By Ernest Geigenmiller, LaCamas Magazine
Vancouver, WA — The law firm, McKeanSmith LLC, officially moved into their spacious new offices at the stunning Vancouver Waterfront on April 1, and they couldn’t be happier.
“I love the fact that Vancouver is reclaiming its waterfront,” said Collin McKean, the firm’s co-founder. “I find that being next to water is an inspiring place to be. I grew up living on a body of water and it’s a great way to give clients a calming location to do our work and help them through their life transitions.”
The firm, established in 2015, moved their nine employees from their downtown Vancouver office to the fifth floor of the Murdock Tower, which has commanding views of the Columbia River and the I-5 bridge. The nearly 3,800 square foot space gives McKeanSmith room to grow. Their Vancouver office provides legal services in the following areas: family law, employment law, business law, general litigation, and estate planning. They also have offices in Portland and Hillsboro.
“As lawyers, we work hard, sometimes long hours for our clients, and it’s important to be in a place you like to be in,” said McKean. “Given we have a front row seat to the waterfront, we’ve taken a unique approach to the gathering space. The location is also comforting to our clients, who are often going through major life changes.”
The move is also a reflection of the firm’s positive momentum.
“We have a good reputation so we continue to get referrals in from our clients for family law work, and our attorneys are very active in the community,” said McKean. “We value them, and invest in small businesses and support them. We’re looking to increase our employment law practice and support for small businesses. We’re handling typical small business issues with transactional litigation needs.”
And, their work isn’t going unnoticed by their peers.
“We’re proud our lawyers have been recognized in Vancouver for Best Lawyer designations. Annelisa Smith, Deanna Rusch, and I are Super Lawyer Rising Stars,” said McKean. “We’re also ranked top tier in the Portland/Vancouver metro area by US News and World Report, which ranks all firms.”
The office, with its modern touches, brings in a lot of natural light, and a nearly 180 degree view of the waterfront and downtown Vancouver.
“The office offers a calm and serene location and atmosphere because whether they’re new or existing they’re all in some form of turmoil, so you can’t underestimate the importance of that,” said Rusch.
“I have a beautiful view of Mt. Hood, the river and the I-5 Bridge, and kind of just the whole eastern part of the waterfront development that is still under construction. I like watching the boats go by.”
“Family law was the cornerstone of the practice so that was really what they had been doing. Since then, Collin especially has grown into other practice areas. So, when I joined the firm in October 2017 it was to continue my family law practice, which is mostly in Clark County. I represent anyone, mostly in divorces, and my clients range from little to no assets to high assets.”
And, as part of their commitment to small business and things local, the firm invested heavily in local art to adorn their new office space.
Rusch put partners McKean and Smith in touch with Maria Gonser, owner of Attic Gallery in downtown Camas. Gonser works with local artists, and assisted them with the whole process, even taking a Sunday afternoon to hang the artwork in entrance, hallway, and conference room.
“The art on the left-hand side in the conference room is from the Sandra Jones Campbell Pendleton series,” said Gonser. “She had 30 paintings in that series. The pieces on the other side are all from Pendleton. The ‘Broad Shoulders’ cowboy is her father. The ones on the right are inspired from old photographs. She’ll get a series of photographs from a particular era and she recreates those pictures in her paintings.”
McKeanSmith also bought an Earl Hamilton abstract, wood carvings by Monica Setziol-Phillips, and a massive piece by Cedar Lee.
“Collin and Annelisa went through this process with great detail,” said Rusch. “I’m very appreciative of their support and follow through.”