Mike Sturgill is adamant about helping people understand that hiring an attorney who can help isn’t something only the wealthy can afford. After graduating from SMU, Mike worked for a large law firm where he saw time and again how the high rates charged were out of reach for the average person.
In 2015, realizing he could change this narrative, Mike and his legal colleague opened Sapp & Sturgill, a boutique firm that focuses on providing quality legal advice that more people can afford. In addition to specializing in real estate, estate planning, and litigation, he, his partner, and their staff advocate for people with disabilities, helping them navigate the barriers they often have to face. In 2023, Sapp & Sturgill merged with another law firm and formed Themis Legal Group.
We met with Mike to talk more about his previous law experience, why Themis Legal Group is about more than just billable hours, and why he takes the plight of disabled people so personally.
What inspired you and your partner to go out on your own?
I started out working in oil and gas for a law firm and saw a need for the normal individual to be able to afford quality representation. So many firms charge very high rates and people just can't afford it, so we set out to provide legal services at a rate that everyday people could afford. We pride ourselves on taking care of the average person and helping them with their legal needs, cost-efficiently, while providing them with a high level of service. Again, this goes back to being efficient; it's not just the hourly rate that shows how much time and effort you spend on a client, but what the client gets at the end of the case.
Tell us more about what you do at Sapp & Sturgill.
We are based in Fort Worth, Texas, and have several attorneys who provide quality legal advice to clients all over Texas, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. We provide the type of experience you'll find at top law firms, but in a more affordable manner. Coming from oil and gas, we started primarily with real estate, and we grew that and got more and more into litigation, and then it expanded into estate planning. Real estate and estate planning often ends up encompassing so many other things, including being part of family law, so we are a very well-rounded firm.
Can you share a few more details about the areas in which the firm specializes?
We've handled hundreds of real estate cases throughout Texas, anywhere from disputes over property rights, conveyances of ownership, closings, escrows to full title searches. Our other specialty, estate planning, is a huge priority to me, it's one where we can help people plan for what's going to happen—affordably. We take the time to sit down with them and talk through their specific situation. Fifty years ago, families fell into a fairly generic standard, and today, we've got so many blended and mixed families with various concerns and different situations.
Additionally, we handle a high volume of civil litigation, and have represented clients all over Texas at a high level, yet cost-efficient manner. We work closely with the client to understand their situation and keep them updated as the case moves forward. I’m admitted to practice in Federal Court which provides a big advantage when going up against municipalities and foreign entities.
You’re also passionate about helping those with disabilities. Why is it important to you?
I'm proud that, through real estate, we’ve made different contacts and connections, some of which have been with individuals with severe disabilities. What we’ve learned is that disabled individuals typically don’t have an advocate, they don't have a voice, and there are a lot of people who are suffering in silence because nobody's out there to help them. We’re advocating for these individual’s civil rights, including disabled people and the elderly. We’re pushing for equality and removing barriers that prevent them from enjoying the same things that somebody without disabilities enjoys. I feel strongly about this because of my personal experience with my grandmother, who had polio, and, as an adult, lost her ability to walk and was bound to a wheelchair.
Attorney — Themis Legal Group