Pioneering Law Firm Bernstein Shur at 100: “Be Timeless”
Portland and Augusta, ME and Manchester, NH (December 7, 2015) — As 2015 and Bernstein Shur’s 100th year draw to a close, the firm continues to have an outsized impact on the communities it serves, breaking ground in new areas of law, helping the economy adapt and grow and protecting civil rights, while strengthening its commitment to public service.
Established in 1915 by Israel Bernstein, the firm has grown from a solo practice to more than 200 attorneys and staff in Maine and New Hampshire, taking on some of the biggest cases and issues of the day.
Whether managing the settlements for the victims of the oil train accident in Lac-Megantic, Quebec, that killed 48 people, helping communities navigate complex tax laws to attract new businesses and create jobs, or working to get money out of politics and fighting for civil rights around the country, Bernstein Shur takes on the cases that matter.
“Our work takes us where others haven’t ventured—at least not yet,” said CEO Pat Scully, explaining the culture of innovation that drives the firm. “From deregulating Maine’s electricity markets and managing the largest commercial transaction in state history to leading the way on the development of renewable energy in Northern New England to the long fight to allow same-sex couples to marry in Maine and fighting for fair school funding in New Hampshire, we have kept that pioneering spirit alive, by welcoming smart, talented and hardworking lawyers to all levels of the firm.”
In addition to helping clients adapt to a changing world and helping to change the world for the better, Bernstein Shur’s entrepreneurial roots allow it to see opportunities where others see challenges.
“Our data security practice is five years old and growing, and we’re at the forefront of drone law, much of which has yet to be written. Our clients are innovative leaders in their industries, and they count on us to help them continue to thrive and grow.”
Public service and a commitment to justice have always been at the heart of the firm, and that focus continues today. In October, Bernstein Shur shareholder Emily Gray Rice, was nominated as US Attorney for New Hampshire. Firm-wide initiatives include a day of service benefitting local nonprofits and leading the Campaign for Justice, which helps to fund legal assistance to Maine families living in poverty.
Earlier this year, Bernstein Shur won a major federal court case guaranteeing that local governments can participate in public debates and referenda campaigns, protecting their ability to advocate on behalf of their residents.
Speaking up for what’s right, attorneys at the firm also have helped dozens of refugees and asylum seekers, who were forced to flee their homes after threats of violence and persecution, obtain legal status in the US.
And Bernstein Shur has taken on the cases that help to make communities stronger, advocating for the rejuvenation of historically significant buildings in Portland and taking an instrumental role in the original construction and recent major renovations of the Cross Insurance Arena.
In concert with its 100th Anniversary—and to inaugurate the next hundred years—Bernstein Shur recently underwent a bold brand makeover, including a new customer-focused website, updated graphics and a new positioning statement: “Be smart. BE SHUR.” It’s a bold encapsulation and restatement of Israel Bernstein’s guiding principle: to render the best possible legal services to clients.
About Bernstein Shur
Founded in 1915, Bernstein Shur is a New England-based law firm with clients across the U.S. and around the world. The firm has more than 100 award-winning attorneys and professionals who provide practical and innovative counsel in more than 20 key areas, catering to a broad range of clients and industries. Bernstein Shur is known for simplifying complex issues and winning through steadfast persistence. The firm is Maine’s exclusive member of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading association of independent law firms. More information is available at www.bernsteinshur.com.