In March 2021, Hirschler will celebrate its 75th anniversary. To mark this important milestone, Virginia Business magazine published a feature on the firm in its December Legal Elite edition. The article chronicles the firm’s rich history and includes commentary from Hirschler chair emeritus Jim Theobald and president Courtney Paulk, who provide perspective on the firm’s heritage, culture and client-centered approach to the practice of law.
Citing Theobald’s quick rise to chairman of the real estate section at age 34 and firm president at age 40, the profile highlights Hirschler’s longstanding philosophy of promoting leaders based on performance rather than age or tenure. Strong meritocratic principles have been key to the firm’s highly adaptive service model and resilient culture.
Since its founding in 1946 by Edward S. Hirschler and Alan G. Fleischer, Hirschler has expanded both its services and geography. Complementing its well-known strength in commercial real estate, the firm has developed national practices in mergers and acquisitions, investment management and litigation. Today, more than 80 attorneys—one-third of whom are women—serve clients from three offices in Richmond, Fredericksburg and Tysons.
“I have to say we owe our success to our culture,” Paulk said. “We all row the same direction, and it’s very important that from top to bottom we focus on client service.”
The firm’s commitment to service was validated by longtime Hirschler client Kim Kacani, senior vice president of business development for HHHunt. “Perhaps most important, Hirschler understands how critical relationships and reputation are in our industry and has worked to establish positive relationships in the localities where we operate,” Kacani said. “They listen and seek our counsel when it comes to each matter before them, wanting to understand our desired outcomes and what’s important to us. This type of collaborative process and partnership has been key to our success.”
The firm draws on its founding values and feedback from clients like Kacani to chart a course for the future. Reflecting on the firm’s current strategic plan, Paulk points to four themes critical to Hirschler’s future success: a purpose-driven culture, exceptional talent, strategic resilience and competitive advantage.
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Kristen M. Chatterton