Arkadelphia's Chaney Law Firm Built on Family Ties

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Jul. 8, 2013 12:00 am  

In 2002, Wright left the firm to go into banking and Chaney started his own firm with his wife as his office manager.

Don Chaney didn’t lobby for his children to follow in his career footsteps when they were growing up.

“Lawyers, at least the way I was doing it, tend to work too hard,” he said.

Still, Don Chaney wasn’t surprised that they became lawyers. “Both Taylor and Nathan were Eagle Scouts. … I think that had a positive influence on character development, leadership development, personal confidence level, … learning how to be prepared and doing the right thing,” Don Chaney said.

After graduating from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a bachelor’s degree in computer systems engineering in May 2001, Nathan went to law school at Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Va., where he met Hilary Martin. They were married in 2006.

After graduating from law school, Nathan Chaney returned to Arkansas and started practicing law at the Mark Henry Law Firm in Fayetteville, where he handled intellectual property cases.

But he said the work kept him on the road and away from his wife and small child, River. “It was time to settle down and come home,” Nathan Chaney said.

Hilary Chaney, who worked at the Hall Estill Law Firm in Fayetteville, also wanted a lighter case load that would give her more time with her growing family. “I sent my oldest child to day care at 8 [a.m.] and picked him up at 6,” she said. “I said this really isn’t the life I wanted for my children.”

In 2009, Nathan Chaney asked his father if there was a place for him at the Chaney Law Firm, telling him that if so, he would be willing to move. Don Chaney agreed and his son joined the firm.

Hilary Chaney took a few months off from practicing law. But after her break, she decided in 2009 that she wanted to return to work, though only on a part-time basis.

“It turned into a good fit,” Don Chaney said. Hilary was assigned to the Social Security disability cases.

“It’s been so wonderful to have a flexible schedule,” Hilary Chaney said. She said she can work from home and raise River, 5, and Carter, who is 19 months old. And she can take the children to the firm to be watched by Terri Chaney or another member of the staff.



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