Voted "Best Law Firm in 
Southern Illinois" in 2021

Meet Our Founder

The Beard Law Firm has been serving the communities of Southern Illinois for decades, but it wasn't always like that. Meet the person that started it all, and continues to help grow our firm to help more and more members of our community get the legal assitance they deserve!
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The founder and owner of The Beard Law Firm, Larry Beard, is originally from Berkeley, Missouri. He is the son of a career military man who started his service in the South Pacific during World War II and later served as the fire chief for the Missouri National Guard. His mother was a lifetime volunteer for the women’s center and raised funds for the VFW. She also was known in the local media as “the doll lady” for her years of reconditioning dolls for children in women’s centers throughout Southeast Missouri. Larry’s parents taught him that hard work pays off and he carries that work ethic with him throughout his life.


Larry earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics Education and a master’s degree in Counseling, both from University of Missouri, at Columbia. After graduation, Larry worked in different academic administrative positions at a variety of universities, including the College of the Ozarks, Mississippi State University, Southeast Missouri University, and Florida State University. Larry always had a dream of becoming an attorney, so he left his position as Director of Career Services at Florida State University to pursue his law degree at SIU School of Law in Carbondale.

Early Career

Immediately following his graduation from the SIU School of Law in 1987, Larry started practicing law out of his apartment in Carbondale, typing his own pleadings on a small typewriter. In those early days, as a beginning attorney, he took any case that came through the door, which was mostly criminal and family law. After the first year or so, Larry began focusing primarily on car accidents and other personal injury cases.

Larry’s first office building was located at 814 West Main Street in Carbondale, where he had his office in the front and lived in the back apartment. While gardening in his back yard one day, Larry met the next-door neighbor, a sweet lady in her nineties who asked him for help replacing the batteries in her cuckoo clock. As they talked with each other, she realized that she had been best friends with his grandmother growing up in St. Louis in the early 1900s. They formed a friendship, and Larry would often go next door to help her fix things around the house. After she passed away, the family sold 812 West Main to Larry saying their mother would have wanted him to have the house.

Growing The Beard Law Firm

Over time, Larry’s law practice grew, and he was able to open new offices in several towns across Southern Illinois. In those days, Larry was wearing many hats. By day, Larry was an attorney, wearing a suit, meeting with clients, and going to court. In the evenings and on the weekends, however; he was a carpenter, roofer, and landscaper, as he poured his time and effort into remodeling his buildings and converting them into appropriate spaces for law offices.

Larry has practiced law for over 30 years and is licensed in Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. He is licensed to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States and has argued cases before the Supreme Court Panel for Multidistrict Litigation in Arizona and North Carolina, the Seventh and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, and the Federal District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. Over the years, Larry has represented thousands of victims who were injured in car accidents and other personal injury cases from Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri, and Western Kentucky.

Larry Today

In his spare time, Larry enjoys riding motorcycles, gardening and being outdoors. On many weekends, he can be found fishing, hunting, and boating all over the region. He loves animals and has adopted several lucky cats. Larry is also an avid photographer who has had many of his photographs published in local newspapers and magazines. In fact, one of Larry’s photos was used as the cover art for an album from his favorite local music group, The Jungle Dogs.

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