You can point to a dozen differentiators that set Andrew Treaster apart. His graduating class comprised twenty-six people in his small farming town in Kansas. His family’s homestead dates back 150 years; he knows this because this year marks the sesquicentennial.
Treaster grew up with John Grisham books under his arm. Imagine seeing a fifth grader pulling out his copy of The Firm on free reading day. None of these are the standout details of the lawyer’s practice, though. Those are found in his first job.
Treaster, currently director and assistant general counsel for commercial litigation at DaVita Kidney Care, took his first job with the prestigious firm Arnold & Porter not because of the name, not because of the network it would plug him into, but a different reason entirely.
“I had applied to a number of different firms and had done so many interviews,” the lawyer remembers. “But the big reason I picked Arnold & Porter was its pro bono practice. The firm is well known for doing interesting and varied pro bono work, and that really appealed to me.”
That’s the through line of Treaster’s professional practice. Wherever he is, he finds time to do the kind of legal work that can help alter the lives of his clients. While in private practice, Treaster helped successfully try a case against Chipotle for pregnancy discrimination.
He worked on behalf of national parks and monument-designated land. He even argued in front of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals in a complex hostage-taking case. All pro bono. But why?
“Growing up in Kansas, both of my parents were educators [his father also served in the Kansas state legislature], and I think a lot of people in my family and in our area saw public service as a part of life,” Treaster explains. “I saw it with my parents, I saw it with people in my community, and it has become part of my own life. Not everyone can pay one thousand dollars an hour for the best attorneys money can buy, but they deserve great representation as much as anyone else.”
That’s what makes DaVita Kidney Care such an obvious choice, Treaster says. The company provides life-sustaining dialysis services for approximately two-hundred thousand patients in the US and in ten other countries. Treaster moved in-house in 2018, because he had seen the good the company does in the world, and he knew the company’s mission aligned with his own ethos.
The lawyer’s professional resume isn’t just full of pro bono work. He’s worked on international trade and arbitration cases. He litigated against Canada under the NAFTA agreement and spent two weeks trying the case in front of an arbitration panel at the World Bank. The lawyer’s expertise includes commercial litigation, antitrust, and product liability.
At DaVita, Andrew Treaster says he was encouraged to find such a strong legal team already in place. “This was an opportunity to work with some incredible attorneys, not just on my team, but the legal department as a whole is chock-full of really bright people,” the lawyer says.
DaVita also provides Andrew Treaster an opportunity to branch out and get to know a broader set of internal clients and team members. In private practice, he spent the bulk of his time working with the same small team. At DaVita, Treaster regularly works with new stakeholders throughout the company, consistently helping to solve problems for new parts of the business.
“There’s a variety at DaVita that has been interesting and refreshing,” Treaster explains. “On the legal side, there are so many lawyers trained to think about legal problems in different and unique ways. It’s collaborative and fast-paced. Everyone is just trying to figure out the best way to solve a problem, so that our business can function at its highest level.”
Treaster also has found a way to help outside his regular nine-to-five purview. With two educators as parents, the lawyer finds it hard not to give into his DNA. He loves teaching new lawyers and hopes to lead a legal department in the future.
He’s also a Board Member and mentor for the AmeriCorps City Year members in Denver. City Year Denver AmeriCorps members partner with teachers and schools to add more support and to help create learning environments where all students can build on their strengths and fully engage in their learning.
But right now, Andrew Treaster knows exactly what he wants.
“There’s another attorney here, who’s been at DaVita probably twice as long as I have,” the seasoned lawyer with ten years’ experience describes. “I watched him standing in a hotel lobby a few weeks ago at a DaVita event, and he knew everyone’s name because he had helped them. That’s what I strive to be: a known and trusted partner for the entire business, who you can bring your toughest legal problem to.”
At Snell & Wilmer, we recognize one straightforward fact—our clients care about the degree to which we understand their business, their industry, and the trends and challenges that can affect their ability to minimize risk and maximize success. Snell & Wilmer provides creative yet practical client-specific solutions. Professional integrity and fast response to client needs guide our interactions.