Large and encompassing with “very deep” roots, GrayRobinson makes an ironclad case that community comes first.

For the fun of it, let’s play a game. Call it, “Did You Know?” The subject: GrayRobinson, Attorneys at Law.

Almost everybody has heard of the firm, right? OK, at least many people likely have. The point is, the full-service law and lobbying operation has attorneys and government relations professionals throughout 15 offices across Florida and in Washington, D.C., providing services to Fortune 500 companies, emerging businesses, lending institutions, local and state governments, developers, entrepreneurs and individuals.

The firm is big.

It’s also venerable, dating back to August 1970, when Charles Gray, Richard Adams, Gordon Harris and Richard Robinson — each a distinguished professional in the field — joined their practices to become Gray, Adams, Harris & Robinson P.A.
On the other hand, did you know … ?

Headquartered in Orlando, GrayRobinson has been in Brevard County since 1990, when it merged with the established firm of Kirschenbaum and Peeples. In 1996, GrayRobinson merged with the Melbourne firm of Nohrr & Nohrr and subsequently moved its Brevard headquarters to Melbourne. Today, the firm’s footprint encompasses the entire county, with 51 local employees — a “very big operation,” described Erik Shuman, managing director of the firm’s Melbourne office, who added, “Our roots here run very, very deep.”

Of course, there is the requisite lengthy list of specialty areas, from elder law, probate and estate planning to wealth transfer, trusts, guardianship and more. “Admiralty to zoning” is how Shuman labeled the A-to-Z service areas.

Also, as part of its practice, the firm is at the forefront of emerging legal and legislative issues, even issuing electronic updates, or “E-lerts,” advising clients of changes to regulations and policy.

During the past decade, there has been plenty of regional and statewide growth, too. Most recently, new attorneys have arrived in the Melbourne office to spur expansion in litigation and real estate. Similarly, last April, a strategic alliance was struck with a firm specializing in employment and labor practice (Thompson, Sizemore, Gonzalez & Hearing).

Said Shuman, who joined the firm in 2002: “We’re growing, and we’re excited.”

Yet, did you know … ? In reality, GrayRobinson’s most telling tale just might be in community service. Stated another way, the real story could well be in whom the firm serves, and how — not so much in its sheer size or vast scope of legal expertise.

Community service.

Exhibit A: Through GrayRobinson’s Casual Day for a Cause, employees have raised more than $525,000, simply by dressing down on Fridays. Each week, a different local charitable organization is “sponsored,” with the firm’s employees paying the right to dress casually. The dollars are pooled and presented to organizations such as food distribution centers, homeless shelters, children’s homes, wildlife charities, crisis centers educational programs, programs for the elderly, programs for the disabled and programs for children facing diseases.

In addition, during the recent holiday season, all first-grade students at Harbor City Elementary School received gifts, purchased and wrapped by employees, with Santa joining the festivities. That’s been happening for about the past 15 years.

“This is individual commitment, and it builds a bond in the office, where we all know we’re working on this together,” Shuman commented about the general giving.

A sampling of the organizations benefiting year-round: American Cancer Society, Best Buddies Civilian Military Community Foundation, Junior Achievement, March of Dimes, Daily Bread of Brevard County, Pennies to Protect Police Dogs and the Senior Friendship Center.

“This is our commitment to the community,” Shuman continued. “It’s our desire to be part of the community. And it makes us feel good.”

In much the same way, that caring and sharing is evident in the firm’s internal operational style, where collaboration and autonomy among the attorneys are chief characteristics.

Attorneys work with clients across the state regardless of office locations. From his Melbourne office, Shuman also works on estate planning, guardianship, trusts and estates, elder law and Medicaid planning for clients of the Orlando and Boca Raton offices — exemplifying the type of flexibility that effectively extends the firm’s scope and expertise, Shuman cited. His words: “Whoever is best for the job will be cast for it. … The cases get assigned to whoever has the expertise to handle it.”

Meanwhile, attorneys are giving the freedom to “work in their clients’ best interest without having to deal with internal committees and rules,” Shuman said, adding, “I think it makes us very nimble. … This makes for a nice and comfortable place to have a career.”

Did you know?