R. Hunter Humphreys Jr. considers himself a rare breed of law student – one that didn’t want to pursue a legal career in litigation.
Now an associate at Glankler Brown PLLC, Humphreys specializes in secured lending, commercial and residential real estate and general business transactions. He occasionally makes an appearance in Probate Court, but his practice does not typically require much courtroom activity.
“Although being a lawyer can be adversarial, I have found that trying to deal with people in a respectful and polite way often times leads to better results than being overly aggressive and adversarial from the start,” said Humphreys who turns 33 this month. “Unfortunately, this tactic doesn’t always work.”
A lot of Humphreys’ legal path is due to his upbringing. He grew up in a house where his dad, R. Hunter Humphreys Sr., was a real estate and transactional lawyer.
“(Law was) not necessarily a calling, but it made a lot of sense for me,” Humphreys said. “I was a history major at SMU and my liberal arts education kind of lent itself to law school. Additionally, both my dad and my uncle are practicing attorneys here in Memphis, and the U of M law school is named after my grandfather, Cecil C. Humphreys.”
Humphreys has spent his entire legal career at Glankler Brown, since 2005. He’s fortunate that he’s part of a team of about 15 attorneys in the real estate practice area, including his dad and namesake.
“He’s a good teacher, and he’s been doing this a lot longer than I have, so it’s been fun to work together,” Humphreys said. “I still have a tremendous amount to learn, but I feel like I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience practicing with the attorneys I get to work with on a daily basis, and I consider my growth as a young lawyer to be a significant accomplishment.”
Now a father himself of two young ones, a typical day for Humphreys starts a few hours before he gets into the office because “usually one if not both of my kids are waking me up asking for breakfast.”
Once he’s at work, Humphreys is usually meeting with clients, reviewing documents, and/or assisting other attorneys with various transactions, closings and projects.
Humphreys represents borrowers and lenders in secured lending transactions, assists clients in the formation of business entities, and helps clients with various corporate legal matters. He has worked with numerous clients in the acquisition, development, financing and leasing of residential and commercial properties.
Humphreys also performs title examinations and serves as an agent for major title companies in the Memphis area such as Chicago Title Insurance Co.
Since a significant part of Humphreys’ law career has taken place during the recession, much of his legal experience in real estate and secured lending has been defined by foreclosures, loan workouts and modifications, and receiverships. This is in stark contrast to the once typical buyer/seller transaction.
“As with most professions, the last few years have been difficult for many lawyers, and I think that much of that difficulty has derived from the kind of work we have been doing as a result of the troubled economy,” Humphreys said. “Those kinds of transactions where everybody’s on board and happy have really slowed down significantly. We do see that picking back up a little bit, but it is certainly not where it once was.”
In his spare time, Humphreys enjoys running, biking and hunting, and being outdoors as much as possible. He also likes to spend time with children and his wife of eight years, whom he calls “the most influential person in my life.”
Humphreys also makes time for pro bono work. He usually takes on a few Memphis Area Legal Services matters each year, and also provides legal advice and services to Veritas College Preparatory Charter School, where he serve as a founding board member.
Veritas, the Latin word for truth, prepares Memphis students in grades six through eight to excel in high school and college as accomplished scholars and to contribute to their communities as ethical leaders.
“As we’ve kind of evolved into a school over the last few years from just a planning phase into a school, I was not only assisting just with getting new board members on board, I was assisting with some of the legal work, getting the school off the ground,” Humphreys said. “I was part of the original facility search, and then actually we just completed a new facility search because we’re going to be on a new location this fall. I’ve really enjoyed my time and work with that school.”