Michael McGill is part of a new generation of leaders in the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi River.
In March, Little Rock business law practice Rose Law Firm — founded in 1820 before Arkansas statehood — acquired Smith Hurst, a regional business law and private wealth law firm with seven attorneys in Rogers.
McGill joined Smith Hurst’s estate planning and private wealth team in 2020. He began his career at a firm in Little Rock before returning to Rogers, his hometown.
He attended the University of Arkansas and studied to be an accountant. Law school was always the end goal.
“I thought accounting would allow me to have a lot of [career] options along the way if something changed, or even in law school, that would be helpful,” he said.
While studying at the UA, he had various clerking opportunities, including for Smith Hurst. He also interned for Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office and was a legal extern for Walmart Inc. and the Arkansas Supreme Court.
McGill earned his undergraduate degree from the Sam M. Walton College of Business in 2016 and was a cum laude graduate in 2019 from the University of Arkansas School of Law. He was also a note and comment editor for the Arkansas Law Review. He eventually entered the Masters of Law (Taxation) program at New York University’s School of Law, earning his degree in 2021.
He uses his tax education to carefully structure estates and trusts for wealthy individuals and families, executives and professionals.
“What I love about Michael is that he is very thoughtful in his approach to working with each client situation,” said Rebecca Hurst, a Rose Law Firm member. “He knows the intricacies of estate planning and tax law, but he is approachable and empathetic in ensuring that he presents planning solutions that make practical sense to the client.”
McGill said evolving from a young lawyer utterly dependent on work passed to him to securing clients and building his practice has been a fun experience.
“I’m not self-sufficient, but I’m getting there,” he said.
McGill remains involved with the Walton College through the Young Alumni Advisory Board and has co-taught a course in federal estate and gift taxation at the UA School of Law.
McGill is also part of a planned giving advisory group for Mercy Health Foundation.