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40 Under 40 Edition


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Clark Rucker, 38

Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP, Partner

Clark Rucker is a partner in Kelly Hart & Hallman’s Oil & Gas/Energy section, focusing on oil, gas and energy litigation and transactions.

“There is no question that Clark Rucker is at the top of our list for selection to the 40 under 40. Clark has proven himself as an outstanding young lawyer and leader within our firm. He works very hard, but has also taken the time to engage in civic activities and help with countless activities in the community. Clark’s very deserving of this recognition and has a bright future ahead,” Dee Kelly, Partner, Kelly Hart & Hallman, said in the firm’s nomination.

Bob Grable, Partner, Kelly Hart & Hallman, echoed that.

“Clark exhibits all of the best qualities of a young lawyer. He works hard, provides excellent counsel to his clients, and gives back to the community at every turn. Clark epitomizes what this award is all about,” Grable said.

Rucker’s contributions to the firm and community are considerable, the nomination said. Whether he is pulling together a legal team to find a solution to a complex business issue or creating a new initiative to help drive fundraising efforts for CASA of Tarrant County, Rucker does what is needed. He doesn’t go about looking to be entrepreneurial – he just is.

Managing Partner Marianne Auld praised his ability as a lawyer and his devotion to community.

“That willingness to use both his intellect and his heart in the service of others makes Clark the remarkable leader he is,” she said.

– Paul K. Harral

Where did your first paycheck come from?

My first consistent paycheck came from a gentleman named David Cotner, who purchased his wife’s childhood home in Midland and remodeled the entire house himself, He needed cheap labor, so he asked my dad if I wanted a job, My dad said yes without asking me first!  I spent 18 months knocking down interior and exterior walls, cleaning bricks, running wiring and plumbing, removing and replacing wood and tile floors, and cleaning – lots of cleaning, I was a bargain hire – $6.50 an hour for 20 hours a week!

Tell us about an influential person in your life, how they influenced you and why he or she was important.

My dad, Dean Rucker, is probably the most influential person, He led our family by his words and example every day, and is a bastion of patience, hard work, compassion, studiousness, and selflessness, I have sought his input on virtually every big decision I have ever made and that I continue to make. He offers great wisdom and insight, even if I don’t always follow his advice.

My other most influential person would be my wife, Rebecca Rucker. She pushes me to be better as a husband, father, friend and professional and has supported me in everything I have ever done. She also makes me laugh more than anyone else. The way she is able to juggle our family, her career, her hobbies, and her friendships is inspiring.

When did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I knew I wanted to go to law school as early as junior high school. It was kind of the family business, as my grandfather and father were both attorneys. Originally, I was planning on being a sports agent, and actually went to law school with that plan. However, my West Texas roots got ahold of me and I started pivoting my coursework to work in the oil and gas industry – black gold, Texas tea!

What is your favorite song?

Threadbare Gypsy Soul, Pat Green

Tell us about your photo shoot prop.

As most people know, I am a TCU die hard. I chose my TCU corn hole board, my tailgate spatula, my “lucky” TCU game day visor and my purple M.L. Leddy’s boots.  The corn hole and tailgate spatula represent the tailgate that I help lead for every TCU football game – I haven’t missed one since 2007! The visor speaks for itself, and the boots are my favorite, most comfortable pair of boots.  Go Frogs!


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