Eastman & Smith Celebrates 175 Years of Client and Community Service


175 BannerProviding the best service to its clients and community has been Eastman & Smith's mission since its founding 175 years ago. 

The story of Eastman & Smith began in 1844 when William Baker came to Toledo to practice law.  There were fewer than 20 attorneys in Toledo at that time and less than 3,000 residents.  Today, Toledo has nearly 280,000 residents and Eastman & Smith has grown with its community.  “Eastman & Smith is proud to have been part of Toledo and Northwest Ohio for all these years and to have had a positive impact on the economy and community,” said Lane Williamson, chair of the Firm’s Executive Committee.

In 1844, railroads and canals were important transportation methods, conveying goods and people all over the country.  Eastman & Smith worked with the transportation industry then and today continues this tradition by advising railroads, trucking companies and logistics firms.  Likewise, we have represented insurers throughout much of our history.  Manufacturing has been an important segment of the economy and one with which Eastman & Smith has a long experience – from carriages to farming implements to automobiles to potato chip makers to steel.  Health care, government, financial, real estate, education, retail – we have worked with virtually every industry, facing legal quandaries ranging from bills of lading to “bring your device to work” policies.  Our longevity and breadth give the Firm a unique perspective when addressing issues that confront our clients.

Community involvement and service are core values of Eastman & Smith as evidenced by the early attorneys who were members of many community, professional and religious organizations, including the Rotary and Kiwanis.  Baker and fellow Eastman & Smith attorney Barton Smith were founding members of the Toledo Bar Association.  Eastman & Smith continues these traditions today through its attorneys’ participation in more than 80 community groups (including the Rotary, Kiwanis and civic and religious organizations).  More than a dozen Eastman & Smith attorneys have served as presidents of the Toledo, Columbus, Findlay-Hancock and Ohio State Bar Associations. 

In addition to bar associations, many of our attorneys have taught in law schools and mentored new law school graduates.  Together, our involvement in bar associations, law schools and mentoring ensures the continuity of the profession.  We also value diversity in the legal profession through our long-standing involvement with minority student organizations. Additionally, the Women of Eastman & Smith, a professional development initiative of the Firm, demonstrates our commitment to attract and retain talented women attorneys and promote their leadership both in the Firm and in the community. 

In Eastman & Smith’s later years, the Firm opened offices in Columbus, Findlay and Detroit.  “Our commitment to these communities is the same as in Toledo,” says Williamson.  “We look forward to serving all of our clients and communities for another 175 years.”