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They’ve Got Next: Antitrust Fresh Face Travis Clark

Dec. 3, 2021, 10:00 AM

Travis Clark’s lifelong interest in baseball and sports opened the gateway to his legal career.

The antitrust lawyer at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP grew up visiting San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, where his father worked as an athletic trainer for the Giants. Clark played second base at Bucknell University in central Pennsylvania.

While playing baseball in an independent minor league after college, Clark realized that the major leagues weren’t in his future. Seeing his girlfriend—now his wife—finishing law school, Clark recognized that a JD degree could be useful in a possible career working for a professional team or as a player agent.

“Watching her go through it, I thought maybe this is something that I would like to do, and maybe it would open up the right doors for me down the road,” Clark said.

After graduating from Seton Hall Law School—where he wrote a paper on the St. Louis Rams’ NFL relocation to Los Angeles—the Arnold & Porter associate has found a comfortable spot at the intersection of sports and antitrust law, as well as other emerging issues in market competition.

Clark was part of the Arnold & Porter team that represented the Oakland Raiders in an antitrust suit brought by the City of Oakland, Calif. that fought the team’s move to Las Vegas, a case in which Clark said he felt like he “came full circle” back to his law school sports antitrust piece.

The Raiders prevailed in the case, and its dismissal was affirmed Thursday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

He also successfully represented the NBA’s Golden State Warriors and Ticketmaster Entertainment Inc. in disputes brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California regarding allegations of improper ticket resale restrictions.

Clark also counts several other professional sports teams as clients, but declined to specify the names in confidential matters.

Clark joined Arnold & Porter after a summer associate stint, where he met antitrust partner C. Scott Lent. Also a former student athlete, Lent said he lobbied the firm to hire Clark out of law school.

“Travis is an associate that punches well above his weight in every aspect,” Lent said, citing writing, advocacy and oratory as some of Clark’s strengths. “If you give him an assignment, he doesn’t go down rabbit holes.”

His antitrust work goes beyond sports, encompassing the red-hot issues involving Big Tech companies’ influence on market competition.

Arnold & Porter represents companies that have interest in antitrust regulators’ investigations involving Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Apple Inc., Meta Platforms Inc.'s Facebook, and Amazon.com Inc.

Antitrust implications that are present in nearly all industries add interesting dimensions to Clark’s work, he said. “Every single day I’m presented with new issues that I haven’t seen before. And I really enjoy that.”

“Travis is like a utility infielder,” said Debbie Feinstein, the Washington-based chair of Arnold & Porter’s antitrust practice. “You can put him on anything and he’ll do well.”

Working with clients is what excites Clark the most about his job, he said, recalling a career push he received from the senior counsel for client Bristol-Myers Squibb. The pharmaceutical giant is in litigation in the Northern District of California stemming from accusations that it was restricting trade in medications for treating HIV patients.

“She’s helped me develop as an attorney and I feel like she trusts me with important issues,” he said.

Clark, who is biracial, also participates in the firm’s sponsorship program for associates of color. Sponsors are senior lawyers helping to direct junior lawyers’ career paths and making sure they have sufficient opportunities, Feinstein said.

“But Travis doesn’t need a sponsor,” she said. “He makes his own opportunities by being so good.”

Acknowledging the lack of diversity in Big Law, Clark said he appreciates Arnold & Porter and other firms running initiatives like the sponsorship program.

The program “lays a foundation for black associates in our firm to feel like they really had more of a heavy hitter on their side,” he said.

Clark also participates in recruiting for the firm, and makes a point to visit law schools beyond the top-ranked programs and as many career fairs as he can.

“Firms are doing certain things to try to promote” diversity, he said. “One way to do that is to tap talent from non-top four, five law schools. And that’s something that I take very seriously as somebody who is now on the interviewing side.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Gill in Washington at dgill@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Roger Yu at ryu@bloomberglaw.com; Lisa Helem at lhelem@bloombergindustry.com

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