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Portland attorney Darius Hartwell puts family first       

Published in 2008 Oregon Super Lawyers magazine

For Darius Hartwell, major league baseball is more than entertainment. It’s inspiration.

“No matter what a person does as an occupation, there are lessons to be learned from the captain of the New York Yankees,” says the Portland attorney, referring to nine-time All-Star shortstop Derek Jeter, who joined the Yankees in 1995.

Jeter, he says, optimizes “grace under pressure, mental focus and leadership”—qualities Hartwell strives to imitate. And even though Hartwell, 37, hasn’t been practicing law nearly as long as Jeter has been playing baseball, it seems he’s doing a pretty good job emulating his role model’s character traits.

The son of an attorney, Hartwell grew up in Manhattan and Westchester County, New York, taking advantage of every opportunity to see the Yankees. Though he played baseball as a child, he realized by age 13 that he was a better fan than a player.

Hartwell graduated from Lewis & Clark College’s Northwestern School of Law in 2000 and joined the Portland office of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt that same year. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities law. He also devotes a portion of his time to Lewis & Clark’s Small Business Legal Clinic, a 2-year-old organization that provides pro bono legal services to low-income entrepreneurs. Last year, the Legal Clinic honored him with its Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, in recognition of his commitment to the clinic and the community it serves.

But despite the fact that Hartwell’s name is on the plaque, he is reluctant to take sole credit, preferring to share it with his colleagues, whom he encouraged to participate. “At the end of the [clinic’s] first year, Schwabe lawyers had staffed the clinic more than any other firm in town,” he says. “So my honor here is largely a result of the collective effort of my friends and colleagues.”

Though Hartwell relishes the daily challenges of law, he considers his primary role to be that of husband and father. Dinner with his family is always top priority, even if that means working into the wee hours to finish something for a client. On weekends, he enjoys cooking, exercising and traveling with his wife, Shannon, and their children, Zeke, 11, and Delilah, 4. And if the Yankees are playing, you’d better believe he will be watching.

“When I leave the office, I try to leave the stress of work behind so I can enjoy myself,” he says. “It gives me more energy for my work if I am getting what I need outside of my profession.”        


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