 21 countries, we work together as a team, both here in Phoenix and throughout the firm to help our clients solve problems. Our worldwide presence in an increasingly globalized marketplace makes practicing law here very interesting and exposes our attorneys to a multitude of business and cultural issues.

Brooks: How would you describe your leadership style in your role?

Clark: I consider myself just one of many leaders across our firm who are dedicated to advancing our business objectives, providing our clients with top notch legal service and creating a work place that is collaborative and productive.

Brooks: Are there any changes coming in the future that you’re excited about?

Clark: I am excited about growing the Phoenix office. I’m excited about Squire Patton Boggs entering our 125th year as a firm and last but not least I’m excited about sharing with our clients our newly expanded global footprint and policy expertise that is a result of our recent merger.

Brooks: What do you most hope to accomplish in the future?

Clark: To continue to develop our firm’s culture so all the attorneys and staff are ridiculously proud of being here and so other attorneys and staff want to be here.

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