From one part-time employee to a staff of six. Will Parker Law has seen exponential growth since 2017. The team from left to right: Will Parker, Star Bethea, Arzu Holaday, Alexis Gunnell, Kris Gunnell, and Shawn Sullivan. (Photo Meganpixels Parker)
Practicing Law In a Personal Way
by Melissa LaScaleia
Will Parker attended the University of South Carolina Law School and passed the Bar Exam in 2006. Since that time, he worked under several prominent attorneys before establishing his own law firm, Will Parker, LLC in December 2017.
“I knew God was calling me to branch out on my own,” he says. “And the more obedient I am to that call, the more clearly my path unfolds before me. In the past two years, my firm has experienced exponential growth.”
Recently, he expanded into a new 1,500 square foot space, which his wife, Erin, designed. His firm also had its first 7-figure settlement in 2020.
When he began, Will had one part-time person assisting him with his practice; today, he has six full-time staff members, including a new attorney, Shawn Sullivan.
“Through growing and getting bigger, we’ve been able to help more people,” Will says. “And that’s the best part of what I do and why I do what I do.”
Will primarily serves clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. His life experiences inspired him to pursue this field of law, as Will has been the victim of an accident where the driver didn’t have adequate insurance, and he had to shoulder a heavy financial burden. Will has felt the pain of losing a loved one to a reckless accident as well.
“I’ve been on all sides of the situation, and that broader perspective gives me a deeper level of empathy and understanding of how to handle the variety of cases I see,” he says.
“If you’re in an accident, an attorney can help in several ways. Firstly, the business model of insurance companies is to pay as little as possible. They know many tactics to minimize or avoid paying the full value of a settlement. Once you have an attorney, the company can’t speak to you, which protects you from potentially agreeing to accept little to nothing. The sooner you get an attorney the better.
“We get a lot better results when we take the client by the lead from the beginning. And, as Horry County is one of the most conservative counties in the state, this isn’t the place to get in a wreck and try to represent yourself.”
An attorney is able to send a letter to physicians who will treat accident victims and agree to be paid at the time of settlement. This allows you to obtain the treatment needed when you need it. Attorneys are better able to find, discover and obtain all available insurance policies that a lay person would not likely be able to discover on their own. An attorney absolutely needs to be involved when any kind of release is signed, as an accident victim may sign away rights to collect under certain policies.
“Moreover, personal injury claims often seem like they don’t receive the respect that they deserve,” Will says. “In the way I treat my clients, I aim to change that.”
This year, with the help of Shawn, Will is incorporating real estate law into his practice.
Shawn has more than ten years of legal experience, and lives in Pawleys Island with his wife, Amy, and their five children. He and Will went to high school together, and the two felt that his joining the practice at this time was a perfect fit.
“For the past six months, we’ve been gearing up to handle real estate closings— putting the necessary protocols in place,” Will says. “I’ve been around the real estate market my entire life; My uncle, Jim Parker, has worked in real estate for more than thirty years, so I’m familiar with the industry. In my career, I’m always looking to see what is needed in our community and how I can meet those needs. This area is growing so fast, and I kept hearing: real estate.”
With this new direction, Will is excited to be able to provide more jobs for people in the community.
“We are seeking to grow so we are able to offer additional benefits and incentives to our staff and so we can help even more folks than we do now,” he adds.
“We’ve been meeting with mortgage lenders, banks, and real estate agents to find out what they are looking for in real estate lawyers so we can build the best experience possible for real estate clients,” he says.
In April 2020, Will opened a second location in the Market Common.
“We made the decision for the convenience of our clients,” he says. “With real estate booming in the Market Common, it seemed very convenient for real estate closings. And, I’ve been working in this area since the beginning, so it seemed like a natural fit.”
Will values his ability to spend time with his clients one-on-one no matter the case.
“I know the bigger I get, the harder it is to do that,” he says. “So I hired appropriate staffing and put systems in place so I’m still a major part of the client relationship.”
Will began an eight-page quarterly newsletter that he sends out to his existing clients so they can keep abreast of his firm’s news.
“It’s just a fun way for us to keep in touch with them,” he adds. “We include things like recipes and crossword puzzles.
“I try to be as real and as down to earth with my clients as I can so they understand who I am, and if they want me to represent them. I’m branding something different from other firms. The priorities in my life are serving God, family, and community. Those values drive me, and from honoring them, I’ve seen incredible results, and believe I’ve been blessed.”
In addition to all of his business growth, Will and Erin are currently building a new home, and both children are doing great.
“We know 2020 was tough for everyone, and we were blessed to get through it okay,” he says. “We’re optimistic going forward, and excited about this year ahead.”
Will Parker Law, LLC