If a legacy is an endowment, a thing handed down from a predecessor to the next generation, then Reece Law P.L.L.C. is the true definition of a legacy law firm. It represents an inheritance, not just of the practice of law, but of the practice of law with a purpose — to deliver outstanding legal representation with service tailored to the needs of each client.
For as far back as he can remember, Jim Reece always wanted to be a lawyer. According to him, he entered the law for a simple reason. “I thought I could help people who needed somebody to stand up for them. I didn’t know any lawyers growing up, so I’m not sure why that stuck in my mind at an early age, but it was always there.”
More than 30 years later, there are many people who are grateful for Jim’s choice of career, as he has helped them in cases ranging from modest amounts to many hundreds of millions.
As the only offspring of two supremely talented parents — an experienced jury trial lawyer and a Grammy-winning composer — Wynne Reece was certain she wanted to be a plastic surgeon (for those with body defects resulting from trauma). But after coming to terms with the fact that science was not her strong suit, she decided on law school instead.
“The first time I stepped into a courtroom, I knew I was in the right place, and there was no going back,” she said.
It all made perfect sense, since as she recalls, “No matter how strenuous my parents’ careers were — whether with a legal case that lasted seven years or writing a symphony — the one consistency I always saw was the importance of taking care of others. I grew up understanding that everybody was equally valuable, no matter their life circumstances. I carried that with me into my legal career.” Their intentionality, experience and relationship led to Reece Law.
After Jim’s successful journey representing clients across the U.S. and abroad, he decided his next move was to join forces with his daughter. “He told me, ‘If you are willing and able to find an underserved practice area, I’ll give up big firm life and mentor you the way I was fortunate enough to be mentored when I was coming up.’ For me to learn from somebody at managing partner level of a major firm, who was also sincerely invested in making me the best version of myself – personally and professionally, was an incredible privilege I couldn’t say no to. I credit Jim’s experience in so many realms of the legal profession, his deep respect for the legal system and his peer relationships, with allowing us to build what we’ve built.”
For her part, Wynne was a successful entrepreneur who parlayed her creative talents and passion for the law into developing a unique legal resource called The Creative’s Counsel. The model provides outside legal counsel to small-to medium-sized businesses, especially the creatively inclined, that need help with everything from contracts and general business matters to intellectual property, real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and more.
Flat, hourly and sliding scale fee models make legal help accessible to business entities of all sizes. And in all instances, the Reece Law team collaborates so as to provide an evaluative approach no matter the size or complexity.
“Jim is really the eagle eye,” said Wynne. “Most everything that comes out of our office goes by him. We joke that there aren’t enough red pens in the world. He also does a fair amount of client face time in litigation and areas of law he has a depth of knowledge in, such as real estate.”
“I tried to train him on social media, but it didn’t work,” she quipped.
Jim is quick to acknowledge that in their intergenerational partnership, learning is a shared experience. “I learn a tremendous amount from Wynne. Her relationships with clients are really enlightening to me. She has hundreds of clients, and I’ve had to learn what people want from a lawyer in the creative and business world. My initial reaction when clients have wanted something that I have never seen done before was to explain the legal reasons why it hasn’t been done. Wynne taught me to ‘Start With Yes’ – assume it can be done and let your creativity take over to find a way to do it. As a result, thanks to Wynne, we have come up with creative ways to achieve results for our clients that I didn’t think were possible.”
In addition to its indispensable in-house team — associate Brooke Welle and law clerk Daniel Sheikhan — Reece Law has curated a team of contracted attorneys who provide experienced counsel in a variety of legal areas, including nonprofit, employment, securities and franchising, to name a few.
“It’s great that we can offer this expertise to our clients and give opportunities to other attorneys seeking a change in their professional lives,” Wynne said. “We are likewise given an incredible opportunity to learn from their brilliance in areas we’d otherwise not have a front row seat to.”
And going one step further, Reece Law has established co-counseling and peer relationships with many attorneys in the community, which gives them access to ready advice in very specialized areas. “Sometimes I call a colleague and say, ‘My client can’t afford your rate. What can we do — how can you counsel us so we can counsel them?’ We appreciate the camaraderie and willingness to support one another as fellow professionals,” Wynne said.
“We have a wonderful legal community in Minnesota,” Jim added. “I can ask a question on any of the various legal list serves I participate in and receive all sorts of responses, even on very complicated issues. Minnesota lawyers are extremely generous in providing their thoughts and expertise to others.”
It is without question that collaboration is central to the success of Reece Law.
Running a boutique practice also affords flexibility, which has allowed Jim and Wynne to prioritize pro bono service to numerous organizations in the Twin Cities. In 2017, they established the Northside Legal Clinic, with welcomed and regular guests such as Bain Law, L.L.C. (a criminal defense firm founded by Eric Bain). The clinic provides free legal consultation to individuals and entrepreneurs from all walks of life. With the opportunity to counsel together, Jim and Wynne Reece have set out to contribute to positive change in the world.
As founders of a legacy law firm, Jim and Wynne Reece look to both the past and the future for their ethos. Moving forward means acknowledging those who came before and building intentionally upon their contributions to benefit those who will come after.
“There is no way any of what we have built would be what it is, but for all of those who came before,” Wynne said. “I have a father I learned from, and he learned from those he worked with. And they all had guidance, if not mentorship, from the professionals who came before them. We didn’t start anything new here, rather, we stepped into a place where we are able to pass on the guidance we’ve been given by so many generous and talented attorneys. We feel very grateful to be part of this community.”