Journal of Leadership and the Law

Local Attorney Spotlight: Jack Hicks

By Jessica Chong L'Dec.'17

Local Greensboro attorney, Jack Hicks, is commended for his contributions to the legal community and leading Elon Law students on an International Intellectual Property class to Italy and the Netherlands. Hicks is a partner at Womble Carlyle and has over 30 years of legal experience as a licensed patent attorney, counseling clients to determine the type and scope of intellectual property protection that will best meet their business goals.

Hicks also serves as an adjunct professor at Elon Law. He focuses on teaching courses in intellectual property. Hicks also dedicates his time to leading international trips for Elon Law students to consider the international intellectual property issues a client may face.

On leadership, Hicks greatly values the advice from Hugh L. McColl, the former chair of Bank of America, that a “leader must have both vision and the ability to inspire people to follow.” When asked what characteristic every lawyer-leader should possess, Hicks states that passion is essential. “An effective leader must have a passion and curiosity for the mission.” Several people have had and continue to have an impact on Hicks as a leader. Such individuals have helped him identify what he doesn’t know. Hicks also greatly values John F. Kennedy’s quote that “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

His advice for new attorneys to be successful is to develop the traits of “(1) passion/curiosity; (2) willingness to work hard; (3) mastery of black letter law; and (4) the ability to demonstrate critical analysis.” Hicks further emphasized the importance of hard work within the legal profession; “law students and new attorneys need to dispel any perception that they are not willing to work hard and to put in the time necessary to master a subject or task.”

Outside of the law, Hicks enjoys spending time with his family and draws energy when visiting new places and cultures. He takes great pleasure in the “joys of walking and hiking, both as forms of exercise and to control the pace with which I can take in the beauties and intricacies of our world.” In the words of Henri Matisse, “there are always flowers for those who want to see them.”

Hicks asked the Fellows to leave the readers with one final quote by John Quincy Adams, “if your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” The Leadership Fellows recognize Hicks for his continuous ability to inspire Elon Law students to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more.