What started as a love for research resulted in a degree in law for new resident Lee Holmes.
Holmes, who moved to the community in September 2020, is taking over Chester Yon’s law practice. Yon, who has been practicing law for 60 years, will become attorney of counsel when the “takeover” is complete.
“Chet is really trying to retire,” Holmes said. “But he also wants to keep his hand in the business, so he will be of counsel.”
Holmes became licensed in Arizona in June of this year. She retains her Illinois law license as well.
“I’ve been commuting between the two states, but I will be wrapping up my Illinois practice by the end of the year.”
The practice’s focus will remain estate planning and trust administration. Holmes worked as a CPA prior to earning her law degree from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb.
“I love research and I love the law,” Holmes said. “It was just a perfect fit for me to become a lawyer.”
She has been practicing since 2003, with her Illinois practice having the same focus as the firm in Fountain Hills.
Holmes and Yon met through a neighbor in Fountain Hills.
Yon said he is happy he met Holmes, who he said he is confident will continue to run the practice the same way he did.
“I always kept my clients happy, and I think Lee will do the same,” he said. “She is very competent.”
Yon spends part of the year in Minnesota and part of the year in Fountain Hills. He has been in Minnesota for the past several months and plans to return in November.
He has been practicing law in Arizona since 1989. He began work as a lawyer in 1961.
“Things are very different from 1961,” he said in a phone interview. “The hourly rate was $25 an hour, which was standard across the country.
“We (attorneys) couldn’t advertise at all. That has all changed. Now attorneys advertise everywhere.”
He said there were few women attorneys, and today more than half of the country’s lawyers are female. He added his daughter-in-law is a district judge.
Yon added he is appreciative for the people in Fountain Hills.
“People here have been so good to me over these 32 years,” he said. “I have enjoyed being here immensely.”
Yon will continue to live in Fountain Hills and Minnesota, and he said he looks forward to Holmes being here full time.
Holmes has four children, ranging in age from 25 to 37. One of her children lives in Arizona, while the others live in Iowa, Indiana and Illinois. She also has one grandchild.
She said she loves Fountain Hills because of the hiking, beauty and proximity to so many activities.
She said she has made some great friends.
“This is really an exciting time for me,” she said. “It’s like a second life.”