VOL. 122 | NO. 177 | Thursday, September 20, 2007
Memphis Law Talk
Ogletree Deakins Shareholder Honored for Labor and Employment Work
By Amy O. Williams
Name: Frederick J. Lewis
Firm: Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC
Basics: Lewis was one of four lawyers in the Memphis office of Ogletree Deakins to be named in the 2008 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
"I have a client who describes lawyers as being 'problem solvers' rather than litigators. Our role as employment lawyers who represent companies provides us with lots of problems to solve."
- Frederick J. Lewis
Frederick J. Lewis is one of four attorneys in the Memphis office of Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC to be named in the 2008 edition of The Best Lawyers in America.
Lewis, along with Thomas L. Henderson, Charles V. Holmes and Donna K. Fischer, were named top lawyers in the area of labor and employment. The four were among 77 of the firm's attorneys across the U.S. and the U.S. Virgin Islands featured in the new edition of Best Lawyers.
Ogletree Deakins opened its Memphis office over the summer after joining forces with homegrown labor and employment law firm Lewis Fisher Henderson & Claxton LLP. Lewis was a founding partner of Lewis Fisher, and is now a shareholder with Ogletree Deakins. The firm is one of the largest labor and employment law firms in the country with 32 offices representing more than half of the Fortune 50 companies in the United States, including Home Depot, Dillard's, Nissan, Dollar General and Dell Corp.
Q: What made you want to study law?
A: I greatly admired my grandfather, who practiced law in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He paid his own way through law school rather than go to medical school, which is what his physician father wanted.
Q: Was it something you always wanted to do?
Q: Where are you from?
A: I grew up in Norris, Tenn., 25 miles from Knoxville. Norris was a planned community supported by President Franklin Roosevelt and in particular his wife, Eleanor. The town was established in conjunction with the building of Norris Dam, (Tennessee Valley Authority's) first project.
Q: Where did you go to undergraduate and law school?
A: I received both my (bachelor of science) in 1966 and (juris doctorate) in 1968 from the University of Tennessee. 1966 was the last year that UT allowed the first year of law school to count toward the requirements for a B.S. degree. Despite the abbreviated undergraduate schedule, I was able to complete a double major in history and political science.
Q: What brought you to Ogletree Deakins?
A: We had known several of their attorneys for a long period of time. They always impressed us as being both excellent attorneys and people. It was also a major factor that Ogletree has non-lawyer administrators, who very ably take care of the parts of running a law firm that all of the partners in my former firm disliked.
Q: What is the best part about your job?
A: I have a client who describes lawyers as being "problem solvers" rather than litigators. Our role as employment lawyers who represent companies provides us with lots of problems to solve.
Q: What are your goals for the future?
A: More of the same. Every time I consider slowing down, challenges arise that make me realize that I enjoy what I do too much to change.
Q: What do you do when you are not working?
A: Hang out at Pickwick Lake with my friends, family and two dogs, who are the world's best. I particularly enjoy water skiing.