Before entering private practice, Hill served as the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri from 1993 to 2001 under the Clinton administration. He obtained numerous convictions related to corruption. “I loved working for Janet Reno, who was the Attorney General — it was a privilege to work for and with her,” Hill said. “My father was an assistant United States attorney in that same office. So, I had always thought highly of that office, which was one of the reasons I wanted to be a U.S. Attorney.”
He explained that in that role, the caseload is so large that you cannot reasonably dive into every investigation and prosecution; therefore, you have to put a lot of effort into getting to know your colleagues. “You’ve got to be comfortable with the men and women in your office and their judgment,” Hill said.
After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Hill joined Dentons, and now as a partner, he leads the firm’s white-collar and government investigations practice. His colleagues will tell you he is a strategic listener and advocate for his clients.
“They don’t teach you in law school how to be a good listener; being an active or even an aggressive listener is maybe the most important skill set you have because it quickly connects you with your client,” explained Hill.
Even though Hill’s resume lists a plethora of accolades and achievements, he seems most proud of his work as a mentor to young attorneys. He likes to remind them not to set their sights on becoming the head of a firm right away but to focus on where they are at the present moment.
“I would tell younger lawyers — regardless of your setting — you are getting opportunities to learn and become accomplished at what ultimately is going to be your number one job — which is to be a trusted counselor,” said Hill. “
Many of Hill’s clients turn to him after the government has come knocking at their door. They are frightened and will ask, “How is this going to end?” and because of his experience as U.S. Attorney, he tries to answer that question honestly on the first day and then work towards the best possible outcome. It’s the kind of representation that only a trusted counselor like Steve Hill can provide.