VOL. 127 | NO. 116 | Thursday, June 14, 2012
Arthurs Find Success With Dad-Daughter Law Practice
By Aisling Maki
After graduating from Southern Methodist University in 2000, Megan Arthur took some time off to think about whether law school was truly the right fit for her.
With 30 years of family law practice under his belt, Megan’s father, attorney Jim Arthur, was apprehensive about his daughter entering a profession that can be so emotionally taxing, dealing with issues such as divorce and child custody.
“If dad had it his way, he’d probably like me not to do something so confrontational,” Megan Arthur said. “He said, ‘I just want you to be happy going to work every day and feel like you’re being productive.’ … You don’t want to wake up in 10 or 20 years and not like what you’re doing.”
After thinking it through, Megan Arthur enrolled in the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, graduating and passing the bar in 2006.
She began her career working for a larger firm, where she spent five years practicing in the areas of insurance defense, employment law and medical malpractice.
However, she said she “wasn’t getting into court enough. I really enjoy litigation, and frankly there are just some places and some types of law that are better suited for that.”
Because of her father’s reputation as a longtime family law attorney, she soon found people approaching her for help in that area, prompting her to pick up more family law work, and she found her calling.
In February 2011, she joined Shea Moskovitz & McGhee PLC, 530 Oak Court Drive, to concentrate on domestic litigation, including divorce, child custody, parentage, paternity, adoption, child support, alimony and prenuptial agreements.
Jim Arthur, meanwhile, worked for Glankler Brown PLLC’s family law group. But a year later, a twist of fate brought the father and daughter attorneys together under one roof.
“In February of this year, the family law section of Glankler Brown moved to Shea Moskovitz & McGhee, so Megan and I then ended up in the same place,” Jim Arthur said.
Although she said she was happy to spend more time with her father, she was slightly concerned about whether working together would affect their solid relationship.
“I didn’t expect him to give me any work, frankly, because I didn’t want him to feel that was part of the deal; I didn’t want to see a nepotism issue,” she said.
But she said their work situation has turned out to be very pleasant, with the father-daughter family law duo working together on some cases. Plus, Megan Arthur said she gets to learn from the best in the business.
“It’s fabulous to have a built-in expert that you can talk to anytime you want to,” she said. “I think he’s one of the best attorneys out there. He’s amazing in trial and he’s got an amazing memory.”
Jim Arthur, too, has developed greater admiration for his daughter as a competent attorney.
“I always think of her as my baby, but I will tell you that I have come to admire and respect her for her professional abilities and the way she does her job,” he said. “She’ll always be my baby and I’m very proud of her as a person.”
But there’s one aspect of their relationship to which Jim Arthur is still adjusting; his daughter calls him “Jim” at the office.
Outside the workplace nowadays, Megan and Jim Arthur find they talk less about work than they did previously.
“This is very emotionally charged litigation,” Jim Arthur said. “It can be very frustrating and taxing in a number of ways. It’s something that you really don’t want to take home and I find we leave it at the office a lot more than we used to, so it’s worked out better.” The Arthur family’s Father’s Day plans this Sunday include church, brunch, “and “showering him with all the affection he deserves,” Megan Arthur said.