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Meet the Schusterman Fellows: Adam Lurie

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Over the course of 18 months, 24 outstanding Jewish professionals will engage in a customized professional development journey as part of the Schusterman Fellowship. The Fellows come from across the U.S., Europe, Israel and Australia, and they work inside and outside of the Jewish sector. As part of this new blog series, we'll be bringing you short interviews with each of the Fellows in which they'll share a bit about themselves and their vision for the future. 

Meet Adam Lurie below!

A partner with one of the world's leading law firms, Adam is an accomplished trial lawyer with an exceptionally broad practice representing clients in their most important disputes. For instance, he is defending Microsoft as lead trial counsel in a patent infringement suit, a UK financial institution in a federal foreign bribery investigation, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo in a federal civil rights suit. He draws on his experience as a former federal prosecutor, senior Department of Justice and congressional official to provide clients outstanding advocacy, judgment and client service. 

Adam is also a Jewish community leader. He is on the board of, and policy and advocacy co-chair for, the American Jewish Committee in DC, on the advisory board of the Maryland / Israeli Development Center, and is an officer on the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law alumni board. He lives in DC with his fiance and twins.

1. What are you most excited to gain from the Fellowship? What are you most looking forward to learning?

I'm most excited to gain leadership experience, and to learn how to better channel my skills. I work hard to lead sophisticated clients through high-stakes disputes, to be a loving husband and father, and to help lead my Jewish and other communities. This all takes tremendous time, energy and commitment, and there is rarely time to reflect on leadership skills. With this fellowship, I have the unique opportunity to focus—like never before—on enhancing my leadership. I'm very excited to gain this experience, and to learn how to bring the lessons learned to every area of my life.

2. If you were given a surprise day off, how would you spend it?

I would be with the loves of my life: my boy/girl 4 year old twins, and my soon to be wife. "Where" matters little. If it were warm, we may go to the pool, and I'd indulge in their joyful splashing, the warm weather, and my family's company. If a Friday, we would come home, clean up, and celebrate Shabbat. After the challah, the kids would—as they always do—put coins in our Shabbat box for the world's "sad boys and girls."  After the kids were asleep, we would reflect on a delicious day and blessed life.

3. If you could be compensated for your work with something other than money, what would it be?

Time. As explained earlier, I work hard to play many different and important roles. This all takes tremendous energy and commitment, and especially time. While I believe I manage my time well, time is among the most valuable things to me. I want even more time with my family, to commit to the causes I care about, including  Jewish advocacy, and to reflect, learn and grow. Thus, compensation in the form of time—in lieu of money—would be welcome.

4. How does your Jewish identity affect your leadership?

I find tzedakah especially compelling, and it affects my leadership in several positive ways. I seek justice for clients, do pro bono legal work, and give to Jewish organizations, educational institutions and charities. As an example, as defense counsel to corporations, I often lead clients through sensitive business related disputes. When advising and advocating for them, I find that focusing on the justness (or lack thereof) of their position is effective. Such a focus better enables me to persuade the client that their position is sound, or is a loser. Likewise, I have also found that focusing on justice is very effective before opponents, judges and jurors.

5. Who is a leader, living or dead, who you admire most and why?

Nelson Mandela. He led South Africa out of apartheid despite being in jail for nearly 30 years, without a formal title, becoming president only after apartheid was largely removed, and with few resources. Yet, he exerted influence, executed a vision, and persuaded others to follow. Following his presidency, his influence continued, and arguably grew. His philanthropy, humanitarianism and diplomacy extended beyond South Africa and around the world. I would also argue that Nelson Mandela incorporated tzedakah into his leadership as much as any other leader in history.  

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.