Before starting his own law firm, Town Council member Claessens served for more than 22 years as an attorney for the City of Los Angeles as a prosecutor in the Los Angeles criminal courts, as a defense litigator in the Los Angeles State and Federal civil courts, and as a senior lead counsel in internal investigations and complex and class action matters. Promoting to Managing Senior Assistant City Attorney, he supervised and managed more than 100 attorneys and legal support staff, defending lawsuits related to governmental misconduct, employment discrimination, racial and sexual harassment, employment retaliation, personal injury, property damage, and contract cases.
Director Claessens earned his way through college and law school working as a plumber and carpenter and earned General Building and Plumbing Contractor licenses almost 40 years ago. He worked as a Building Mechanical Inspector for the Los Angeles City Department of Building and Safety promoting to Chief Inspector. He taught Fire Science at California State University Los Angeles, and his curricula on fire sprinkler design and code enforcement received the Award for Excellence from the L.A. Fire Department.