Alumni Spotlight – Rick Clementz

After graduating from college, Rick Clementz was working as an engineer. Eventually, he decided he
wanted to advance his career but knew he couldn’t quit his job to go back to school. He was considering
his options when he discovered that Birmingham School of Law (BSL) offered an opportunity for a Juris
Doctorate degree during evenings and weekends. “I was excited and applied immediately,” he says. “I
selected BSL for that reason.”

Clementz graduated from BSL in 2010 and currently serves as General Counsel for Mercedes Benz US
International. He manages a team of lawyers locally in Vance, AL, and at another operation in
Charleston, SC. “We handle everything from employment, liability defense, patent defense, all Mercedes
contracts, and international law. We deal with many different countries,” he says. “We also do our own
lobbying and government affairs. We are heavily involved in company business, so I rely on the
specialists on our team and external firms to get me through every day.”

Clementz supports local civic organizations as a member of the Business Council of Alabama, the
Tuscaloosa County Bar Association, and the Church of the Highlands. He is also involved in the Education
Committee for the Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce. Earlier this year, Clementz received an under-40
award from the Tuscaloosa News.

In his spare time, Clementz spends time with his family. “I spend time with my wife and our five
children. A lot of that time is spent at ballparks,” he says. Clementz also conducts small groups on
leadership.

Clementz is grateful for his BSL education. “After graduation, I was competing with lawyers from some
of the top law schools in the country. Initially, I thought I might not be prepared to compete with them
and work with them,” he says. “Now, 10 years since graduating from law school, I know that I went to
school with some of the smartest people, and I had the best education. Now, I am in a position where I
always feel as prepared as my colleagues who attended more prestigious universities. Without BSL, I
would never have had the opportunity for this job, this position, this influence. It has been incredible.”