In 1987, I read an article in the New York Times about Eugene Lang, a millionaire who told sixth-grade students in East Harlem that he would fund their college education if they stayed in school. Immediately, I wrote Mr. Lang to see how I might support his mission. A year and a half later – somewhat to my surprise – Eugene landed in Las Vegas and contacted me. As a result of that meeting and other preliminary work, I and Julie Murray established a local chapter of the I Have a Dream Foundation in Las Vegas and sponsored 65 kids in an area housing project and pursued my duties as President of the Foundation. The I Have A Dream Foundation helped connect the “Dreamers” with mentors and after school programs, and provided them scholarships to UNLV or a college of their choice. That one letter to Mr. Lang changed my life and the lives of many others in the region. To me, it was proof that investing in others gives you higher purpose – it is, in part, an investment in yourself.
As a local native of 35 years and managing attorney of Armstrong Teasdale in Las Vegas, I’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to invest in our great city and the people who call it home.
I’ve seen our firm grow alongside the city, from just a handful of offices when I joined, to 13 offices throughout the U.S. and U.K. today. I’ve seen us grow from a couple dozen practice areas, to more than 70 domestic and international practices, adding esteemed lawyers with significant books of business. I’ve been here long enough to know that investment in people is core to this firm’s character, and it pays dividends.
Professional services are in high demand, especially in the aftermath of the pandemic. There’s a lot to take in and a lot of changing guidance. Our Las Vegas team has been instrumental in helping clients across sectors navigate those complex legal challenges, and we know that with the right people in place, we can do even more. As talent “wars” pick up in light of those displaced by COVID-19, I couldn’t be more excited about our growth potential in Las Vegas.
In 2020, Partners Alicia Ashcraft and Jeffrey Barr, and several other members of legacy firm Ashcraft & Barr, joined Armstrong Teasdale, adding to our extensive national Corporate, Litigation and Marijuana and Hemp Law practices.
Ashcraft, recently recognized as a National Law Journal Cannabis Trailblazer, said the firm’s diverse footprint has enabled her to grow her practice. “I’ve focused on counseling marijuana and hemp businesses in Nevada through the regulatory process and emerging legal issues since 2013. Coming to Armstrong Teasdale afforded me the opportunity to apply the depth of knowledge across the country, as well as do more for my existing clients.”
Barr, ranked among the 2021 Legal Elite, echoes her sentiments: “The firm has a big platform, but a tight-knit, collegial feel. That mix is difficult to achieve, but it’s incredibly valued. Having the support of firm leadership, and their commitment to investing in us and our clients, is what positions us best for the future.”
We’re fortunate to have a lot of great talent in the region, and we will continue to look for growth opportunities that make sense for us, and our clients. We have an incredibly strong litigation practice, a well-recognized marijuana and hemp law practice, a burgeoning intellectual property practice, and a lot of room to grow. I’m putting my foot on the accelerator as we look to recruit and retain top talent here in Las Vegas.
I would encourage you to follow the motivation to move if you have it. If you’re a working mother, bypass the so-called “shesession.” Our culture is such that we support working parents through our formal resource groups, as well as flexible work arrangements. I have four daughters, so I get it. I want them, and our attorneys, to feel comfortable in defining what “success” looks like for them personally.
“I really enjoy the diversity of my self-directed practice, and the opportunity to stay engaged in the community through various boards I serve on,” said Partner Tracy DiFillippo, a litigator who has been with the firm since 2012. “Armstrong Teasdale does a great job balancing its strategic goals with the priorities of its people.”
Find an employer who is putting people first – not only willing to invest in you, but rooting for you to succeed, whatever that looks like for you. Because that ROI is priceless.
Kevin Stolworthy is managing attorney of Armstrong Teasdale’s Nevada operations and an experienced trial lawyer focusing on commercial and construction litigation, class action and white-collar criminal defense. Visit www.atllp.com to learn more.