More often than not, the first question we hear from recruits is, “What brought you to Wyche?” The answers to that question are as diverse as the attorneys who practice here. This section is intended to give you some idea of what drew us to this unique firm.
Although academic credentials are not an infallible measure of legal abilities, we believe ours are among the best in the country. We represent many of the top law schools; ten of us are members of Phi Beta Kappa; one is a Rhodes Scholar; one is a Fulbright Scholar; three have served in the Justice Department; most have been members of law reviews or journals; nineteen have clerked in the United States District Court or Court of Appeals; one has clerked for the Chief Justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court; one has clerked for Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals; and three have clerked in the United States Supreme Court.
To the extent that a firm’s practice is a reflection of the legal abilities of its members, we believe that we fare well by that standard. Our corporate practice includes start-ups, leveraged buy-outs, recapitalizations, public and private offerings, debt refinancings, mergers, acquisitions and other corporate restructurings. The size of these transactions ranges from relatively small amounts to values exceeding one billion dollars. Similarly, our litigation practice includes relatively simple cases—which afford the opportunity to get into court—as well as complex litigation such as antitrust, First Amendment, voting rights, redistricting, securities, copyright, patent and trade secrets lawsuits. Within each of these areas, our practice allows each new associate immediately to begin to experience a wide range of activities and responsibility.
A major attraction of our practice is our city and the surrounding environment. Greenville, SC, has become known nationally for its remarkably vibrant downtown, full of arts and cultural venues, excellent restaurants, and a beautiful park along the river. (Much of this came about as a direct result of the vision, patience, and hard work of many members of our firm over many years.)
Our office building overlooks the lower falls of the Reedy River and is at the foot of the dramatic pedestrian bridge crossing the upper falls into the park. A minor league ballpark—a replica of Boston’s Fenway Park—is a short walk from the office. Tennis, golf, bike trails, ice-skating, running trails and swimming facilities are nearby as well.
Another major attraction of our practice is the opportunity for direct and immediate involvement in community affairs. Virtually every member of the firm takes part in a significant way in helping to shape the community in which we live. Various members of the firm are actively involved in politics (with varying views), in local civic affairs (one has served as president of the United Way, one has served as chairman of the local housing authority, one has served as chair of the Greenville Area Development Corporation and several are active in the local chapter of the Urban League), and in the arts (four have served as president of the Greenville Symphony, others have served as presidents or directors of other local arts organizations, and two led a hugely ambitious and equally successful campaign to raise money for the award-winning Peace Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Greenville).
In addition, many members of the firm are actively involved in conservation activities, which have resulted in the establishment of parks, nature preserves, and conservation easements over large expanses of nearby mountain lands. The list could go on. The important point is that our commitment to the community embraces everyone, from associates to senior members.
Although we work hard, we are by no means addicted to work—and we genuinely enjoy working with each other. Unlike many firms, which seem to be collections of individuals bound together primarily by financial considerations, we believe that one of the strengths of our firm is the commitment that we have not only to the profession, but also to each other on a personal level. We expect everyone in the firm to work hard and to be productive, and we obviously depend upon that expectation, but we believe that in the long run, focusing on individual billings would be divisive. Another example of our commitment to each other is our philosophy of hiring only those whom we hope and expect to become members of the firm. Our experience shows that we have been successful in this effort.
Our lawyers also take an active role in the work of the bar at local, state and national levels. Many of our members are involved in committee work, frequently as chairpersons. Two of our members have served as president of the South Carolina Bar Association, and one was a member, for six years, of the ABA Standing Committee on the Judiciary, which screens all federal judicial candidates.
While we have no formal pro bono program, the firm encourages members to pursue whatever pro bono activities are of interest to them. Examples include the defense of indigent criminal defendants (including murder defendants in capital cases) and representation of abused women and children in family court proceedings. One member was the founder and board chair of the Libra Society, and another member was the board chair of Legal Services of South Carolina, the statewide legal services system.