PINEVILLE — Cleco Corporation
associate general-counsel attorney Mark D. Pearce has been tapped as
one of the latest members of the American Law Society board of
directors with America’s Top Lawyers distinction.
The list is touted as a compilation of “well-rounded individuals
representing a diverse cross-section of U.S. legal advocates,”
according to a news release.
Pearce joined the Louisiana-based Cleco Corp. in 2002 as a senior
attorney. Three years after coming on board at Cleco, he became
associate general counsel and has been general counsel since 2013.
Before Cleco, he was a partner at Stafford, Stewart and Potter for
a decade beginning in 1992. He earned his Juris Doctor from The Paul
M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.
“It’s a tremendous honor, something I’ve worked my whole
life and career to achieve,” Pearce, who primarily works in
the areas of insurance defense and automobile and product-liability
claims, told the Louisiana Record. “I’m very
humbled by the honor.”
Pearce once considered his life’s work to be an entirely
different discipline. He graduated magna cum laude from Louisiana
Tech with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1984,
and spent a decade at Cleco working in engineering before returning
to school to study law — a move even he still can’t fully explain
why he made at such a critical time in his career.
“I’ve been asked the question of why a million times over the
years, and I’m still not sure,” he said. “Some people have
suggested it had to be a bump on the head of some sort, but I’m
still not at all sure.”
In the end, Pearce surmises it could have had something to do with
what he called his “dual personality.”
“The differences are vast,” he said of the two disciplines.
“Engineering is an exact science, and law is quite the opposite.
Working mostly in the areas of transactional and regulatory law,
nowadays I get the best of both worlds.”
After working in private practice for 10 years, Pearce returned to
Cleco in 2002 as one of the first hires of the company’s new law
“I haven’t looked back,” he said. “And I wouldn’t change
a thing about the way my career has evolved.”
The American Law
Society Board of Directors largely base their inclusion criteria on
attorneys who have shown a long and consistent history of outstanding
works. While Pearce has countless recollections, one segment of his
career easily stands out most to him.
"My greatest memory is how everything has gone full circle at
Cleco,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine things going any better
than they have, especially in the face of all the constant change.”
As for the added distinction he now holds, Pearce claims he was
surprised to even receive the invitation that he did.
“Someone contacted me a couple months ago about that, and soon
after that I had a phone interview,” he said. “I had all but
forgotten about everything when I got word around Christmastime that
I was selected. That was quite a present.”