As far back as she can remember, Sarah Miller Smith has been an overachiever. She finished school projects weeks in advance and stressed out about grades, even in elementary school.
Smith credited her strong work ethic as the key to her professional success as an attorney with Butler & College, LLC, where she focuses on estate planning and real estate law.
Born and raised in Spartanburg, Smith graduated cum laude from Clemson University in 2009 with a bachelor’s in Financial Management and Real Estate. In summer 2009, the real estate market was depressed, and, like many fresh college graduates, Smith was undecided career-wise. She took an internship with a financial advisor and learned about estate planning, which piqued her interest.
Smith decided to enroll at the Charleston School of Law, where she became active in the Estate Planning and Tax Law Society and spent two years clerking for an estate planning firm. After earning her law degree and passing the South Carolina Bar in 2012, she began her career as an estate planning and probate attorney with a firm in downtown Charleston.
In February 2016, Smith joined Butler & College to manage its Estate Planning Division. Her main areas of responsibility include working with individuals and families to establish wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives. She also helps people with probates and trusts, setting up LLCs and handling residential real estate closings.
Smith serves a broad range of clients, everyone from newlyweds and new parents to single persons, retirees and widows. It’s easy for Smith, 31, to relate to the situation of newlyweds, since she was recently married herself and understands the importance of planning for the future.
Although the legal profession may still be a male-dominated field, Smith is optimistic that things are improving for women pursuing careers in law. She noted that in areas such as divorce law or estate planning, women seeking legal consultation often feel more comfortable speaking with female attorneys.
While her job is challenging, it’s also gratifying. As Smith explained, estate planning is a very personal area of law because you have to discuss everything about a person’s life: assets, children, marriage, divorce, death, incapacity and so on. She said she relates well to clients on a personal level.
“Getting to really know my clients and their family members is a very rewarding part of my job,” she added.
Smith splits her time among Butler & College’s four offices but primarily shuttles between West Ashley, Mount Pleasant and Summerville.
By Colin McCandless
Read More: Sarah Miller Smith: Butler & College, LLC