The Road to Becoming an Emerging Leader

As the world of work continues to evolve, newer and younger professionals are on the rise.

Harrison Clewell finds his niche.

Harrison Clewell, born and raised in New Providence, New Jersey, imagined his life in a different lens before he shifted gears.

“The first internship I ever had was for the Brooklyn Nets. I thought I was going to be in sports, and when I worked for the Nets, I kind of figured out I wanted to go to law school,” Harry says. 

Upon attending New York University, Harry went straight into law school at Seton Hall University for three years. As he prepared for law in the real-world, he acquired internships including working for the Attorney General of New Jersey, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and a State Assembly Member in New Jersey.

Harry tested the waters in several areas of law and developed a passion for litigation due to his desire for a dynamic, exciting and rewarding career that would help him improve his skills. 

“I stumbled upon the Army, believe  it or not,” he shares. 

This is when he applied for the JAG (Judge Advocate Generals) Core program where he could be a lawyer for the Army. This was a part-time position in the reserve. 

As a supplement to his part-time position in the JAG Core, Harry found a litigation associate position at Genova Burns, a law firm in Newark. 

Genova Burns contacted Harry after reviewing his application and decided he would be a good candidate to interview. They interviewed him and contacted him with the news that he would make a great employee for the offered position. 

“The day after I came back from Virginia in the Army was the day I started at Genova Burns. I haven’t taken a break since. That’s where I am today,” he says. “I’ve enjoyed it here, so I’m very happy.”

What made Harry step up in his community

Growing up, Harry was raised in a very service-oriented family. 

“When I was very young, my family started a charity,” he shares. 

Because he loved to swim, his family created a foundation that used swim meets to donate nonperishable foods across New Jersey. Pursuing his higher roles in his career allowed him to support his community at a larger stance.

Facing obstacles and defining his career

Harry has always been a fast-paced person with a constant flow of work. His biggest obstacle was being able to manage all of his jobs while prioritizing and balancing the right things. During this time, his goal was always to be able to say “yes” to people, because as a younger worker, he didn’t want to disappoint.

He started to learn that saying “no” when needed was, in fact, a good thing. Being able to have honest communication in these kinds of situations ends up earning you more respect and understanding. 

As he learned how to navigate being a young professional in the world, he talks about the importance of finding “a successful environment that doesn’t just look at age for knowing the answer.” Genova Burns has found this consensus for him. 

Harry is grateful to have had such a profound opportunity at Genova Burns that allows him to work at a faster pace with higher stakes, while also aiding him in his learning processes. This gave him the confidence to embrace his grind. 

Wise words to his younger self

Being stuck in the day-to-day minutia can be hard.

If Harry could go back in time and give one significant piece of advice to his younger self, he would say, “Take a minute and relax. Take a step back, you’re doing just fine. Enjoy each process for what it is.”

Harry has been able to understand that every moment is an opportunity to learn. Instead of getting overly worked up and stressed, look at every moment as a chance to obtain a new lesson.