When you grow up in a town like Casper, Wyoming, you spend a lot of your formative years daydreaming about the moment that you may actually leave. The names attached to the faces become embedded in your mind. I grew up with the same group of people, from elementary school, through junior high, and then high school. Whether you were a Mustang, a Trojan or landed somewhere in between, once you hit high school, you started to feel as if you were outgrowing your hometown. The places became all-too-familiar; the picturesque surroundings started to lose their beauty and the community itself began to feel less welcoming, more stifling.
After graduation, you finally made the decision to leave your small home town and you went to an out-of-state college and got to experience ‘the real world’ and all of the life experiences that went along with it. But then, a funny thing happened. You started to miss home; the people, the places, the things. After a while, you started to ache for the place you came from, so you went back. This time, you didn’t want to just be a part of the community. This time, you wanted to make the community even better.
That’s exactly what WPDN Attorney Scott Murray did. Murray grew up in Casper and then earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Wyoming. After that, he moved to New Hampshire and received a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Dartmouth College. After spending some time on the East Coast, Murray’s heart called him back to Wyoming. It was in his home state that Murray realized he wanted to be a lawyer.
“I’ve always been really interested in the law,” Murray revealed. “I was a Political Science major during my undergrad and that kind of lends itself well to a career in law. [During my time in New Hampshire], I was still contemplating law school, but wasn’t quite sure about it yet, so the Master’s Degree that I chose was kind of an interdisciplinary degree, which allowed me to explore various interests, but my Master’s thesis was on International Law, so law was always there.”
Murray returned to Laramie and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law in 2011. For Murray, returning to Wyoming was one of the best decisions he could have made.
“When I finished up my Master’s degree, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in law and that I wanted to go to law school,” he said. “At the same time, having grown up in Casper and being a ‘Wyoming Guy,’ I knew that I wanted to make my way back. So [returning to UW] seemed like the perfect transition.”
After receiving his JD in 2011, Murray got to work. He worked for a couple of different firms in Casper, and he also had his own practice for a time. However, running a law firm was interfering with his passion for practicing law, so in 2019, Murray joined WPDN and hasn’t looked back.
“There were challenges that came with trying to both practice law and basically run a business at the same time,” Murray admitted. “So, one of the biggest draws for me coming into WPDN was having the support and staffing that allows me to spend more of my time focusing on actually practicing law and helping my clients.”
And helping his clients is what Murray loves best. WPDN is full of great attorneys that specialize in a wide range of subjects. Murray’s areas of practice include corporate law, real estate, and business transactions, estate planning, and commercial litigation. It may not sound as ‘sexy’ as being a criminal prosecutor or defense attorney but, Murray stated, the work that he does really helps people, and that is what matters the most to him.
“Any time that we’re able to help a client in a time of need, whether it’s a big transaction or it’s someone needing help with an adoption- being able to step in and help people navigate a system that’s probably pretty foreign to them while getting the desired outcome- that’s always a success,” he said.
Measures of success are vast and varied in the world of law. But Murray believes that he and his firm are able to measure success by how they help others.
“There are a lot of misconceptions about what lawyers do and I think that’s because lawyers do so many different things,” Murray said. “But there are all kinds of things lawyers can do that allow us to help people and I think that’s a really big focus of this firm- offering client-centered representation and, regardless of what the problem is, helping them find solutions.”
Helping others, and contributing to the community of Casper, goes beyond his day job as well. Murray is on the Board of Directors for The Lyric, CASA of Natrona County and the Casper Boxing Club. He is also a member and the former president of the Natrona County Bar Association. All of these endeavors, Murray said, are done with the idea of making his community bigger, stronger and better.
“It’s important to me to be a part of the community and to help the area thrive,” Murray said. “Growing up in Casper and going to high school here, a lot of peoples’ goal is to get out; I think that’s common, really, regardless of where people grow up. A lot of people will leave their hometown and then come back and when I came back home after law school, I wanted to work to make it an attractive place for people to come.”
“That’s really the impetus for being on some of those boards,” he continued. “I’m just trying to help the community thrive and create opportunities for all different kinds of people with all different interests. That’s a big focus at [WPDN] too- community involvement. We have a lot of people on a lot of different boards and we give a lot to local charities and non-profits, both in terms of time and money. That was a really great thing that attracted me to this firm in the first place.”
When Scott Murray left Wyoming, he wasn’t sure if or when he would come back. But after being away, Murray realized that Wyoming always held a piece of his heart and he knew, after a few short years, that his heart would bring him back home. Going away and then coming back taught Murray a few things about himself. He learned that he would always want to be in a position to help other people. He learned that he would always want to build up and make better the community in which he lived. And he learned that growing up in Casper paved the way for his career as a home town lawyer.