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NCLW Leaders in the Law: Kris Hilscher, Senior Associate Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan 

Teri Saylor//June 2, 2023

NCLW Leaders in the Law: Kris Hilscher, Senior Associate Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan 

Teri Saylor//June 2, 2023

Kris Hilscher, Senior Associate Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan 


Kris Hischer has wanted to be a lawyer since the “ripe age of 5.” 

Growing up on a farm near Richmond, Va., Hilscher spent a lot of time with his grandmother, who was clerk of a domestic relations court in Chesterfield County.  

“I spent many afternoons after school hanging out in the clerk’s office, and all the judges and lawyers that came through knew me by name and took the time to talk with me, answer questions and give me advice,” he says. “That experience sparked my interest in the law.”


Hilscher went on to receive his bachelor’s from Hampden-Sydney College and his law degree from Campbell University.  

Today, he’s a senior associate at the Law Offices of Mark E. Sullivan in Raleigh, where he practices divorce and family law, with a focus on military families. 

Personal accomplishment: Becoming accepted as an expert in military family law has been my greatest achievement thus far, and that takes a lot of work. My boss, Mark Sullivan, has a sign in the office with a quote from Thomas A. Edison: “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” I have taken that to heart, put in years of work, and have grabbed opportunities to learn.  

First job: As a kid, I tackled farm and yard work and outdoor chores, spending many Saturdays mowing acres of grass. I learned a valuable lesson: Hard work can be enjoyable, and there is fulfillment in seeing the fruits of your labor. My first paid job was at K-Mart as a cashier. I learned I did not want to work retail for my entire career.   

Biggest career challenge: For the first 10 years of my career, I did not have a mentor, and that was incredibly difficult. I had to figure everything out for myself, and I sometimes made mistakes. I spent countless hours buried in research and conducted many hearings and trials learning in the trenches. And while I learned many valuable lessons during that time, I now have the privilege of working with a mentor that I hold in esteemed regard, and I realize what I missed out on in those earlier years.   

Favorite vacation spot: Before having kids, my wife and I took a two-week vacation to Vienna. It was one of our most memorable traveling experiences. My favorite spot to get away now is Oak Island. 

You didn’t know: In high school I was into punk, metal and hardcore music. I had green hair, shoes made from tennis ball material, wore punk and metal band t-shirts, and played the drums in a small hardcore band. For much of our married life, pre-children, my wife and I camped on the dunes in Oregon Inlet and spent our days off-roading in a 4×4 on the sand. We now have a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, take it to the beach, and share this love with our boys.

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