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2019 Trusted Advisers Attorney: Heather Rooney McBride

Rooney McBride & Smith LLC

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Heather Rooney McBride admits she’s a perfectionist. Fortunately, that serves her well when every detail must be correct.

“(It) makes for a lot of late nights for me but results in comprehensive representation for my clients,” says McBride, managing member at Rooney McBride & Smith LLC. “Documents have to be accurate and in good order, and research and analysis has to be complete and carefully considered … within the time constraints under which we have been asked to provide services.”

The Springfield native attended Evangel University to earn a bachelor’s degree in Spanish before earning her law degree at Drake University in Iowa, where she was a member of the Drake Law Review and graduated second in her class with Order of the Coif honors, a national honor society that recognizes top law graduates.

McBride was admitted to practice law in Missouri in 2006, and after working at two local firms, she opened Rooney McBride & Smith in 2011. She’s also licensed to practice in Arkansas and Oklahoma. Her practice areas range from estate planning, trust administration and real estate transactions to corporate law, human resources and employment issues.

“For all clients I represent, I assist in minimizing risk,” McBride says. “My approach is always to partner with my clients to affect any change that is needed in the company and also to help them fully consider and strategize about potential pitfalls for which they would not otherwise have planned. As a result, my clients are avoiding liability and litigation, closing transactions with highly favorable terms and making and collecting more money than they did prior to utilizing my services.”

Being accessible is a hallmark of her practice.

“Particularly for my large corporate clients for whom I serve as general counsel and who have emergency issues from time to time, I answer my cell phone and I promptly respond to emails,” McBride says. “But for all of my clients, my office has a 24-business-hour turnaround rule on response time to client inquiries. That kind of prompt feedback is somewhat unheard of in the legal profession right now.”

McBride gets to know as much about her clients’ needs as she can.

“My role is to give my clients education, ideas and strategic tools to help them make and implement informed business decisions,” she says. “I spend a lot of time gathering information on how things work in my clients’ world, because if I do not understand the context of the industry and the corporate culture for which I am providing legal representation, I will not be able to give them legal advice that is tailored to their needs and truly helpful to their organization.”

McBride is a member of the national, state and the Springfield bar associations. Civic involvement – which includes pro bono legal work – ranges from the Springfield Regional Arts Council, for which McBride serves as board member and counsel, and Maranatha Village Inc., for which she is a board member, secretary and board counsel.

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