Clare Gallagher joined the firm’s Pittsburgh office in 2008. She grew up in Washington County, Pennsylvania. She now lives in Upper St. Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh, with her husband Patrick, who works at PNC Bank. She has two children – Shannon (24) and Michael (20). Shannon is a graduate of Clare’s undergraduate alma mater, the University of Pittsburgh, and works at Passavant Hospital. Mike is a sophomore environmental engineering and mathematics major at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania, where he is also a cross-country and track and field athlete.
Clare is vice chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group. She counsels clients on a variety of labor and employment issues; chairs labor negotiations; advises on employee benefit issues, executive employment agreements, non-competition agreements, discrimination and harassment issues, and labor and employment issues involved in merger and acquisition projects. Clare also represents clients before state and federal courts and a number of U.S. governmental agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Prior to joining Eckert Seamans, Clare served as legal counsel and director of human resources for a large title agency in the real estate services industry. There she managed legal matters, including class action litigation and oversight of outside counsel, acquisitions, corporate finance, governance, and employment-related legal matters.
What led you to pursue a career in law?
For as long as I can remember, I was always interested in law and political science, even though I did not personally know anyone in the legal profession. Growing up in southwestern Pennsylvania, I also was interested in the labor movement because it was always in the local news. Living in a household where one parent was in a union and the other was in management made for interesting discussions around the dinner table.
What do you enjoy most about your practice?
I am a problem solver, which is why I enjoy my labor and employment practice. Whether it is representing a client in successful collective bargaining negotiations, developing a strategy to defend a client’s action in an employee reduction in force, or litigating an employment action in federal or state court, all aspects of my practice require me to analyze a problem and develop a strategy of attack.
If you could pick a career outside of the law, what would it be?
I cannot think of anything else that I would rather do. I love the ever-changing dynamics that practicing law affords us. Every day our clients are challenged with new and complex problems. Continually, there are new statutes and case law that can change the advice I gave last week, so each day is unique and different. I guess if I had to pick something else -– it would be speech writing for a politician because I love advocacy and persuasive writing.
If you could be any animal, what would it be and why?
I would be an alpha-female in a wolf pack because while wolves are fierce predators, they are also social animals that care for their little ones within the family structure of the pack. The pack works together for a common goal and succeeds because of their combined purpose.
What is one item on your bucket list?
I would love to visit Yellowstone in the winter to watch the wolves.
What movie can you watch over and over again?
It’s a Wonderful Life and The Shawshank Redemption
What song instantly puts you in a good mood?
Friends in Low Places by Garth Brooks
What is your favorite pastime?
Going to fun places with my family or just watching movies at home.