2014 Groundbreakers | Stephen Barth, Hospitality Lawyer

By Libby Hoppe, September 23, 2014

Stephen Barth is a lawyer and professor at Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston. He is also the author of “Hospitality Law” and the co-author of “Restaurant Law Basics.” In addition, he is a speaker and the founder of hospitalitylawyer.com, the annual Hospitality Law Conference, and the Global Congress on Travel Risk Management. His hospitality interest and legal experience have made him a pioneer in the hotel and restaurant industries, where he focuses on making hospitality a specialty area of the law.

He started his industry career as a counter server at Dunkin’ Donuts.

One of his top career accomplishments is the success of his students. “I measure my success by the success of my students and attendees at my presentations.”

He never expected to find work so fulfilling. “I fully expected to be practicing law as a career my entire life, but I was too impatient for that path and found it very unfulfilling personally. When I came to understand that work was a natural part of my life, I began to focus on things I really enjoyed doing.”

One of his secrets to success is the support of his family and friends, followed by choosing the path less traveled. “I think most people who know me would characterize me as a maverick, or a disruptor in today’s parlance. I would argue that this approach has been instrumental to my success and many failures as well.”

Most people don’t know how much he loves books—“so much that I built floor-to-ceiling shelves in my bedroom so they are the first thing I see in the morning and the last thing I see in the evening. Today, most of my new books are downloaded to my iPad. Not sure what that means yet.”

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