Welcome to the Family Celebrating Connections in the 95-Year History of Our Firm
W hen you look at the history of The Sheppard Law Firm, you can’t help but appreciate the working relationship between partners Craig Hersch and Michael Hill. As Craig likes to say, he’s a big-picture strategist, whereas Mike thrives in engineering solutions to complex problems.“I think of Mike as a little brother,” Craig says.“We compare notes on how to better serve our clients into the 21st century. Our unique abilities work very well together.” In 1992, John Sheppard hiredme away from another firm. At the time, John led his well-respected, 68-year-old family firm. He foundme to pass on the estate planning portion of his practice as he prepared for retirement. He was tomentor me for two years before bowing out. But, as Christmas of my first year approached, he apparently had other ideas. “You’re doing great,”John said.“I’mgoing to leave by Christmas.”Dumbfounded, I realized that meant the success of our firm and our clients would squarely land onmy 28-year-old shoulders in just 10 days. I was a young attorney who would suddenly have to fill the shoes of a wise and experienced veteran who was revered in our community. The Big Picture Strategist—Craig’s Story
Fast forward 10 years from John’s retirement, whenmy practice grew to the point where I neededmore help. Thankfully, I found Mike. He has great legal skills, and his technical skills improving our technology are second to none.
The Process Engineer—Michael’s Story
When I first joined our firm in 2002, I was a recent law school graduate with an undergraduate degree in accounting. I’d never been south of Tampa. While I originally accepted a position with a different law firm, when this opportunity arose, I couldn’t pass it up. Curious to know how I would fit in, I casually asked Craig,“Do you have enough work for me to do?”In response, he sent an avalanche my way. From the time I first sat down at my desk, which at the time was only a folding card table, I was inundated. I learned what made this firm successful. I’ve added to that by introducing systems and technology that better connect us to our clients. Soon we’ll introduce improved websites that contain all the information our clients want. More importantly, our firm remains dedicated to our team’s families as well as those of our clients. We’ve watched each other’s children grow up, supported one another through life cycle events, and together celebrated our greatest achievements. Recently, our family was tested. In September, Craig was suddenly out of the office because of heart surgery. We thrived in the face of adversity, supporting Craig through his recovery. We’re glad to have himback at full speed. Like the big brother he is, Craig mentored me as John Sheppard did him. He even introduced me to his love of triathlons. At our first event together, while swimming a mile in a windy, choppy Tampa Bay, I wondered what exactly he got me into! But, like swimming through turbulent waters, I always know one thing is for certain:
I didn’t sleep for the next three years.
But, John was right. I usedmy tax law training and CPA license to ramp up the level of estate planning services we offered. Our capabilities increased as no client problemwas too difficult to handle. We were also careful tomaintain the family atmosphere our clients enjoyed.
We’ll be there for each other and our clients.
Craig and Mike
1 (239) 265-9779
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