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Lusk takes uncommon path to lead Nixon Peabody office

Jared Lusk would be the first to tell you his path to being named the newest managing partner at Nixon Peabody LLP’s Rochester office was out of the ordinary.

Most partners at the firm start at the bottom and work their way up, not take what he calls an “interesting, circuitous path” that includes living in and working for the town of Pittsford.

“I’m not homegrown,” he says, pointing out the firm tends to promote managing partners from within, naming current partners Scott Turner and David Schraver, along with his predecessor, Carolyn Nussbaum, as employees who started their careers at Nixon Peabody and stayed.

Nixon Peabody ranked third on the most recent Rochester Business Journal list of law firms, ranked by number of local attorneys.

While Lusk doesn’t have as long a history at the firm as others, he does have a family connection to the area that reaches back over 200 years.

The Lusk family’s time in Pittsford dates back to 1803, with family connections in the fire department and town board going back almost as far.

While he remains a member of both civic departments like his father and grandfather before him, his day-to-day law work took him from Syracuse to working for Monroe County to continuing his career downtown at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP and then Nixon Peabody.

With a chuckle, Lusk credits the TV lawyers of his youth as being the impetus to study law, graduating from Syracuse University College of Law in 1998.

“When I was in high school and college, my dream job was assistant district attorney,” he says, noting he took as many criminal law courses as he could.

“Two days before I was admitted to practice law, I started at the Monroe County district attorney’s office as a prosecutor. It was a dream come true.”

Plans to be a prosecutor went by the wayside as his career went on, and he joined the town of Pittsford as its attorney in 2001.

“Although I loved being a prosecutor, the opportunity to go home and serve as the hometown attorney for Pittsford was an offer I just couldn’t refuse,” Lusk says, noting that the town had outside counsel to help him pick up the nuances between criminal law and land use law.

He left the position in 2005 for a job at Harter Secrest, joined Nixon Peabody’s real estate department in October 2006 and fully transitioned away from criminal law, gradually working his way up the ladder before starting his new role as a partner on April 1 — April Fool’s Day, as he points out with a laugh.

At the firm, “I’m basically a land use and municipal attorney representing a variety of clients,” Lusk says.

He is most proud of the work that the firm has done in the community, with legal efforts for Camp Good Days and Special Times Inc., Flower City Habitat for Humanity Inc. and the Memorial Art Gallery, among others.

“I always tell young lawyers that I’m mentoring to pick something in the community that is meaningful to you,” says Lusk.

He uses the example of his older brother, who was involved with Camp Good Days from attending as a child until his death last year.

“Working with Camp Good Days and the town of Pittsford has a true meaning to me. If you care about something, you should get involved with those things.”

Barg is a Rochester-area freelance writer.

Jared Lusk
Title: Managing partner, Nixon Peabody LLP Rochester office
Age: 45
Education: B.A., St. John Fisher College, 1994; J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 1998
Family: Wife, Lori Lusk; daughters, Riley Jane, 16, and Nolan, 14
Hobbies: Golf, volunteer firefighter
Residence:  Pittsford
Quote: “I always tell young lawyers that I’m mentoring to pick something in the community that is meaningful to you.”

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