ALFA International: Friday Feature Social Media Spotlight

Today’s #FridayFeature is Dean Arruebarrena, partner with ALFA International (ALFAI) member firm Leake & Andersson, L.L.P. in New Orleans, Louisiana. Dean is the chair of ALFAI’s Hospitality & Retail Practice Group and served as program chair for the group’s November 2021 Seminar, ALFAI’s first in-person seminar after over a year of exclusively virtual programming. Dean is also a member of ALFAI Workers’ Compensation Practice Group and serves on ALFAI’s Marketing Committee. We hope you enjoy Dean’s feature! #ALFAInternational #LocalRelationshipsWorldwide #LegalNetwork

What occupation would you choose to pursue if you could no longer be a lawyer?

If I could no longer be a lawyer, I would be a fishing guide. South Louisiana marshes and the Gulf of Mexico abound with natural beauty and more fish than almost any other state. Spending time on the water in this environment would be a daily gift. Moreover, I believe I would be a great fishing guide as I get far more thrill out of locating fish and getting them to bite as opposed to fighting fish. The thrill for me is in the hunt, not the catch.

What is your favorite ALFA International memory?

My favorite ALFA International memory was the 2014 ICS when I was a part of the opening plenary session entitled Managing the Millennials. It turned out to be far more than a typical panel or session. We put on an hour-long play with numerous lines and physical acting by everyone on stage. I was Don Johnson, in full Miami Vice attire due to the event taking place in Miami, and I was even convinced to sing a capella at one point. Thankfully no one recorded that bit! While the session turned out to be far more work than I ever anticipated, I’ve never had more fun onstage.

What is the best career advice you’ve been given?

My best career advice was given to me by my father when I was a young child, reinforced by my high school and colleges coaches and further reinforced by the founding member of my firm when I was a young lawyer. All essentially told me to give 100% effort in whatever I was doing at that particular time. This attitude should not change with the nature of the task at hand. Whether I was cutting the grass, studying in school or preparing a motion, I have always strived to give my best effort so as to give myself the best chance of producing the best possible result. In other words, “leave it all on the field.”

Please tell us about a favorite family vacation spot or an incredible trip you went on recently.

My wife and our children spent a week in the La Jolla/San Diego area this past summer. We packed several wonderful activities into a few days: sea cave kayaking, a tour of the USS Midway, San Diego Zoo, San Diego Padres game and golf at Aviara, to name a few. My oldest daughter was the only one brave enough to paraglide off the Torrey Pines cliffs! The pace of the area suits us well, and the weather was spectacular. Also, the food in the area was excellent, which is high praise from a New Orleans “food snob,” as my children refer to me.

What was your first concert or the best concert you’ve ever attended?

The best concert I’ve ever attended was Rush in the mid-1980s. Rush has always been my favorite band because I am forever amazed that three musicians could produce such precise and unique sound. This concert was my first time seeing Rush live. I expected their music and vocals to sound similar to, but not exactly the same as, their albums – CDs were far too expensive for me back then, and streaming music didn’t exist. To my surprise, Rush live sounded exactly the same as their album. The band put on a 3-hour show that I’ll never forget and solidified my admiration and respect for three self-proclaimed “music nerds” who worked tirelessly to produce their sound, which is like no other.

Learn more about Dean’s practice here: