Collector - August 2018 - 52
Breaking the Mold
Mac Murray & Shuster is on the rise in the legal field with its acceptance into
the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms this year.
By Katy Zillmer
MAC MURRAY & SHUSTER LLP
NEW ALBANY, OHIO
PARTNERS HELEN MAC MURRAY
AND MICHELE SHUSTER
rom the beginning, the founding
partners of Mac Murray & Shuster
had all the pieces in place to
make their small law firm, specializing
in consumer protection regulation and
compliance law, a part of something bigger.
Helen Mac Murray and Michele Shuster
worked together in the Ohio Attorney
General's Office and at other firms, and
decided that starting a new practice was
the way to go in order to better serve niche
clients and provide a healthy work-life
balance for employees.
"Both of us realized very quickly that we
thought we could do things differently and
potentially even better than a traditional 'big
law' model," Shuster said.
Just over a decade later, their New Albany,
Ohio, headquarters is as bustling as it is
relaxed in order to give attorneys a work
environment they need to get their jobs done
while accommodating their personal lives.
Both attorneys are rated AV Preeminent
by Martindale-Hubbell (a prestigious peer
rating standard that signifies the highest
level of professional excellence for legal
knowledge, communication skills and ethical
standards) and the company is certified by
the Women's Business Enterprise National
Council as a women-owned firm.
With those accomplishments already
under their belts, Mac Murray and Shuster
were encouraged by several clients to
consider applying for membership to the
National Association of Minority and
Women Owned Law Firms (NAMWOLF.)
NAMWOLF, founded in 2001, is a trade
association made up of over 185 firms created
to enhance diversity and inclusion in the legal
profession by providing opportunities for
women and minority-owned firms.
The team at Mac Murray & Shuster
completed the application process
and review by NAMWOLF's selection
committees, learning that they made the cut
in January this year.
"There was a lot of celebration," Mac
Murray said. "The association aligns with
our values. It is just a great fit for us."
According to the 2018 American Bar
Association National Lawyer Population
Survey, 64 percent of attorneys are male and
36 percent are female, while 85 percent of
active attorneys are white.
"NAMWOLF's mission and vision is
to get corporations and public entities
to understand that one way to tackle
the diversity and legal challenges in our
profession is to give these outstanding firms
the opportunity to compete for business,"
said NAMWOLF CEO Joel Stern. "Once
they have that opportunity, they typically
'wow' in-house counsel."
NAMWOLF member firms have access to
training and networking resources as well as
affiliations with corporations and other member
firms. They attend business meetings twice a
year and have the opportunity to showcase their
talents through CLEs, committee participation
and practicing business pitches to obtain
feedback from their peers.
Stern says Mac Murray & Shuster
epitomizes the outstanding lawyers that are
part of the association's membership. For
her part, Mac Murray said that while they're
just in the first year of their membership,
NAMWOLF feels like a family.
After their first meeting, she recalls, "What
really blew me away was the relationship
between the people. The really wonderful
thing about the NAMWOLF membership is
it connects you with a network of attorneys
across the U.S. and pretty much in every
jurisdiction. It is very much a supportive and
Katy Zillmer is ACA International's