Know the client and be responsive to their needs

A Conversation On Leadership & Life In The Law With Attorney John Pearce

In this week’s leadership profile, we headed to the Valley of the Sun to talk with attorney John Pearce in our Phoenix office!

You’re one of our most high-profile attorneys, and you’ve recently been named one of our Best Lawyers in America® for the 14th year in a row – congratulations and talk about this milestone at this juncture in your career.

 Well, sometimes I feel that l I have been doing this too long!  I really have no idea how any of us get on these lists.  A cool milestone was 25 years at Fennemore.

What would you tell your younger self, or a 1L at the University of Oregon School of Law currently contemplating a career in the legal profession?

It seems to me it is more important now than ever for a young attorney to have vision on what path they want to take in their career. Private sector/public sector. Law firm or freelance.  Specialist or generalist. Really consider what interests you, and gravitate to that.

Without naming your clients, are there any intriguing current matters that you’re working on in your hybrid environmental and real estate law practice?

 I am presently working on a couple of significant acquisitions that are in my area of focus—fuel and convenience retail. That’s always fun and challenging.

Who is your hero – or the person who has had the greatest impact on your life and career?

My wife of 27 years. 

Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?

I have failed often, sometimes spectacularly, at various things in life. Strictly professionally, the biggest failure I experienced was losing a very large client that had taken a lot of work to build up, and had dominated my practice for over a decade.   Rebuilding with a similar (in some ways) yet very different client has been challenging but sometimes rewarding.

What’s the best – and worst – piece of career advice that you’ve ever received?

Best-know the client and be responsive to their needs.

Worst-clients don’t really read bills so don’t worry about them making sense.

What are you currently listening to (podcast or music); reading; and watching/streaming? And what’s your go-to take-out food order?

Presently enjoying streaming the show “Alone”- a legit outdoor survival show.

Presently completing a re-read of the core James Clavell Asian Saga novels.

Ate Taco Bell three times last week when my wife was away.

Okay, you’re hosting a lavish dinner party. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you’d invite to join your family and friends.

Theodore Roosevelt

CS Lewis

Martin Luther King Jr.

Many thanks to John for his compelling insights!

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