Alabama State Bar
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John William Clark, IV

Bainbridge, Mims, Rogers & Smith
PO Box 530886
Birmingham, AL 35253
(205)879-1100 / jclark@bainbridgemims.com

John graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2005, where he received his Juris Doctorate and a Master of Arts in Banking and Finance. He is also a 2001graduate of University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill where he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with Finance Concentration, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. John is an associate with Bainbridge, Mims, Rogers & Smith in Birmingham. His practice is in the areas of general civil litigation & transactions; business & commercial litigation. He is also admitted in Florida and Mississippi.

John’s community involvement includes Mobile Volunteer Lawyers Program, 2005-2007; Volunteer Coach, Mountain Brook, 7th-9th Grade Recreational League Baseball, 2007-2009; and Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program, 2009-present. He has been a member of the Mobile Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division Executive Committee, a participant of the Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum (Inaugural Class, 2009), a member of the Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum Task Force, and is currently the chair of the Birmingham Bar Association Future Leaders Forum Committee. John was an associate at Armbrecht Jasckson, LLP in Mobile prior to joining Bainbridge, Mims, Rogers & Smith in Birmingham in 2007.

The attorney who recommended John said, “Mr. Clark’s resume will provide you with his outstanding academic background and work experiences. I write to provide additional information. I know Mr. Clark personally, and have observed him in both professional and social settings. Mr. Clark has always exhibited the highest levels of professionalism, ethics, and integrity to my knowledge in his practice and personal life. He is actively engaged in civic activities within his community. His work as an attorney is primarily in litigation, and he is diligent and responsible in representing his clients in a manner that makes him well represented among his peers. He practices with an excellent firm known for leadership activities throughout our profession. I was on the Bar Commission and Disciplinary Commission for several years, and based on my knowledge of the expectations of those commissions, it is my opinion that Mr. Clark would be well suited for the Leadership Forum as a leader in our state.” Another attorney stated, “I know that John is mature beyond his years and displays a quiet competence that is both professional as well as magnetic. I know him to be of strong character, sound in both business, ethical and personal endeavors. John is not overbearing nor is he over-friendly. Instead, while being of a warm personality, he directs the conversation and the negotiations to the real matters at hand and has the perception to understand what really is involved, as distinguished from ‘rabbit trails.’ From the Bar’s point of view, however, I also know John to be one who devotes his time without expectation of remuneration or even reciprocal return.”

In his own words, John says, “I have strived to step into leadership positions as often as I am able. Leadership, to me, is more about setting an example than anything a person can say. As a child and a young man, my primary leadership roles began in the same place as most boys – on the athletic field. While I was certainly not the most athletic, the fastest, or the most noticeable of my teammates on the field, I was able to overcome a lack of natural ability by working hard and supporting my team. After having to fight my way onto the football and baseball field in high school, even as a senior, I was more likely to be handling the ball off or bunting to move teammates over to the next base than doing something spectacular. I was no athletic star. However, in both roles, I was able to lead by example (working hard to even be able to play) and help my team (by doing the little things needed for the team to win). When I began law school in Tuscaloosa, I was able to find an out of the ordinary leadership opportunity. For three semesters, I managed and directed the Homecoming and Law Week golf tournaments. Admittedly, these tournaments are typically just an excuse for putting kegs of beer on the back of golf carts and enjoying a day with your classmates. But, I took the opportunity to expand the golf tournament’s scope to include a different cause for Law Week of my second year of law school. Prior to that tournament, our Student Bar Association was struggling financially. I knew from prior golf tournaments in which I participated that our tournament could be a unique opportunity to raise the necessary funds for the SBA to operate. I approached Dean Randall and, with some prodding and deal-making, I was given the approval to market the tournament to law firms across the state as a ‘recruiting’ opportunity directed to the very law students playing in the tournament. With some help from my roommates, friends, and a solid committee, the tournament was a success and helped the SBA meet its budget. Following law school, I immediately became involved in the Young Lawyers’ Section of the Mobile Bar Association, and was a member of its Executive Committee. Soon thereafter, I moved to Birmingham and became actively involved with the Birmingham Bar activities, and I am now at the stage of my career where I believe it is time to become even more involved in Birmingham, the Birmingham Bar Association and the State Bar Association. Based on some of my unconventional leadership opportunities, I believe that I can bring a unique set of leadership experiences to the Leadership Forum and the Bar, and would value the opportunity to exchange experiences and ideas with other leaders from throughout the State of Alabama. Often my peers, including me, of course, have a difficult time separating our ‘positions’ taken on behalf of our clients from our personal and professional lives. It seems that young lawyers in particular ‘go to war’ for our clients, instead of looking for ways to be cordial, collegial and collaborative. At times, we lose sight of the that it remains possible to press the opposing side for a good result for our clients, but at the same time work collaboratively with the opposition to try and reach a result which may be a more favorable resolution for both sides (which is usually possible in business and commercial litigation). Many younger lawyers, including me, are not great at walking this fine line at this point in our careers. My nature leads me to try and press or force my way to a victory, if possible. As I have quickly learned, that is not always (and, in fact, rarely is) the best pathway to ‘victory’ for my clients. Instead, in areas such as commercial and business litigation and fights, in which negotiation and rational discussion can often lead to a business decision by the parties that will end prolonged or potential litigation, a decision to avoid combat and favor collaboration can often lead to the best results. Although it is a constant battle for me to work proactively with others instead of going into ‘combat mode,’ and I do not always succeed at meeting my goal, I believe that my most important contribution to the legal community among my peers continues to be my attempts to foster a positive working relationship with other young lawyers on opposite sides of matters .”