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Love of Lancaster Drives McNees Attorney Kendra McGuire

September 9, 2015
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Love of Lancaster drives McNees attorney Kendra McGuire

By M. Diane McCormick

When the U.S. Women’s Open golf tournament was held in Lancaster this year, organizers were amazed by the number of volunteers who turned out. Longtime Lancastrians weren’t surprised, says Kendra McGuire, Member in Charge for the Lancaster office of McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC.

“Lancaster has a long history of being very generous, very charitable, very community service-based,” McGuire says. “Much like the Amish rally to build a barn after a barn has burnt down, this community rallies to fill gaps.”

McNees Wallace & Nurick’s growing Lancaster office embraces that vibrant spirit, and its community commitment infuses its work with purpose, says McGuire.

A belief in Lancaster

McGuire is a native of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, who “really fell in love with Lancaster” while studying at Franklin & Marshall College. After graduating from University of Pittsburgh School of Law, she returned to Lancaster to practice.

“The landscape is beautiful,” she says. “There are good people here. I like the balance between agriculture and light industry, with a compliment of heavy industry, healthcare, and professional offices. It’s a well-balanced community.”

In 2011, McGuire joined the McNees Lancaster office, established in 2005. Growth in recent years has been exponential, with the number of attorneys soon to reach 23. The full-service office provides counsel in intellectual property, trusts and estates, labor and employment, litigation, real estate, municipal finance, employee benefits, general business, and corporate work.

The office took root because “the McNees brand is very evocative of Lancaster County values,” says McGuire. “It’s a law firm that has certain core values of mutual respect, collegiality, ethical behavior, and putting clients first.”

The Lancaster-based attorneys know the community intimately, McGuire says.

“Our size and the resources we bring to support our clients is unmatched in Lancaster.”

Community service mindset

McGuire’s involvement in Lancaster reads like a recipe for the city’s reinvention. She is a past board chair of the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra, helping guide its staff growth and its support for school music programs when schools were cutting back on the arts. She has been a leader and volunteer for United Way of Lancaster County, Visiting Nurse Association, Lancaster County Community Foundation, Lancaster County Civil Rules Task Force, and Lancaster Bar Association.

“I have to be passionate about the organization,” says McGuire. “Where can I lend some talent? I’m also a firm believer in spending time with the organization, giving what you can give, advancing it, and then stepping off to allow the next generation to come in and leave their mark.”

Hamilton Club pioneer

In May 2015, McGuire was elected house chair/vice president of the Hamilton Club of Lancaster – the first woman to hold those posts in the club’s 126-year history. She is slated to become its first female president in 2017.

Hamilton is a private social club, prospering and serving as a community networking spot and idea exchange when other clubs are closing.

“The more we disconnect our lives from one another and the more we find our faces in computers or looking at our smartphones, I think there’s something about human nature that is going to want to maintain a connection, and the Hamilton Club of Lancaster is a great place to do that,” says McGuire.

The club brings a cross-section of people to its historic downtown mansion for meals, events, and fitness. A popular speakers series touches on a range of topics, including urban and rural development, the state of education, homeland security, and the Civil War. Events spotlighting the work of local artists “marry the Hamilton Club to a signature role of the Lancaster community, which is art,” says McGuire. “You don’t find those kinds of intellectual opportunities anywhere else.”

McGuire says she hopes to dispel notions of the club as “just a bunch of old, rich men, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.” Today’s Hamilton Club has a diverse membership, and it has long recognized domestic partners of any gender.

Grooming young talent

The veteran attorneys of McNees continually encourage volunteerism in younger lawyers.

“Part of our commitment to mentoring is passing along a dedication to community involvement,” McGuire says. “It opens doors for them and it deepens our connections to the community.”

Kendra McGuire is the Member in Charge for McNees Wallace & Nurick’s Lancaster office and is an experienced litigator, representing clients that include financial institutions, companies, shareholders, educational organizations, healthcare institutions and providers, charities and individuals. She can be reached at 717-581-3734 or


McNees is a full-service law firm based in central Pennsylvania with more than 130 attorneys representing corporations, associations, institutions and individuals. The firm serves clients worldwide from offices in Harrisburg, Lancaster, State College and Scranton, PA; Columbus, OH; and Washington, D.C. McNees is also a member of the ALFA International Global Legal Network. @McNeeslaw LinkedIn


Kendra D. McGuire

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