A Brief History of Schauermann Thayer
Would you believe our office used to be a gas station? It's true. Years before Craig Schauermann and Bill Thayer purchased the building in 1986 however, it had already been converted into office space. That was a lifetime ago—at least for the younger attorneys at the firm. With so much history, sometimes it's important to look back to see where you come from in order to direct where you intend to go. That is the purpose of this post
Craig and Bill founded Schauermann & Thayer at the same time they purchased the building in 1986. From these modest beginnings, Craig and Bill grew their small firm into what has become the largest personal injury law firm in Southwest Washington.
In 1999, to ease the burdens of their too-busy law practice, Craig and Bill invited a California attorney who had recently moved his young family north to join their up-and-coming personal injury law firm in Vancouver, Washington. Jeff brought a welcome new voice to their team and also brought a unique set of skills in and understanding of aviation law.
The practice kept growing. Craig, Bill and Jeff were working more and more hours and didn't seem to have time to get everything done they needed in order to properly represent their clients. After meeting Scott Staples in 2006 on their attorney softball team, they hired him as a law clerk during his second year of law school. Scott's knack for problem solving and his keen legal mind quickly earned him a permanent position with the firm and he joined as an associate attorney when he graduated law school in 2007. In 2010, Scott was invited to join the firm as a partner and has continued to grow the practice.
With four full time attorneys and a twenty-year client base, the firm's reputation grew as old clients, other lawyers in the community, medical professionals, and even judges referred their friends and family members to Schauermann Thayer for legal representation. In 2011, the firm added me, Scott Edwards, a fourth year attorney with an insurance defense background to the team. I brought a unique understanding of the inner-workings of insurance companies and also helped bring the firm up-to-speed on modern technology. Today the firm is considered one of the most technologically advanced and savvy firms in Clark County. I became a partner in the firm in 2013.
A couple of years after hiring me, Craig Schauermann's relationship with the firm shifted from being a regular presence each day to “of-counsel” status. He still is actively involved in the cases the firm handles but is no longer taking cases of his own and comes in to the office only two or three times a month. He handles the attorneys' “jump start” meetings, where we go through each attorney's case load and discuss each client specifically. His years of experience and insight create invaluable opportunities for our clients—and our attorneys.
Brad Thayer, Bill's son, who had already worked for the firm prior to law school as a grounds keeper, maintenance worker, filing clerk, general investigator, part-time receptionist, and then as a paralegal, joined the firm in 2015 as an associate attorney. Fresh out of law school, but with an unparalleled understanding of the culture and history of the firm, Brad was able bring new ideas and approaches to the handling of our cases.
Shortly after Craig's semi-retirement, Jeff Jacobs also retired. Jeff currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and sends us periodic updates on his new-found extra time and leisure interests. He seems to be enjoying retirement immensely.
The attorney's at the firm felt Jeff's absence in the form of increasing caseloads and difficulty to get all the needed work done with just four attorneys. In 2018, we hired Benjamin Melnick, a young criminal defense attorney who had already begun to shift his practice to personal injury work. Ben's love of the law and respect for attorneys and clients alike had already earned him an enviable reputation in Southwest Washington that we were happy to bring into our growing personal injury law firm.
Today, the firm continues to shine as a beacon in our community. With five full-time attorneys and a team of nine additional staff members, the firm has literally touched the lives of thousands of our clients and their family members. The impact we have made, and the respect we have fostered over more than three decades of legal practice, has been graciously shared with others on online review sites like Google, Yelp, and directly on our website.
It is interesting to look back at the humble beginnings of our law firm and very rewarding to realize how many wonderful clients we have been able to help. We are very grateful for the wonderful opportunities we have had to serve our clients and look forward to many more years of doing so.