Squire Patton Boggs is pleased to announce that Traci Martinez will become the next managing partner of the firm’s Columbus office, effective January 1, 2021. She will succeed Alex Shumate who led the office for 30 years. He will assume the role of Ohio Strategic Relationship Partner, focusing more exclusively on the business regulatory practice, major client relationships, and extensive civic activities across Ohio and nationally. Ms. Martinez’s appointment goes into effect upon the completion of her current term on the firm’s Global Board this year.
“Traci is an exceptional lawyer and a highly regarded, natural leader whose experience, integrity and commitment to client service will continue our firm’s strong tradition in Columbus,” said Mark J. Ruehlmann, Chairman and Global CEO of Squire Patton Boggs.
Ruehlmann continued, “It is with deep respect and admiration that I thank Alex for his long-standing and continued service to the firm. He has guided one of our largest offices through a period of national and international growth at our firm, while continuing our legacy of excellent client service and civic engagement.”
Ms. Martinez is an experienced civil litigation and labor and employment lawyer advising public and private sector clients across various industries. She regularly counsels boards of directors and C-suites on complex employment issues, including threatened CFO and COO takeovers. Ms. Martinez devotes a significant part of her practice to trial work. She has obtained full defense verdicts in multiple state and federal jurisdictions concerning discrimination, contracts, negligence, and catastrophic claims lawsuits.
Prior to attending law school, Ms. Martinez was an elementary school teacher. She currently serves as a board member and on the executive committee of Experience Columbus. Ms. Martinez also regularly volunteers her time to advance important diversity initiatives within the firm and her community, including The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, the Hispanic National Bar Association, and serves as Vice Chair of the firm’s Advancing Women’s Task Force. She is a 2016-2017 fellow with the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity and was a member of the 2015-2016 Leadership Columbus class. She was named in Latino Leaders magazine’s 2018 Top Latino Lawyers, Super Lawyers, and Most Powerful Women in Law lists and to the 2020 Lawyers of Color Power List.
“Under Alex’s guidance, our office has flourished as both a leader in Columbus and a critical element of our firm’s expanding global network,” Ms. Martinez commented. “I am looking forward to this new challenge and carrying forward the great legacy Alex has built during this exciting period in the history of our firm.”
Mr. Shumate assumed the role of Managing Partner for Columbus in 1991 and has served in numerous other leadership positions at the firm. He is in his third term as a member of The Ohio State University's Board of Trustees, performing two terms as Chairman of the Board, one term as Vice Chair and also twice served as Chair of the university’s Presidential Search Committee. Mr. Shumate serves as a director of The J.M. Smucker Company and CyrusOne, Inc. He is President of the L Brands Foundation Board, Secretary of the Columbus Partnership and Board Member of the Ohio Business Roundtable. He previously served as the Chair of the Columbus Chamber of Commerce, the Columbus Urban League and the James Foundation Board. He also served as Chief Counsel and Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of the state of Ohio and as Assistant Attorney General to the state of Ohio.
“Traci embodies so many of the qualities that we regard as important within our partnership,” said Mr. Shumate. “Her leadership, judgment, global perspective, and commitment to client and community service make her an excellent choice for this role. I look forward not only to continuing our work together during this transitional period, but also to focusing on key client relationships within Ohio and nationally.”
With over 75 attorneys, Columbus is the third largest of the firm’s 16 U.S. offices. Our lawyers represent a diverse mix of clients, including Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Columbus, as well as a range of nationally known, privately held enterprises, emerging entities and local, regional and national governments.