Bill Baechtold describes himself as a typical post-war Catholic kid who went to the local parish parochial school, SS. Peter and Paul, now Holy Trinity, in Norwood.
He cites many influences, starting with the goal his parents set for him to attend St. Xavier High School and the experience he had as a caddy at Losantiville Country Club, working his way up the ladder to eventually become the golf shop assistant during his college years.
"The experience taught me how to deal with people, how to build relationships and how to make a good impression."
It also provided a chance to get to know some of Cincinnati's leading business people and professionals. That, coupled with the influence of many of his teachers at St. X, motivated him to achieve. He mentions one teacher in particular, the Rev. Joseph Walsh, SJ, his Latin teacher during his sophomore year.
“Reverend Walsh was Oxford-educated, taught at the seminary for a long time and was a legend at St. X. He was maybe five-six and bald. They called him Knobby. The subject for the second year was Caesar’s commentaries. That first day, he walked into class, pulled down a map and that thing looked like it might have belonged to Caesar. He pulled out his pointer and, for the next 20 minutes, lectured us in Latin.
“You had to be motivated to do well in his class. He motivated many, many boys over the years. He brought home to me what it meant to strive to excel. He was intellectually demanding. He let you know where you stood, and he told you what it would take to do better. In many ways, he helped prepare me for the rigors of law school.
“The benefits were tremendous, not just in terms of education, but in building my sense of purpose. I developed a sense of what it would be possible to accomplish – and with that, a sense that when I did achieve, I would have a responsibility to give back.”
Throughout his career at Graydon, Bill truly has given back, serving on boards and advisory committees that run the gamut from St. Ursula Academy and Summit Country Day School to the Freestore/Foodbank Foundation, The Cincinnati Horticultural Society, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, Ronald McDonald House and The Beechwood Home. He played a key role in working with the Sisters of Charity to bring a Cristo Rey School to Cincinnati. Across America, the Cristo Rey high school model has a proven track record for turning at-risk kids into college-bound success stories.
It's a program that shows these kids that there's another, bigger world out there. Sort of like what Bill discovered years ago in the Rev. Walsh’s second-year Latin class. "It's a phenomenal program for kids who never otherwise would have the chance to go to college and see that other side of life."
As an attorney, he is engaged at the highest levels of estate planning, representing many of the area's old-line families. “We're a Firm that cares deeply about relationships. The drift of law today has become very transactional, with less time spent getting to know the client. But here, we work hard at developing meaningful bonds with all of our clients.”
Bill counsels clients in planning for the management and disposition of property during lifetime, at death and after death. Over the years, he has also practiced in the real estate and general corporate areas. His experience in those areas relates well to estate planning, particularly counseling clients who are planning for ownership succession of their business. Bill’s decades of experience provides the Firm and our clients with added insight into the types of problems that can occur in the administration of trusts and estates.
Bill has served on many not-for-profit boards and has developed an expertise for planned gifts to charities from both the charity’s and the client’s perspectives.
Bill has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Trusts and Estates from 2003 to 2016. He has also been selected by his peers as an Ohio Super Lawyer from 2004 to 2016. Bill is also recognized with an AV Rating, the highest rating given to lawyers by Martindale-Hubbell.