Relationships built on trust and years of working together
A Conversation On Leadership With Attorney Alexis Glascock
Relationships built on trust and years of working together
Alexis Glascock is a high-profile government relations and regulatory attorney, and a familiar face in Arizona’s state government scene. She’s incredibly smart – and connected – and possesses experience lobbying for major clients including the American Heart Association, the Arizona Cardinals and the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.
We recently had the pleasure of talking with this Arizona influencer about the current state of issues impacting Arizona, as well as her life in the law.
As “Fennemore’s Face” at the State Capitol, overseeing government relations for Arizona, talk about the recently adjourned legislature and some of the trends that intrigue you moving forward.
The top issues of the legislative session that just adjourned spanned from legislation to limit liability for businesses, health care providers, schools, and numerous other entities from claims by employees or customers that they contracted COVID-19 at the premises. Education, economic growth, transportation, increased broadband and telehealth were all key priorities this session along with others.
Wellesley, Harvard, and the University of Virginia for your J.D. – and you have called your work at Fennemore your “dream job.” Talk about this journey – and what keeps you so happy, motivated and curious about your life in the law?
I am highly motivated by advancing my clients’ interests at the capitol. The issues are always new and often times related to what is happening in the news. Two keys to success at the Capitol, state agencies or the local level are to have strong relationships with elected officials and their staff, as well as know the legislative or local rules of procedure. Relationships built on trust and years of working together are critical to have success in government relations, but knowing the procedural rules and what is possible is equally important.
My work at Fennemore is my dream job because it allows me to learn about various industries and issues, strategize, and build both legislative and community coalitions to achieve my client’s objectives at the Capitol. I thrive on developing a game plan with my clients, negotiating solutions with other stakeholders, and working to either pass legislation, modify or eliminate it, as well as simply monitor legislation related to certain industries for clients who want to know when they should engage in the legislative process.
What would you tell your younger self, or perhaps a woman now in the first year of law school about a career in the legal profession?
My advice to my younger self is to trust your inner voice and never give up on your goals. There are times that require pivoting quickly and finding a new path, but strong preparation and a positive goal oriented approach will always yield great solutions. My strong advice is to seek the guidance of mentors who have been successful professionally and personally. They are critical to learn best practices and how to approach challenging situations. Their counsel is integral to more quickly learning the ropes and honing one’s legal skills.
Talk about your biggest failure. What did you learn? And how did you pick up the pieces and move forward?
My most challenging professional moment occurred a few years ago. It was not my personal failure, but very nearly caused a bill not to pass. It was a budget item that a member had asked be in the budget to secure their support. The night they were going to adjourn for the year, the sponsor called to tell me that staff had made a mistake and thought the ask was for a different budget item that was instead included in the final draft. It had not yet been passed in the other chamber, so there was time to try and get it still placed in the budget. To achieve it, the leader of one house had to call the leader of the other chamber and ask them to hold another Rules Committee, caucus and then vote on adding the budget item to the budget. It was going to require at least five people to agree to do it and the members to pass it.
With a very positive attitude, the member and I were able to put all of those wheels in motion. This was also a year when many members’ budget asks had not passed. Nevertheless, it was a very worthy bipartisan issue. It passed despite being told by several people it was too late to do anything about it. Good will with the people I worked with at the Capitol, both members and staff, made all the difference.
I learned to never give up and think creatively. Positive energy can bring about tremendous success despite the odds.
Why is community service and mentorship so important to you? (And do you ever sleep??? ??)
Community service and mentorship are aspects of my life that bring me great joy! I have chaired several large fundraising events, and served on numerous boards. The most enjoyable part is actually working with people who the non-profit benefits. The one-on-one experience of working with people who are the recipients of various services, and seeing them thrive and grow bring me tremendous satisfaction.
Mentorship is the part that I focus on the most because so many people have tremendous potential and need a cheerleader to encourage them to utilize their skills and take the risk of trying something new. Everyone does not have a strong support system and helping to be part of that for another person is very rewarding. Seeing them succeed is the best gift.
What’s the best – and worst – piece of advice that you were ever given?
W. Clement Stone was born in 1902 and was the CEO of Combined Insurance company and a family friend. He started selling insurance when he was in high school to help his mother support their family. He was both a respected business leader and a highly renowned motivational author. When I was eleven, I told him I wanted to be a lawyer. He said, “You can do it if you believe in yourself. Never let anything or anyone stop you. Just keep on trying and you will get there!” His strong voice and clear confidence that a little girl could absolutely become a lawyer truly emboldened me!
As for worst advice, it would be “Don’t work so hard”. That is the antithesis of what brings success.
Post-pandemic, what are you listening to (music or podcast); reading, and watching/streaming?
I am listening to Cold Play, Miley Cyrus, Oliva Rodriguez, Ariana Grande, Keith Urban and Fleetwood Mac. My favorite podcasts are Mad Money, Wall Street Journal Planet Money, NPR Fresh Air and Ted Talk Health. For streaming, Ted Lasso never disappoints! My favorite fiction book of the moment is The Elegance of the Hedgehog and non-fiction is The Happiness Hypothesis: Ten Ways to Find Happiness and Meaning in Life, by Jonathon Haidt.
You’re a proud mom – what have your kids taught you?
My kids have taught me far more than I can ever impart to them. They teach me to live in the moment and enjoy the fun of life. They think everything is possible and never doubt that it will happen. They laugh constantly and see the humor in everything. They do not see differences in society, but rather similarities.
Okay, you and your family are hosting a lavish dinner party. Name the three people – from any time in human history – who you would invite.
Margret Thatcher, Madam Shang Kai Shek and Robin Williams
Here’s to Alexis, and all of our government relations and regulatory attorneys who help develop and define the laws shaping the communities we serve.
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