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McAfee & Taft attorneys honored with 2011 Leadership in Law Award

May 3, 2011

Two McAfee & Taft attorneys have been selected as recipients of The Journal Record‘s 2011 Leadership in Law Award. Gerald Hilsher and Susan Shields were recognized for their professional and civic contributions during a Law Day luncheon on May 2, 2011, at the Skirvin Hotel Grand Ballroom in downtown Oklahoma City.

Gerald Hilsher is a trial attorney and shareholder with McAfee & Taft. Early in his career, he was a criminal prosecutor, first as an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, and then as an assistant U.S. attorney in charge of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in Tulsa. He also served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Law Enforcement at the U. S. Treasury Department.

Hilsher is active in both professional associations and civic organizations. He served several years on the board of directors of the Tulsa County Bar Association and was honored by the association with the Neil E. Bogan Professional Award in 2006. He is also an active member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Texas and Oklahoma Bar Association, in which he serves as chair of its Environmental Law Section. In addition to serving as a gubernatorial appointee and chair of the Oklahoma Scenic Rivers Commission, he is an active member and former director of the Save the Illinois River non-profit organization.

“My philosophy can be summed up in the message, ‘Leave the woodpile higher than you found it’,” Hilsher told The Journal Record. “We are not put on this earth to take, but to give back, to leave it better than we found it.”

Susan Shields is a shareholder with McAfee & Taft and serves as leader of the firm’s Tax and Family Wealth Practice Group. She is a frequent speaker on a variety of estate planning, probate and non-profit topics at professional and continuing legal education seminars and has served as an adjunct professor of law in estate planning at the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Shields is active in both professional and civic organizations and volunteers her time with numerous charitable organizations. She is a volunteer and member of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation planned giving council and has served on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits. She is also a fellow and trustee of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the Oklahoma Bar Association, which awards grants to such organizations as Legal Aid of Oklahoma, Tulsa Lawyers for Children and other Oklahoma charities supporting services to victims of domestic violence and child abuse, mock trial programs for high school students and many other worthy causes.

She is a member of the Oklahoma City Estate Planning Council, a fellow with the American Bar Foundation and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and is currently serving a three-year term as a member of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Board of Governors.