The MLO Minute: By Dennis McAndrews, Esq., Founder of McAndrews Law —
In the spring of 1982, our law firm began in modest fashion, with Dennis McAndrews as its sole part-time attorney, working from a home office without support staff and while continuing to serve the public as a prosecutor in Delaware County and as Staff Counsel to a Pennsylvania State Senate Select Committee investigating the system of care for persons with intellectual disabilities. Over the next 13 years, Dennis’ practice in the fields of disability law, estate planning, and civil litigation grew to the point that he left the District Attorney’s Office and became engaged in a full-time practice of law in September, 1995. His first step was to hire Jan Hardy, who has been with him since the opening of his full-time practice and is now the firm’s incomparable Office Manager, and juggles innumerable firm activities with the utmost skill, compassion, and conscientiousness. The firm’s practice continued to grow, even during an unusual interlude in 1996 and 1997, when Dennis was hired as a Special Prosecutor with his now – colleague, Joseph McGettigan III, and together they secured a murder conviction against John L. duPont, who was (and is) the richest convicted murderer in American history, and who eventually died in prison.
Since 1997, the firm has grown substantially, and now includes 18 outstanding lawyers, several office locations throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, and The Metropolitan Washington, D.C. area, and an excellent team of support professionals who are unrivaled in their expertise and commitment to our clients. Our executive team now also includes our Chief Executive Officer Katie Ryan, who brought to the firm excellent managerial skills and federal court experience which has allowed us to move forward and keep pace with technological and legal developments; Michael Connolly, our Supervising Partner for Special Education who is a premier education law attorney with a national reputation for excellence; and Lesley Mehalick, our Supervising Partner for Estates and Trusts, who also enjoys a national reputation in the field of estate planning/administration. We are also blessed with an outstanding controller, Elaine Gilmore, whose decades of experience as a paralegal and controller has been an indispensable colleague and friend. Our attorneys are also skilled in civil litigation for injured persons, Title IX matters, school discipline, and provide innumerable seminars and programs at no cost to the public. The partners in our firm currently include, in addition to our founder, Katie Ryan, Michael Connolly, Lesley Mehalick, Heather Hulse, and Caitlin McAndrews, and their remarkable contributions have justified the recent expansion of our firm name to McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse and Ryan.
As with any anniversary, and particularly a major anniversary such as 40 years of practice, the opportunity for reflection is both welcome and necessary. During the life of our firm, we have represented thousands of individuals with their legal needs, and have a firm culture of treating our clients – and one another – with decency, compassion, and respect. We have been able to secure tens of millions of dollars in recovery in areas of compensatory education, personal injuries, and estate savings. Our clients are the lifeblood of our work, and it has been our privilege to serve individuals who come to us asking for our help in their important legal matters. We value the trust that our clients and the public place in our hands, and we will continue to work to earn that trust every day.
In the weeks ahead, we will offer additional thoughts regarding our firm’s anniversary, and we appreciate your interest and confidence in us!