Now every legal matter requires an attorney. You’re probably not going to call one of these Power Players the next time you get a speeding ticket. But when the times comes for some expert advice, these men and women are among the best our state has to offer. Let’s face it: the law is complicated. When your day in court comes, you want the right person in your corner, like any of the legal experts found in this section.
Jean Turner Carter, executive director for the Center for Arkansas Legal Services, began her career at the Legal Services of Arkansas, prior to its merger with Central Arkansas Legal Services. She took the helm in 1997. Carter, a Magnolia native, earned her bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Arkansas, before also earning her law degree. She’s a member of the Arkansas Bar Association, the Pulaski County Bar Association and the American Bar Association.
J. Shepherd Russell III has served as the managing partner at Friday, Eldredge & Clark since 2012. He has practiced exclusively at the firm as a bond lawyer for almost 40 years. His work is focused on the financing of public and nonprofit projects throughout Arkansas. He has been involved in civic activities and has recently served as president of the board of trustees of the Arkansas Arts Center.
Robyn Allmendinger, a transactional lawyer, was recently elected as the first female managing member of Rose Law Firm. She is a ranked lawyer in real estate by Chambers USA and is featured in Best Lawyers in America for her work in securities and capital markets. She encourages future leaders to be proactive in talking to their employers about alternative work arrangements to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
Perry L. Wilson is a managing member at Barber Law Firm PLLC, which is one of the oldest law firms in Arkansas. Wilson practices in the areas of corporate law and construction law, and he specializes in family business disputes. Outside of his law practice, Wilson serves as chairman of the board of trustees of Lyon College and chairman of the board of directors of Economics Arkansas.
Ron Hope, of Hope, Trice, O’Dwyer & Wilson, has been practicing law in the state of Arkansas since 1981. A native of Little Rock, Hope has undergraduate and legal studies degrees from the University of Arkansas. While he does handle a variety of business and civil litigation matters, Hope focuses on family law. He also has experience as a trial lawyer in state and federal court.
Matt Finch has practiced law with Gill Ragon Owen, P.A. since 2001. He primarily practices commercial litigation. In 2014, he became the third president of Gill Ragon Owen in its 32-year history. He serves on the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law Alumni Board. What he enjoys most about his job is working with his partners and colleagues to solve clients’ legal problems so they can get back to running their business. He advises young lawyers to pick up the phone and find common ground through direct conversation.
With more than three decades of experience, including a recent six-year stint as a board member of the Federal Reserve Board of St. Louis, McCastlain serves as outside corporate counsel for privately held companies, particularly agribusinesses. McCastlain’s advice to young and old: be honest with yourself about your true likes and interests. Those interests are your strengths. Play to your strengths.
Brent Baber, a native of Little Rock, has worked to represent working people for his entire career, following his graduation from law school at UALR 1980. He started his own firm in 1982, where he is currently campaigning against Issue 1 on the November ballot. Baber and his wife, Kris, have two sons, Greg and Sam.
Sam Hilburn, of Hilburn, Calhoon, Harper, Pruniski & Calhoun LTD, has practiced law since earning his law degree from the University of Arkansas in 1971. He has served the community in various capacities, including as city attorney of North Little Rock, special associate justice to the Arkansas Supreme Court and as a special municipal judge in North Little Rock. Hilburn is also rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell. He focuses primarily on family law, administrative law and litigation.
Randy Bynum’s practice focusing on utility, telecom and transportation regulation was complemented by his four-year tenure on the Arkansas Public Service Commission. As a commissioner, he served as treasurer of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners. Bynum is also a registered lobbyist for insurance interests in Arkansas. Recently, Bynum represented a group as it applied for licenses for marijuana cultivation and to open a medical marijuana dispensary.
Matt Boch is a leading Arkansas tax lawyer focusing on state and local taxes and economic development incentives. Besides helping clients, Boch provides leadership in the Arkansas tax policy world through numerous organizations and roles. As the “young Turk” of the DDH management team, Boch looks to combine the firm’s traditions of loyalty and excellence with modern technology to create an unparalleled platform for the practice of law. His advice: don’t settle for the status quo; push to make things as they should be.
Jennifer Wilson-Harvey is the managing partner of Wilson & Associates, PLLC, representing clients in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. Prior to law school, Jennifer worked in the investment industry and holds an MBA and a chartered financial analyst designation. Wilson-Harvey encourages young leaders to embrace new opportunities and challenges, do the best in anything they choose to do, and enjoy the journey.
Lauren Hoover, a native of Little Rock, established LDHR with her partners in 2016, after serving as a partner at Hilburn, Calhoon, Harper, Pruniski & Calhoun, Ltd. in North Little Rock. Her practice consists of a wide variety of litigation. Hoover advises young professionals to surround themselves with people who are better and smarter then themselves and to embrace their support system. She also stresses the importance of telling her clients what they need to hear, rather than what they want to hear.
At Legal Aid of Arkansas, Lee Richardson has served as staff attorney, managing attorney, litigation director, deputy director and executive director, where he has served since 2005. Richardson also serves on the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association Leadership and Diversity Committee and is an ex-officio member of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. Richardson’s motto: the humblest among us should be the peer of the most affluent when seeking access to justice.
Mike Rainwater is profoundly grateful to be leading a law firm that has enough lawyers and resources to tackle any size legal problem that an individual might face, be it an injury, disability, or bankruptcy. He enjoys people, and Rainwater loves helping individuals, as opposed to the commercial interests in society. He feels called to help individuals who are hurting from injury or other situations that have them on the sidelines of life.
Terry Pool, a partner with the national law firm Kutak Rock, serves as managing partner of the firm’s three Arkansas offices and member of the firm’s executive committee. For 25 years, Pool has helped clients in business and real estate on a wide variety of matters, and is as well known for his business sense. Pool cites quality relationships and unyielding commitment to clients as the key to being a respected and successful professional.
Steve Quattlebaum is a founding member of Quattlebaum, Grooms & Tull PLLC and widely known and recognized for his work in complex, high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts. Quattlebaum is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the American Board of Trial Advocates and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top lawyers in Arkansas and the United States.
Taylor King has practiced law for over 30 years and is an active member of the Arkansas legal community. He founded Taylor King Law in 1994, which currently employs 20 lawyers in five offices, with his sixth opening in Little Rock in June. Taylor loves helping Arkansans in the aftermath of trauma and injury. His best advice to young leaders is to guard your family and your reputation at all costs, as they are your two greatest assets.
R.T. Beard III is managing director at Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, PLLC. He has been a practicing attorney since 1971 and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates and a member of the International Association of Defense Counsel. For more than 30 years, his practice has focused on defending health care providers in professional liability cases.
Steve Lancaster is the managing partner of Wright Lindsey Jennings, a Little Rock-based law firm established in 1900. Lancaster, who has been with WLJ his entire legal career, has a highly regarded commercial litigation practice. He is an active American Red Cross volunteer and serves on the board of directors for Arkansas Hospice. Lancaster advises young attorneys not to sacrifice their values for short-term gain.