As COVID-19 has demonstrated, governmental actions significantly affect our lives. Hand Law is a Florida strategic government law firm dedicated to helping clients navigate the often-complex process of working with public entities and agencies. The firm provides strategic counsel and litigation support to help businesses, other organizations, and individuals seek opportunities and solve challenges with government.
Every business or person in the United States interfaces with government with increasing frequency. When those interactions arise, Hand Law is uniquely situated to help clients achieve success with government. Firm founder Chris Hand has extensive experience serving in or working with city, county, regional, state, and federal governments. Hand Law utilizes that experience to help clients advance their legal interests and empower clients for future governmental interactions.
When a legal engagement begins, we work with the client to determine short, medium, and long-term goals with government. Working together, we build a strategic plan and help the client assemble the team needed to execute the plan. Some projects benefit from the engagement of other attorneys or additional professionals such as lobbyists, public relations specialists, or subject matter experts. Hand Law typically serves as the general counsel of the governmental initiative to ensure that all team members work efficiently and effectively towards achieving client goals, and to handle legal interactions with government attorneys.
Think of it this way: Nobody would build a house without a plan and a general contractor to coordinate the various tasks needed for successful habitability. Legal goals should be no different, but too often, the focus is on one room rather than the entire structure. Our firm helps businesses, other organizations and individuals think about needs in strategic terms, offering counsel to advance overall aims and, if necessary, recruiting subcontractors to handle specific areas of needed expertise.
Hand Law prioritizes innovative and collaborative approaches to helping clients solve problems and realize opportunities with government. The firm is committed to creativity and professionalism. We hope to resolve every matter with a win-win result, but the firm is prepared to pursue litigation if necessary to protect a client's legal interests.
Chris Hand has a long record of public, civic, and legal service in Florida. He is the founder and president of Hand Law.
From 2011 to 2015, Hand served as Chief of Staff at the City of Jacksonville, Florida — the largest city by area in the contiguous United States, 12th largest by population in the nation, and most populated city in Florida. As Chief of Staff, he led the advancement of strategic initiatives, coordinated Mayor Alvin Brown’s Cabinet of direct reports, and managed the Mayor’s Office team, with oversight for policy, advocacy, communications, outreach, and scheduling. Hand also led efforts to achieve comprehensive retirement reform and participated in economic development and Downtown revitalization initiatives.
In 2018, Hand returned to City Hall for the Task Force on Civil Rights History. Task force members were recognized with the Melody Starr Anne Bishop Community Service Award for “outstanding community involvement, public service and commitment to enhancing and improving the quality of life for others.” He also authored the 50th Anniversary update to the chronicle of Jacksonville’s historic city-county consolidation: A Quiet Revolution–the Consolidation of Jacksonville-Duval County and the Dynamics of Urban Political Reform.
Hand has also been engaged with federal and state government. From 1996 to 2000, he served as speechwriter, campaign press secretary, and Senate press secretary for U.S. Senator and former Governor Bob Graham. With Senator Graham, Hand is co-author of America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall – and Win, a guide to helping Americans flex their citizenship muscles to make government respond. He gave a 2017 TEDx Jacksonville talk on the subject: www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9IUkpxy1rs
In 2008, Hand served as one of 27 Florida electors in the U.S. Electoral College. He was a member of the 2018-2019 transition team for Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services Nikki Fried. Hand helped to lead the bipartisan Groveland Four Clemency Coalition, which worked to persuade the Florida Cabinet to grant clemency to four Floridians unjustly accused of crimes. The Cabinet unanimously approved pardons on January 11, 2019.
Hand graduated from the Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs. He was honored with the Daily Princetonian Award for his efforts to reform the university’s then-century old Honor Code. Hand later graduated from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. The law school student body elected him as president of the student bar association. Hand also served as a research assistant to former Florida Governor and U.S. Representative Buddy MacKay and was a member of the Moot Court team.
Hand is an author and speaker who provides political, legal, and governmental analysis for WJXT/ News4Jax.com. He has been active in Leadership Florida as a member of Cornerstone Class 36, as Co-Chair of the Special Council on Equity, Equality and Justice and on the Northeast Region Council. Hand is a member of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute Board of Advisors, Leadership Jacksonville, and Jacksonville Bar Association. An enthusiastic hiker who loves the Florida outdoors, he lives in Jacksonville with his wife and two children.