Hinckley Allen has named Patrick A. Rogers as the firm’s new Managing Partner. A business lawyer and former chair of Hinckley Allen’s corporate department, he takes over the role from David J. Rubin, who had served as Managing Partner since 2014.
We caught up with Pat Rogers to learn more about his career, his vision for the future of the firm, working with the BBA, and much more.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What inspired you to become a lawyer and follow the career path you did?
I come from a family of lawyers. My dad was a small-town lawyer in Woonsocket, RI. He had seven children—I’m the youngest—and he wanted all of us to go to law school. Several of my brothers and I took his advice, so it was a family thing. One of the other things that got me into law was my experience working on Capitol Hill for a U.S. senator, where I got an inside look at how laws are made. Lawyers are involved in both crafting and executing the law. Those two experiences—my family experience and some of my early post-college work experience—lit the flame for me to get into the legal business.
Do you have a particular highlight or two from your career that you’re especially proud of?
One moment on my career path I’m especially proud of happened before I started my legal career. I was a Peace Corps volunteer, which was a fantastic experience. I spent about three years in a small country in West Africa called Gabon. It taught me to be resourceful and community-minded, which has served me well.
Another highlight from my time working on Capitol Hill is where I developed a real interest in government. After graduating from Catholic University Law School, I went to work for Lincoln Chafee when he ran for governor of Rhode Island. I spent two years running his campaign for governor and then stayed on as his Chief of Staff when he won. I was able to see the government from the grassroots level as we set up his transition team, helped him populate a cabinet, and hired a whole new team of attorneys and staff.
Obviously, these last few years have been a whirlwind, requiring a lot of adjusting on the fly and changing the way that we do things. How has that affected both your firm and you personally in terms of how you go about doing business?
Because of investments in technology and our decision to create a flexible work environment for attorneys and staff, we were able to service our clients and conduct business without missing a beat. We learned that as a firm, and as an industry, flexibility is here to stay. The ability to work remotely has benefited our workforce tremendously, while still allowing us to provide exceptional client service.
Adopting a flexible work schedule has allowed us to retain and attract talent without compromising our work product. As a firm, we’re intentional about creating a positive workplace culture. We continue to adapt to the challenges presented and invest in our people through training and mentorship.
How has the BBA helped you and your firm, and how do you envision that partnership moving forward?
I think it’s multifaceted. The BBA is preeminent in leading and organizing lawyers in the greater Boston community and throughout the Commonwealth. From our firm’s perspective, our lawyers at all stages have really enjoyed engaging with the BBA.
One, it’s an opportunity for both our junior lawyers and our more senior lawyers to contribute to the community and to the profession in terms of education. From an organizational point of view, our rising talent gets an opportunity to interact with a broader set of lawyers, to focus on areas of particular interest, whether it’s diversity or business development, or just excellence in all regards.
I see the BBA as an excellent organization providing resources to the profession and our lawyers want to not only contribute to support that mission, but they also benefit personally by associating with a great organization and the talented people that are part of our community.
Under the previous Managing Partner, David Rubin, the Hinckley Allen Social Justice Fund was created. What is the purpose of that fund, and, under your leadership, what are your plans for growing and dispersing those funds?
The Social Justice Fund began as David Rubin’s brainchild. When he was Managing Partner, David recognized that this was an opportunity for the firm to give back by establishing meaningful partnerships with a small number of non-profit organizations in our communities to support their efforts to further social justice and racial equity.
We have a dedicated committee that has put together a grant application program where we receive applications from local, community-based organizations for both cash assistance and other help.
It’s not just about the money; it’s an investment in our communities. We want our attorneys and our staff to join their organizations, whether it be as board members or in specific initiatives.
The firm is also currently in the process of becoming Mansfield Rule certified. Why is that an important goal for the firm?
It’s all about intentionality. It’s one thing to say, “here are our aspirations and our goals and we’re committed,” but how do you put those ideals to work? We’re committed to DEI, but how do you actually make that happen? How are we making sure that women, persons of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and other historically underrepresented groups, are getting a seat at the table?
We have a long way to go, but we’re going to meet and exceed that protocol. It’s a long commitment, but it’s something that our firm has been committed to for a long time. Mansfield helps us hold ourselves accountable in terms of metrics. Are we accomplishing what we set out to do? Our reach will always exceed our grasp, but we’re going to keep grasping to make progress.
What is your vision for the firm over the next 5-10 years? What are the priorities for the firm and where do you see the biggest opportunities ahead?
That’s something I’ve thought a lot about my whole career, and with great focus, the last year or so as this transition to the new role has taken place. I boil it down into three objectives:
Number one is, we want to invest in our people, and that means associates, partners, and staff. We recently sent one of our rising stars to a program at Harvard University for leadership in law firms. That’s a specific investment that we’re proud to have made. In the spring, one of our leading litigators is going to Harvard for another leadership in law program.
The second is growth. At Hinckley Allen, we are committed to growing the organization. If in 5 or 10 years we get together to talk, my hope would be that we’ve taken what is currently about 165 lawyers, about $120 million in revenue and grow that substantially—not through merger or by combining with some national firm, but through organic independent growth that Hinckley Allen drives in some of our key areas: white collar, energy, and M&A.
And then finally, culture. Culture is critical, but how do you capture culture? It’s kind of this amorphous concept. We are a mid-sized firm that is seeing tremendous growth because we are a firm that people want to work with. Despite getting offers elsewhere, our associates choose to stay with Hinckley Allen because we invest in them. Despite having myriad other law firms to choose from, our clients choose to work with us because we provide exceptional service and value. We have created a culture that people want to be a part of, and for as long as I am the managing partner, we’ll continue to invest, grow, and promote this culture.