By ROBERTA CODEMO
Bill Shultz has fond memories of growing up in Fairview Heights. He credits his parents with teaching him hard work and dedication, and he is the first one in his family to go to law school.
When he was growing up, he never gave law school any thought. It wasn’t until his sophomore year at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., when a political science professor told him he had an aptitude for the law and would do well in law school, that he considered it.
After receiving his undergraduate degree in criminal justice in 1988, he attended law school at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb.
“I wanted to be an FBI agent,” he said, and applied to the FBI Academy in Quantico.
Following his graduation from law school in 1991, there was a federal hiring freeze so he took the bar exam.
“The rest is history,” he said.
Early in his career, he worked for a couple of law firms before interviewing with John Kurowski, who started the firm more than 30 years ago. He joined Kurowski Shultz, LLC as an associate in 1999 and is now an equity partner in the firm, and said Kurowski has been a great mentor.
At the time, there were only five or six attorneys at the firm. Today, it has grown to be one of the largest full-service civil litigation firms in Southwestern Illinois and the St. Louis region. Based in O’Fallon, the firm has offices in Chicago and New York City with 25 attorneys on staff and a team of more than 70 employees.
Kurowski Shultz, LLC focuses on all areas of litigation, including toxic tort law, commercial litigation, product liability and personal injury defense, government affairs, investigations and compliance and domestic relations.
The firm takes creative approaches in its representation. “We think outside the box to give our clients the best chance at success,” he said. “At the end of the day, we are problem solvers. We are well suited to handle a variety of different and complex issues for our clients.”
Clients come first, and he enjoys interacting with them. “Knowing and understanding their goals, issues and industry is paramount in the firm’s everyday practice,” he said.
As part of his day-to-day responsibilities, he assists with the management of the firm and oversees litigation, and jokes that law school does not teach students how to run a law firm. He especially enjoys mentoring younger associates in the firm and always enjoyed teaching. He was an adjunct professor at McKendree University in Lebanon, where he taught business law.
His youngest son wants to follow in his footsteps and go to law school.
“I’m fortunate that all of my children have been able to be around the office and get a sense of what I do,” he said.
He lives in O’Fallon and has three children.