Alex Shumate, managing partner of Squire Patton Boggs, on his dream job, noteworthy cases
Current: Managing Partner, North America, Squire Patton Boggs, 27 years
Education: The University of Akron, J.D., Akron Law Review, 1975; Ohio Wesleyan University, B.A., with honors, 1972
Admissions-Ohio, 1975; U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio; U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio; U.S. Supreme Court; Fellow of the Ohio State Bar Association; Life Member of the Sixth Circuit Judicial Conference
Business regulatory, administrative law, legislative counseling
Best Lawyers in America every year since 1999; consistently named an Ohio Super Lawyer; Best Lawyers' 2013 Columbus Government Relations Practice Lawyer of the Year; Lawyers of Color 2015 Power Issue Honoree; United Way of Central Ohio Key Club Community Leadership Award; Erie County Chamber of Commerce Gallery of Achievers; Junior Achievement Central Ohio Business Hall of Fame; The Columbus Award – Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Ohio State University Board of Trustees (third term); Capitol South Redevelopment Corporation Board of Trustees; Wexner Center for the Arts Board of Trustees; Secretary, The Columbus Partnership; former chair, Columbus Chamber of Commerce
Two noteworthy cases:
Public advocacy on behalf of the Council of Smaller Enterprises in the legislative and administrative law process leading to the passage of Ohio's healthcare reform legislation; ensured that the new regulations and changes didn't negatively impact small business.
Public advocacy on behalf of Ohio's financial services industry to ensure that proposed new bank regulations protected both consumers and the industry.
Chief counsel and deputy chief of staff to former Ohio Governor Richard Celeste; Assistant Attorney General for the State of Ohio; Adjunct Professor in Business Law at Franklin University
How did you come to focus on your practice or specialization?
Early in my career I was a civil rights trial lawyer advocating for equal rights in employment, housing and public accommodations. After a couple of years and more than 10 successful cases, I had a conversation with Bill Brown, the sitting Ohio attorney general, about how I could make a more significant and substantial impact on diversity and equal opportunity. The attorney general initiated a task force that eventually recommended the enactment of legislation to create a statewide minority business initiative. That was my first experience in public policy and the legislative process and it became my passion. It was eye opening -- I realized that instead of helping a few people over the course of two years, I could be involved in initiatives that help thousands and bring about constructive change on a much larger scale.
What business or legal trends are key drivers in your practice?
Right now healthcare reform is having the biggest impact, along with the overall increase in business regulation.
What is the biggest change you have adapted to in your practice?
Clearly, technology and its efficient use to benefit clients and grow the practice of law; the resultant speed has changed client communication-everything happens much faster.
What are the most promising opportunities for your practice?
Public policy is always going to present new opportunities. It is the one area of the law in which all of the changes going on in our society – from business and technology to government regulation – are constantly being debated. Right now there are new developments in financial services, tax, trade policy and healthcare. The opportunities seem endless.
If not law, what would be your dream job?
A social sciences teacher and head tennis coach for Sandusky High School.