Firm History

Firm History

Guy Mitchell's first law office in Tupelo

Early one morning in Tupelo, Mississippi, a young man nailed his shingle on the old brick building across the street from the county courthouse. The sign read “Guy Mitchell, Lawyer” – a simple epigraph reflecting the character of the age. When the task was completed, the little assembly of shopkeepers, clerks and fellow lawyers that gathered to watch clapped with polite optimism. Then they set off to work. The year was 1904, and Guy Mitchell's dusty little law office contained one idealistic Mississippi Law School graduate, a third-hand desk and an empty file cabinet. No one, perhaps not even Guy Mitchell himself, imagined that his final hammer tap would usher in more than a century of remarkable achievements.

First page of fee book - April 1904
Law offices of Mitchell and Clayton on the 2nd floor of the Bank of Tupelo building

Mitchell later joined forces with Stewart Clayton, and the Mitchell & Clayton law offices embraced the optimism of the new century and garnered a local reputation for quality service and community involvement that would sustain the practice through wars, depression, growth, and change -- bringing the firm to its present position of leadership, facing the challenges of yet another century.

The law firm's development and expansion parallels that of the region: a steady and well-planned growth. In 1936, Guy Mitchell, Jr., son of the founder, received his law degree and joined his father's practice. Robert N. McNutt joined the group in the early 1950's. Having received his L.L.M. in Taxation from Harvard, Bob McNutt provided the firm with Mississippi's first attorney specialist outside of Jackson, the state capital. Wade H. Lagrone came to the firm in the late 1950's, and the early 1960's brought a name change to Mitchell, McNutt & Bush. Within another decade, L.F. (Sandy) Sams, Jr. had joined the practice. Then, in 1972, Guy Mitchell, III, grandson of the founder, became associated with the firm. By the early 1980's ten lawyers proudly posed for a photograph to commemorate their law firm's "advanced size."

The Lawyers of Mitchell McNutt & Bush

The period between 1972 and 1989 may be characterized as years of local growth. Aware of the demand for increased specialization, the firm added special practice areas and additional attorneys to accommodate and reflect that demand.

100th Anniversary Logo for 2004

In 1990, Mitchell, McNutt, Lagrone & Sams of Tupelo merged with a long-standing Columbus firm, Threadgill Smith Sanders & Jolly, and became Mitchell, McNutt, Threadgill, Smith & Sams, creating Mississippi's largest law firm outside of Jackson. Soon thereafter, offices were opened in Oxford and Memphis to offer clients greater service to meet their needs by expanding into additional cities within the region. In 2004, the firm celebrated a century of service to its clients. The Starkville office would join in 2017 to provide services in that area.

The firm's network of offices captures the environmental variety of the region: small town neighborliness, big city sophistication, industrial, mercantile, agricultural heritage, and the university atmosphere of academic achievement, scientific discovery, and technological advancement. This variety renders each office unique but does not exert a polarizing influence. Rather, it bolsters the firm's ability to confront multiple and complex legal issues for its clients.

Growth does not mean just additional offices and more lawyers. The firm has made significant investment in and commitment to the necessary technology and staff to support the firm's practice. Professional administrators, paralegals, secretaries, and other staff are all hard-working, energetic, highly accomplished individuals dedicated to working as a team to provide the kind of business atmosphere the attorneys need to practice law.

In 2023, the firm rebranded as simply Mitchell McNutt, but some things don't change. Through its widespread locations and its "one firm" attitude, Mitchell McNutt envisions a continued investment in the systems and people that enhance the firm's legacy, which has been and continues to be as simple and straightforward as its founder's sign: lawyers, committed to quality and excellence for their clients. 

New name and logo adopted in 2023