Spotlight on Samantha Shepherd
Samantha Shepherd has been appointed Elder Law Committee Chair for 2013-2014 and will take office at the Annual Meeting of The Missouri Bar being held this week. She was born in Newmarket, Suffolk, UK (the birthplace of thoroughbred horseracing) of an Australian father and English mother. Her mother married a U.S. Navy sailor, who adopted and raised Samantha as his own.
In 1983 at the age of 14, Samantha’s family moved to Pensacola, Florida, where she graduated in 1987 from Pine Forest High School. She attended her undergraduate studies at Tulane University, in New Orleans and graduated in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in History with a Spanish minor after spending her junior year in Spain.
Samantha attended law school at Boston College, graduating with her J.D. in 1994. After law school she worked in various jobs, including in legal affairs with the BBC where she earned an LLM (not the same as an LLM in the US) at the University of London.
Moving to Portland, Maine, Samantha worked five years as an in-house counsel at Peoples Heritage Bank (n/k/a TD Bank) where among her corporate duties she learned more about wills, trusts, and powers of attorney because of questions she had to field from bank staff when customers brought them in. She married her husband Stephen Barrett in Maine, and he shares her love for running.
In 2001 Samantha followed her husband to Boca Raton, Florida, with three preschool sons, where she worked part time with the Fort Lauderdale legal aid office on consumer issues. In 2003 she moved with her family the first time to Kansas City and while raising four sons, she started on her LLM in Estate Planning, meeting Craig Reaves and going to work with him as an associate. She earned her LLM in 2007.
Samantha and her husband moved back to Massachusetts in 2007 where she worked for Bacon & Wilson, PC, as an associate with Hyman Darling, a well-known elder law attorney. She and her husband decided that the Kansas City area was the best place to raise a family; therefore, they moved back to the area in 2009 where she opened a law practice on her own. She now has offices on both the Missouri side in Kansas City and over the state line in Overland Park, Kansas.
Samantha and her husband have four sons, Andrew, age 16; Adrian, age 13; Alexander, age 11; and Ashley, age 8.
When asked if she likes practicing Elder Law, Samantha replied, “Of course, because I get to help people every day, I love getting up and going in to work, and I am passionate about helping the ‘underdog.’ This career makes me feel good about who I am.”
“Our lady and fellow Elder Law attorneys are wonderful because they care about their clients,” said Samantha. “We have a lot of freedom to pick and choose our clients. We seem to share the same mindset of sharing information to help each other’s clients just as we help our own.”
Samantha has served as an Elder Law Committee vice chair the past two years. In 2012 she was certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. As to her coming tenure as Elder Law Committee Chair, Samantha said, “I am honored to guide committee members and offer them value for their membership. We want our members to be well equipped to serve their clients.”
As to what she does in her free time, Samantha said, “I run three miles most every day, go to movies with my sons, read mysteries, and support their activities. Yes, I admit that I’m a ‘soccer mom’ driving in my minivan to games and practices all over the area.”
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