Legal Assistants

Leslie A. Peal

Leslie Peal has worked with McKinney & Tillman, P.C. for over fifteen years, and presently serves as one of the firm’s legal assistants focused on estate planning. She regularly helps our attorneys implement customized estate plans, wills, and trusts for clients, and she often works directly with clients to ensure that their asset titling and beneficiary designations achieve their estate planning goals.  

Leslie has more than 25 years of experience in the legal field.  Prior to joining the firm, she was the legal secretary for a Sevier County litigator, and she also was the legal secretary for the staff attorney of a legal aid office in Brevard County, Florida.

Leslie moved to East Tennessee in the fall of 1995, and she lives in South Knoxville with her husband, Dean, and their son.

Carolyn L. Gray

Formerly a journalist and a public relations professional, Carolyn Gray applies her analytical and communications skills to supporting the firm’s attorneys in part by drafting documents and helping communicate with clients regarding their estate plans.  She assists with all aspects of estate planning, wills and trusts, including the important follow-up work to make sure clients’ plans work as intended.  Carolyn also serves as the firm’s in-house technology specialist and works closely with Ms. McKinney on her speaking, writing and video projects.

Before joining the firm in 2009, Carolyn worked as a freelance writer and editor for print and online publications including hgtv.com, diynetwork.com and the Custom Publishing arm of The Knoxville News Sentinel. Her experience also includes 11 years as an account executive with the prestigious Moxley Carmichael public relations firm, serving many of Knoxville’s largest and best-known companies and community leaders. She originally came to Knoxville in 1988 to work in the editorial staff of Whittle Communications, with projects including Tennessee Illustrated Magazine, Special Reports Television and the initial research and development for the Edison Project charter schools.

Carolyn graduated with honors from the University of Notre Dame with dual majors in Psychology and in Film and Video Production. She also holds a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her husband, Tom Booker, owns and operates Broadway Family Karate in the Fountain City area of Knoxville; they have one adult daughter, Emma.

Carolyn Gray is a Notary Public for the State of Tennessee.

Arlene V. Shoemaker

Arlene Shoemaker is a Certified Legal Assistant with over 40 years of experience in the legal field, most of which has been in estate planning and probate administration. Arlene is a long time member of the National Association of Legal Assistants and the Smoky Mountain Paralegal Association.

Arlene is a native Floridian, having moved from south Florida to Maryville, Tennessee in March, 2005 with her husband, Joe, and three children. 

Arlene worked with a well-known Boynton Beach lawyer/Mayor for 20 years, and with a prestigious law firm on the island of Palm Beach prior to moving to Tennessee. Arlene joined McKinney & Tillman, P.C. in July of 2008.