Hitchcock Law Firm, PLLC: Celebrating Four Generations of Legal Excellence

In 1946, Edward and Marie Hitchcock founded a Twin Cities law firm focused on estate planning and administration. The legacy begun by this esteemed husband-and-wife legal team endures today as Hitchcock Law Firm, PLLC, where a third and fourth generation of Hitchcocks continue the firm’s long tradition of legal excellence. The firm retains its boutique focus along with a personalized approach to client care.

Edward J. Hitchcock is a third-generation lawyer and the owner and CEO of Hitchcock Law Firm since 1990. He is an AV-rated attorney listed on the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers who brings more than 30 years of experience to his work in complex estate planning, business and contract law, and professional sports representation.

Growing up in a family of prominent lawyers that included his father, Raebern B. Hitchcock (1998 Business Man of the Year, Payne-Arcade Business Association), Hitchcock says that he always felt called to become an attorney and join the family firm. A talented college athlete, Hitchcock saw the law as an opportunity to combine his passions in a single vocation.

Our goal is to make the experience comfortable for clients and provide expertise while leading them through all the issues of estate planning and estate administration.

“I knew that practicing law with our firm would give me the freedom to practice in both estate and sports law,” Hitchcock says. “My brother played for the Redskins for three years, and he was my first client. My sports practice blossomed from there and became a big part of my practice. I was a sports agent for players for 25 years, primarily for football, UFC and NASCAR. As time went on, I shifted to representing team executives and coaches. I enjoy that more at this point, because the complexity of the negotiations allows me to use my legal skills more than just being a sports agent.”

Hitchcock also took up the estate planning practice that the Hitchcock legacy was built upon. “It gives me a lot of pride to continue what my grandparents started,” he says, “and it was a special experience to be mentored by my family. My grandfather and grandmother were students at St. Paul College, which became William Mitchell and is now Mitchell Hamline. It’s where they met.

“Among their professors were Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun and Chief Justice Warren Burger. When my grandmother graduated, she was a pioneer in Minnesota law and was the first woman appointed as special assistant attorney general. Her role was to introduce women into law practice and government. She also had a thriving practice of her own. Part of the reason I joined the firm was that I was so impressed by the contributions of my father and grandparents and wanted to be part of that.”

Among the firm’s enduring traditions is a commitment to ethical, compassionate representation. “All three always pushed the notion that we are here to treat people with integrity and show leadership at the micro level. We carry those values with us still,” Hitchcock says. “Our goal is to make the experience comfortable for clients and provide expertise while leading them through all the issues of estate planning and estate administration. In watching my grandparents and father, they always made clients feel special, and we still try to achieve that. On top of the personal nature of this area of law is this reluctance — nobody wants to talk about it. We try to put people at ease and make that experience a good one. Once they get done, they always say it was a much better experience than they thought it would be.”

Gene E. Adkins joined the firm 27 years ago. He represents clients in the areas of probate and estate administration, estate planning, real estate and business formation. Adkins and Hitchcock were contemporaries at William Mitchell College of Law, although they did not connect until later, when Adkins was referred to Hitchcock Law Firm by a colleague.

Adkins’ last name may not be Hitchcock, but with the middle name “Edward” and his down-to-earth way of dispensing expert legal advice, he has become an honorary member of the family. He also enjoyed being mentored by a senior generation of Hitchcocks. “Raebern was a great mentor, and even though he was essentially retired, he was in the office every morning. He was proficient in real estate, and anytime I had a complicated real estate title situation, he’d help me map out a solution.”

The familial environment at Hitchcock Law Firm truly distinguishes it from others. “When a family member dies, we recognize that it is an emotional and stressful time for people,” Adkins says. “Working in the probate area is very foreign to most attorneys and very specialized. It involves guiding people through the administrative process to gather assets, find what indebtedness is out there, get through the creditor claim period and then do the accounting inventories and make distribution. I enjoy helping people through that process, and I try to take as much stress and burden off them as I can.”

“Gene has become a true expert in probate,” Hitchcock adds. “Processes can differ from county to county, and he is familiar with every process and the personnel in the various counties. Most of my estate and tax planning work is to help clients minimize estate taxes. It’s a great complement to be able to take a plan from start to finish — not only to plan for an estate but to administer it as well. During that process, we form strong bonds with our clients and their families.”

While the attorneys at Hitchcock Law Firm honor the ideals and practices that have made the firm a legal mainstay for more than 75 years, they are also forward looking and ever adapting. “Over the years, we have gone from being a neighborhood law firm to working statewide and even nationwide,” Hitchcock says.

The firm’s expansion further involves the addition of fourth-generation attorney Sydney Hitchcock, Edward Hitchcock’s daughter-in-law. A summa cum laude from Seattle University School of Law, Sydney began her legal career as an associate at Cozen O’Connor in Seattle, where she advised high-profile internet and technology companies in complex commercial and intellectual property litigation.

She is now opening a satellite office for Hitchcock Law Firm in Hilton Head, South Carolina. She says, “We are especially excited to offer estate planning and related services to Lowcountry residents in order to connect with the local community which, while tight-knit, is growing rapidly and diversely.  This community is truly special, and we are hoping to be able to build a strong presence within it.”

Sydney commented on what it means to her to continue the legal heritage cultivated by her husband’s family. “I am honored to be able to continue the Hitchcock legacy. To me, Hitchcock is more than just a name — this family has a deep and rich history with the law in Minnesota and elsewhere. Knowing our family history in the law makes every aspect of my practice significantly more meaningful. The Hitchcocks who came before me left a legacy of strength, honor, and character. I hope to be able to honor past generations by upholding the same values while also bridging a connection to the current day.”

Recently, the firm underwent a remodel of its St. Paul offices, with a theme that pays homage its East-side roots. “We’ve had a great partnership with another law firm in the building for over 35 years, Sivertson and Barrette, and we own the building together,” Hitchcock says. “We named the library after my dad, and it is the primary area where we meet with people. The library is a place our clients love. It is a comfortable place to be, even when people are coming here to do something they don’t want to do. We hired a designer who has made the space stunning, with a theme that embraces the East side. We have several pictures from the historical society featuring local landmarks like Swede Hollow, Hamm’s Brewery and Johnson High School.”

“Since COVID, most civil matters in the Minnesota court system are Zoom hearings,” Adkins says. “It’s nice for a client to be able to come here where they are comfortable, and we can log into the court hearing together. The feedback is that they much prefer that to going downtown, finding parking, going through security and being in the courthouse waiting. Our building is easy to get to with plenty of parking. We provide a more intimate environment with a lot less stress.”

No matter how things may change, the principles upon which Hitchcock Law Firm were founded remain the same. Hitchcock says, “We strive to establish strong relationships with people and provide expert advice in a comfortable setting. In all matters, we try to be hard on the problem and easy on people.”

At A Glance

Hitchcock Law Firm, PLLC
1465 Arcade Street
St. Paul, MN 55106
(651) 772-3401

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