When it comes to her law firm’s claim of “more than 45 years of combined experience,” Mindy Wheeler doesn’t mind admitting that the vast majority belongs to her partner, Jack Peggs.
“That was one of the biggest draws for me,” Wheeler said of her decision to join forces with Wheeler. “Jack is an experienced and established attorney as well as a good guy.”
Peggs, for his part, jokes that he’s “kind of like a tube of toothpaste” that a little more legal work can be squeezed out of.
“I used to hear stories about old lawyers who would never quit until they die,” he said. “I’m finding out that’s true.”
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Peggs Wheeler LLC, formed in 2015, is a two-lawyer firm specializing in civil litigation, wills and trusts.
The law is Wheeler’s second career. She worked in retail banking for nine years while attending Wichita State University off and on, eventually earning a degree in history and philosophy.
Being on the staff of a bank that experienced three robberies in as many months “kind of made me start thinking about what I wanted for my life,” she said. Wheeler, 39, earned a law degree from the University of Iowa in 2012, worked as a paralegal for a family law attorney for a couple of years, then passed the bar examination in 2015.
“This is certainly a midlife change for me,” she said.
Peggs, 73, has practiced since the 1970s, as a prosecutor with the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office, a member of two medium-size law firms and a solo practitioner. He was thinking about wrapping up his practice and had hired Wheeler to do some temp work when she got word that she had passed the bar.
“He came back about a week later and said, ‘Maybe I want to stick at this for a few more years and help grow a practice you can take over,’ ” Wheeler said.
Wheeler focuses on probate law, such as wills and trusts, and also handles family law issues. She said her banking background helps because she’s used to “dealing with people’s money. That’s one of the most important things to them. People get emotional, understandably.”
Peggs’ specialty is dental malpractice cases. In November, the pair moved from an office in east Wichita to the 17th floor of the 125 Market Building downtown, which Wheeler says has a “more traditional law firm ambiance.”
The partners have space to add lawyers, hopefully with other interests such as criminal defense law.
Wheeler said she appreciates the chance to partner with such an experienced colleague, while Peggs says he’s happy to put off retirement a little longer.
“It was just a convergence of good timing and circumstance,” Wheeler said.