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Kevin Clark

Kevin Clark

Managing Partner, Wesley Clark & Peshkin LLP

Years in current role:8

What do you enjoy most about practicing family law?

I was becoming disheartened litigating family court and divorce cases. The court system is not family friendly — and often destructive. Divorcing, in even the best of circumstances, is scary and confusing. The last thing a divorcing couple needs is for their very personal issues to be sorted out by strangers. Years ago, I became involved in mediation and collaborative law which changed the way I practice. These are excellent alternatives to divorce litigation, allowing couples to control the process without ever going to court. I work, day in and day out, educating people on the benefits of going through a mediated or collaborative divorce so that they can avoid the pitfalls of the adversarial system and focus on working together for what’s best for their family. It’s incredibly fulfilling.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?

Last year, our firm expanded in remarkable ways. We opened a new office in Buffalo and in Albany. In addition to navigating all that goes into this type of expansion, the demand for our services increased tenfold. We are successful because our staff focuses on two things — excellent client service and unparalleled advocacy. It was energizing to navigate this growth while also working to ensure that our clients continue to get our very best. These accomplishments were our greatest challenges and successes this year.

What do you see as the biggest changes in family law in the next 3-5 years?

Divorce is changing. Gone are the days of the couple duking out every issue in court. I predict that the practice of alternatives to litigation will become increasingly popular. Cooperative divorce is the future and as more attorneys become trained in mediation and collaborative law they will be able to educate clients on the benefits of working together to divorce.

What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?

I have dedicated my career to growing and improving the practice of collaborative divorce and mediation. I am on a mission to change the face of divorce so that these paths become the first choice when a couple decides to separate. To that end, I support the following community organizations: Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area-Board Member; Central New York Collaborative Family Law Professionals-Board Member; and the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation. I also support the Buffalo Bills Foundation because I appreciate the significant impact that such a large organization can have on issues that are so important in our community.

What is one personal goal you have for the next year?

I tell my clients that, in tough times, it’s important to focus on what you want your life to look like next year at this time. Looking forward will help you make better decisions today. This year, I hope to spend some time every day focusing on what I find personally fulfilling and doing my best to make next year look even better than this one.