Getting to Know: Connor Shea
Connor Shea, an associate at Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney, LLP, is a skilled litigator with extensive experience handling commercial litigation, employment matters, white-collar defense, insurance coverage litigation, government investigations, and bankruptcy matters. Before joining HNRK in 2023, Connor was a litigation associate at two large international law firms. A bit more about Connor follows.
As a women-owned boutique based exclusively in New York, HNRK is a unique place to work. What drew you to the firm as someone who spent most of their career at larger firms?
HNRK has demonstrated a commitment to hiring a group of attorneys that is reflective of the wider world. It’s refreshing to work at a firm with attorneys from all backgrounds, especially in an industry that can be frustratingly slow when it comes to demographic change.
What is one lesson that you have found particularly meaningful or helpful in your career so far?
The most important lesson I’ve learned is to always check, double-check, and confirm absolutely everything yourself. I can’t think of a single time in my legal career where it was better to make an assumption, or take something solely on trust, when I could have confirmed it for myself. To give one obvious example, an opposing attorney once sent me a draft “settlement and release” that (conveniently) didn’t include the “release” for my client. I would, therefore, update the old Russian proverb “trust, but verify” to “don’t immediately trust, and definitely verify.”
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I’m a half-decent painter, but I work at the pace of a glacier. If anybody would like to commission an artwork, it should arrive promptly in 3-5 business years. Speaking of glaciers, I also love to hike, and my friends and I recently hiked alongside a glacier in Alaska.
What is one thing you cannot live without and why?
Coffee—it really is the oil that fuels the engine of litigation. I have no idea what my life would look like without the therapeutic, medicinal benefits of caffeine.
Having spent most of your career focused on litigation, what influenced you to become a litigator?
I chose to become a litigator because I love research, writing, and speaking. I also fit the personality type of a lawyer who chooses to become a litigator, meaning that I thought law school was “kind of fun,” and I am slightly more scared of numbers than my peers who became corporate attorneys.
What is the most rewarding part of your job as an attorney?
We’re always learning something new. As long as you’re a practicing attorney, you will be grappling with novel questions, learning new bodies of law, and doing things for the first time. It’s the best profession to become a jack of all trades and a master of quite a few!