EO Spotlight: Ray Areaux
Founding Member, Carver Darden, Koretzky, Tessier, Finn, Blossman & Areaux, LLC • Law • EO Member Since 2012
Even after 30 years of experience, Ray Areaux still cannot understate the importance of learning the ABCs.
“A.B.C. means Always Be Curious,” Areaux said. “Always be inquisitive and ask lots of questions — to the point of perhaps exhausting those fielding the questions.”
Areaux developed his sense of curiosity at a young age, and his longing to understand the way systems function led him to study both engineering and law. After finishing his undergraduate schooling and beginning law school, Areaux sought to expand his business understanding by working with companies like IBM and Conoco. He became a full-time student by day and a full-time law student by night.
“In my role at IBM, I specialized in design and development of new computer products, and at Conoco, I designed systems for offshore structures producing oil and gas,” he said. “Those two companies were managed and operated in radically different ways and served very different markets, so it was a great comparative learning experience.”
Areaux brought his inquisitive nature to a law firm he joined after finishing school in 1985; soon after, he started the firm’s first Intellectual Property practice.
“The prior firm had a general business, corporate and commercial litigation practice, but not an IP practice,” Areaux said. “I split off from that firm almost 25 years ago to found and lead the IP practice at my current firm, which I founded together with a few partners from my prior firm.”
Areaux said the pivotal moment in his career came when he decided that he could build and grow an IP practice that would support not only himself, but would also allow him to train and retain the next generation of young lawyers. This, he said, helped him to realize that he could be a valuable teacher.
At Loyola University School of Law, Areaux has spent the past 20 years teaching his “Trademarks and Unfair Competition Course,” and recently introduced a new course called “Information Privacy Law.” With such a diverse range of knowledge, Areaux has transformed his thirst for learning into a thirst for teaching; he has done his best to ensure that his years of wisdom and experience will serve as the catalyst for future change and innovation.
But he has not left his ABCs behind, and his time with EO has pushed him even further in his own quest for knowledge and understanding.
Areaux said a Global Leadership Conference in Athens, Greece in 2014 introduced and immersed him “in the boundless energy and creative thinking of entrepreneurs from around the world.” Not one to confine his enlightenment, Areaux took these lessons home with him, too.
“EO forum has changed my mode of interaction with my family, my colleagues and my staff,” Areaux said. “It has given me great insights into the struggles faced by others and, most assuredly, caused me to further appreciate the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me.”
He has done his best to return those blessings, too; Areaux co-founded a nonprofit to support youth sports, including an inline hockey league, and served as its founding president and chair for five years.
“Having never played any hockey sport, I learned the game, coached the house league and the travel teams, and served as a referee,” Areaux said. “At one point, we had about 300 youth playing the league every weekend.”
Areaux also spent nine years working with the Domestic Violence Grants Committee of the Louisiana Bar Foundation, served as the managing partner for his firm during their startup year and in later years and helped former law students start their own IP practices. What he considers his best accomplishment, though, was raising “two wonderful, bright and loving children with my bride of 39 years.”