Hartman Underhill Names First Female MP

, The Legal Intelligencer


At 19 lawyers, Hartman Underhill is, on a statewide scale, relatively small. However, it is the second-largest Lancaster-based firm behind Barley Snyder, which has more than 60 lawyers, according to the latest edition of The Legal's sibling publication, PaLaw magazine.

Smith said that while the firm has always wanted and continues to want to stay within a range of about 20 to, at most, 35 lawyers, it has in recent years been more aggressive in its growth efforts.

"We had a transition in the firm a couple years ago," Smith said. "We lost a couple of attorneys who started their own firm and we had to ask ourselves, 'Who are we now and who do we want to be?' Our growth model has changed slightly. We're hiring at a faster rate than we typically would be if we hadn't had some of those folks leave."

The firm, which has long been active in community service and politics in the local Lancaster community, has also expanded the geographic reach of its practice throughout central Pennsylvania in recent years, according to Smith.

For example, Smith said, the firm's land-use practice now extends into Franklin, York and Perry counties.

"We've increased our regional client base and I think, obviously, the Internet has a lot to do with that," Smith said.

According to Smith, firm management is scheduled to meet Saturday to discuss the firm's long-range growth strategy.

Smith said the firm, which also has an office in nearby Ephrata, Pa., has no plans to open more locations, but will continue to try to grow its regional presence in the middle of the state.

Still, Smith added, the firm has no desire to sacrifice the quality of its client relationships to do so.

"It's fascinating to me the way you can expand your geographic reach without ever having to meet the client. It's something that can be done electronically," Smith said, explaining that while that can be a positive in some ways, it can also be detrimental to client service.

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