The voters of Arkansas let Conner Eldridge know in November 2016 he should practice law.
That’s a lighthearted way of summarizing Eldridge’s quest to unseat U.S. Sen. John Boozman, the incumbent Republican from Rogers. Boozman held onto to the seat with a 24-point victory.
A little more than a year later, the Fayetteville Democrat’s next career move is coming into focus, and he will, in fact, be practicing law. The former federal prosecutor is partnering with a University of Arkansas law school buddy, Steve Brooks, to start a private practice called Eldridge Brooks PLLC, with a focus on business and corporate law. The law office is in The Shoppes at Pinnacle Hills office building on Market Street in Rogers.
“I am thrilled to start a new and exceptional law practice with Steve,” Eldridge said. “We both bring experience in a variety of business and legal roles and are enthusiastic to put the experience to work for our clients.”
Eldridge and Brooks both earned law degrees from the UA in 2003. Eldridge was 33 when he was formally sworn in as U.S. Prosecuting Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas on March 18, 2011. He resigned Aug. 21, 2015, in preparation of his U.S. Senate campaign. Before that, his background included working for several prominent Arkansas politicians and law firms, and later banking.
After marrying into the family (Whipple) with a controlling interest in Arkadelphia-based Summit Bancorp, Eldridge went to work for the bank and would eventually become CEO in 2008 — two years before being nominated for Western District Prosecutor by Democratic U.S. Sens. Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor.
According to a news release, Eldridge is the only former U.S. Attorney in the country to have also served as CEO of a bank and is the only former U.S. Attorney in private practice in the Western District of Arkansas, as well as one of the few in private practice in the state.
Brooks, nephew of U.S. District Judge Tim Brooks, has been a partner for the past four years at NewRoad Capital Partners in Rogers, the largest venture capital firm in Arkansas. Before that he spent his first decade out of law school as a mergers and acquisitions attorney for Friday, Eldredge & Clark. Before attending law school, he was a tax accountant for Frost PLLC and Tyson Foods.
“While it is difficult to leave NewRoad and the partners, investors, and companies that I greatly respect, I am excited to partner with Conner to apply our shared corporate, legal, and government experiences in building a top tier law firm capable of solving problems and adding value for businesses of all sizes,” Brooks said. “We are bringing the expertise typically only found in larger markets to Northwest Arkansas.”
The firm will also conduct corporate and internal investigations for businesses of all sizes that face a federal or state governmental inquiry, potential civil or criminal enforcement matter, potential regulatory infraction, or internal matter of concern. Eldridge Brooks will also litigate in state and federal courts throughout Arkansas.