President, Personal Insurance Federation of California
Member, Pacific McGeorge Alumni Association Board of Directors
Adjunct Professor of Law
Area of Practice: Capital Lawyering
Year Graduated: 2000
Undergraduate: University of Chicago
Major: B.A., M.P.P., Public Policy
Rex Frazier enrolled in the evening division at McGeorge in order to become better at his day job. After serving on the legislative staff of the California State Assembly, Mr. Frazier was named Deputy Insurance Commissioner of the California Department of Insurance and often found himself testifying in front of committees, using and explaining legal terms. He realized a legal education would not only help him develop a deeper understanding of the legal content of his testimony, but also make him more credible in front of those committees.
Mr. Frazier entered law school with the intention of staying at the Department of Insurance. In fact, looking back, he probably would have enrolled in the Master of Science in Law program had it been available at the time. However, as Mr. Frazier progressed through law school, he realized that he actually wanted to practice law. His desire to practice turned into a reality when he received a call from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, offering Mr. Frazier an associate position in their Los Angeles office. He proceeded to spend six years doing transactional work in the firm's banking and insurance division.
Mr. Frazier thoroughly enjoyed his time at Pillsbury, and is especially grateful for having left a highly-trained attorney; however, he was drawn back to Sacramento because he of his commitment to public service. In 2005, Mr. Frazier took a position as the vice president and general counsel of Personal Insurance Federation of California ("PIFC"), and a year later he became the president of the organization. As General Counsel, he was the lead of the administrative law practice and amicus division, as well as being a registered lobbyist. Now, as the manager of PIFC, he conducts meetings and manages ten other people, overseeing the legislative advocacy program and administrative law practice, as well as the amicus and intervention work. He also oversees the campaign and election efforts and runs the PAC and grassroots agencies. Mr. Frazier explains that, "[As] you grow in practice, you actually practice less and take on more management duties." Still, he finds his job challenging and rewarding.
Capital lawyering is a complex practice, consisting of much more than just lobbying, which is only one part of the equation. Through his practice, Mr. Frazier has the ability to solve his clients' problems without regard for venue. Depending on the issue that he is tackling, he may seek resolve through the legislative process, the regulatory process, or through the courts – he has the ability to fight on all three fronts if necessary. Because of the multitude of avenues available to PIFC and their clients, Mr. Frazier stresses the importance of practical experience for anyone interested in pursuing a career in capital lawyering.
A self-proclaimed "process man," Mr. Frazier explains that understanding the legislative and regulatory processes is much more important than knowing the substantive background of any particular field. When looking to hire for a position at PIFC, Mr. Frazier is more likely to hire an individual with a strong background in government, even if that person has little knowledge of the insurance industry – the substance is easier to teach than the process. For students interested in a career in capital lawyering, Mr. Frazier recommends getting experience on the government side, either executive or legislative, early. He also recommends classes like the two that he teaches at McGeorge, Legislative Decision Making: Power and Influence in California and Drafting Laws and Regulations to Solve Real Client Problems. He also recommends Introduction to Capital Lawyering; Legislative Process, Strategy and Ethics; Administrative Law; and Legislative/Statutory Interpretation.
Mr. Frazier has used his background and experience in government to create an extremely rewarding practice as a capital lawyer. He cannot place enough emphasis on the value of attending McGeorge, located just minutes away from the California Capital, and encourages current and future McGeorge students and alumni to take advantage of the incredible opportunities available to them, not only through the education they will receive, but also because of their proximity to the Capital.