STEPHEN K. WITHERS JR.

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Partner/attorney

Coogan Smith LLP

Age: 37

ABOUT HIM:  Born in St. Louis and grew up in Attleboro, graduating from Attleboro High School. Attended College of the Holy Cross, graduating cum laude in 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history, and Northeastern University School of Law in 2005. Lives in Attleboro with his wife, Ruthanne who is also an attorney at the firm, and sons Zachary, nine, and Elliot, seven.

WHY YOUR FIELD? We performed a mock trial in Mr. Bonneville's sophomore United States history at AHS. I loved the project, and ever since I assumed I would go to law school and become a lawyer.

BEST CAREER ADVICE: Do not let yourself get comfortable. Law schools are great at teaching law, but they do not teach you how to run a law practice or a business. Running a law practice requires staying on top of changes in the law and standard practices, but, more importantly, like any business, it requires constant effort in developing and maintaining relationships.

HARDEST LESSON LEARNED: There is never enough time in the day and you will always feel that there is more you should be doing. Finding and maintaining the elusive work/volunteer/life balance is a constant struggle, and I learned early on that you can make yourself crazy trying to find the perfect balance.

MENTOR(S): I was lucky to join Coogan Smith immediately after law school in the fall of 2005, and all of the then partners are still with the firm today and have served as mentors to me in various ways. Specifically, Jerry Coogan has taught me a lot about the practice of law, developing and operating a successful business, and making a real difference in the community.

GIVING BACK: I grew up in Attleboro and am raising my kids in Attleboro so community involvement has remained important to me since I returned to Attleboro after law school, grew my practice, and raised my family here. I have been on the Attleboro School Committee since 2013, and have been Chairperson since 2015 and was co-chair of the Build Blue Pride Ballot Question Committee that advocated for the approval of the new Attleboro High School. I am a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Greater Attleboro Taunton, and past president and current board member of the Attleboro Industrial Museum. I am also past President and former secretary of the Attleboro Rotary Club and a former member of the Sturdy Memorial Foundation, Inc.

WHAT TALENT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD MOST THAT YOU DON'T NOW? I wish I could golf, or at least had time to learn.

WHAT AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS HAVE YOU RECEIVED IN YOUR CAREER? None