As we celebrate Women’s History Month, McGuire Wood & Bissette honors Doris P. Loomis, a firm attorney who made history herself, when she joined MWB as its first female attorney in 1981. An Asheville native, she’d been away at school, and like many of her peers, felt pulled to return to Asheville and put down roots. During college, she became a “runner” for a local law firm in the summers. She enjoyed it very much and was encouraged to attend law school.
Eventually Doris met Dick Wood, a partner (and former Asheville Mayor in the late 70s) in the firm. She had the opportunity to interview and became the first female attorney to join the organization. There were just six attorneys here then and she was brought in to serve in the firm’s trusts & estates department (which has since grown to ten attorneys) in 1981. Even then, the firm’s reputation was well known and the firm’s commitment to community service was appealing to her. As Dick Wood, who mentored her, often stated “We work for the clients.”
Our colleague took that to heart. Over the years, she has served our community in ways that reflect her experience, education, and passion. When considering service, she asks herself, “Can I be of value?”. The answer is often a resounding yes! Her many current and former board of director positions include the Asheville Symphony, which aligns with her interest in music and the arts. She loves to play piano and can often be found attending local musical events and the theatre.
Doris is a resource to Christ School, which her sons attended, and where she serves on the Board of Trustees, and to many other organizations and foundations in the community.
Though always in high demand for legal services, Doris enjoys and values her private life as well. She loved raising her three sons and is now a proud grandmother of a “just perfect” 10-month-old, whom she babysits with joy and who we are sure enjoys, as we do, that ever-present sparkle in Doris’s eyes. Doris has been married for more than three decades to a local physician and her love of, and appreciation for, family extends to working with her clients, too.
She builds trusting and long-lasting relationships, some of which have spanned four decades and multiple generations. She is even known for meeting clients in their homes, and we are sure is a welcome guest every time.
As a Board-Certified Specialist in Estate Planning and Probate Law, Doris finds her work to be very rewarding as she guides her clients through the estate planning process, which can be quite complex in nature. Making sure that she is helping them care for their assets and ensuring they are distributed according to the clients’ wishes are guiding principles of her work.
When asked if she’d recommend law school for women today, it’s an emphatic “Yes! Law school broadens your mind in teaching you to look at both sides of an issue. You don’t have to practice law to benefit from a law school education.”
She has only good things to say about choosing the legal profession over one more closely aligned with her major in mathematics. Analyzing problems was always enjoyed by her, so she thought the practice of law would be a great fit. Doris, McGuire Wood and Bissette emphatically agrees! We thank you for your decades of service to the firm, and our community, and again, during Women’s History month, we celebrate you!