For the first time in its 35-year history, Kean Miller has a woman leading the law firm as managing partner. Linda Perez Clark officially stepped into the role on Tuesday.
Clark is also the first female managing partner of a major Baton Rouge-based law firm, though not the only woman to lead a major firm in Baton Rouge. In that capacity, she joins Phyllis Cancienne, who is the Baton Rouge office managing shareholder at the Memphis-based Baker Donelson.
Much of Clark’s nearly 20-year career at the firm has been focused on diversity. She developed the Kean Miller Connection program, which focuses on undergraduate minorities who are interested in entering law school.
“One of my pride points with the firm has been diversity and inclusion,” Clark tells Daily Report of Kean Miller, where 36% of the attorneys and 33% of the partners are women. “We’ve always been committed to that, and this is proof.”
Clark wants to continue the mission of her predecessor, Blane Clark (no relation), by increasing staffing in both Louisiana and Texas and expanding into more practice areas. Kean Miller currently has 156 attorneys working in eight offices in the two states.
As the new year begins, she says she expects local law firms to deal with alternative fee arrangements more often and for artificial intelligence to play a more prominent role in the profession. While she doesn’t foresee technology replacing lawyers, she predicts it’ll help with mundane tasks like proofreading contracts.