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William P. Grant Grant, Miller & Smith

Those who nominated Bill Grant for an ICON Award describe him as having a level-headed approach to law and life, as a person who always takes the call from those in need, as the true image of what a lawyer should be and even as a legend in juvenile and family law.

All are well-deserved but perhaps elaborate phrases for an attorney who espouses a message of simplicity.williamgrant

“A lot of times we get so focused on the individual cases that we lose sight of the bigger picture. My practice has led me to work on various boards, which helps me to understand where clients are coming from and reminds me of other lifestyles outside of the legal profession,” he said.

The bigger picture for Grant, whose practice at Grant, Miller & Smith focuses on domestic, juvenile and criminal law, includes being able to help kids in the juvenile system.

“It’s the last or one of the last opportunities to make a difference only because they’re young and still forming beliefs, and it’s a chance to help them lead happier lives,” he said.

Grant earned his law degree in 1974 from Washington University and has been serving St. Louis County as a guardian ad litem for almost that long. He gained litigation experience working with noted criminal defense attorney Art Margulis from 1976 to 2013.

Grant currently serves on the Missouri Supreme Court sub-committee of the Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness within the Juvenile Court System, the St. Louis County Family and Domestic Violence Council and as a pro bono attorney for the St. Louis Family Drug Court. He has volunteered for the St. Louis Family Court Truancy Court program.

Grant is a founding member and the current president of Caring for Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides essentials to children under the jurisdiction of the county juvenile court.

“Caring for Kids tries to step in and provide basic necessities for parents so the kids can get returned to their care,” Grant said.

His nonprofit work also included three years of experience with the One World Family organization during which he traveled to South Africa to work with children affected by AIDS.

Grant said the foundation for his success is simply an emphasis on integrity combined with a focus on understanding and applying the law.

“I think we all make the practice of law too hard sometimes. Pages of facts will come down to a few key issues. You can save yourself a lot of time and burdensome work by sifting through the facts to find what’s really relevant to the judge or jury,” he said.

He advises newer attorneys to accept that things are not always going to go smoothly and that they should expect the unexpected. He also emphasizes the importance of alternative dispute resolution methods.

“As a nation we have become way too litigious. We settle problems in a number of areas with the court system when there could be other options to consider such as arbitration, mediation or some other type of meeting between the opponents,” he said.

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