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From Raising Kids to Writing Bench Briefs: My Journey to Serving Those in Need
I love the work we do at Pendleton Law and how we help those in need, but my law journey began many years earlier while raising my three amazing children and struggling to finish my undergraduate degree. I started college at the University of Austin, but, before I could finish, I became the mother of three beautiful children and turned my attention to parenting and put my education on hold. However, I knew I needed to finish my degree to provide my kids with the lives they deserved, so I doubled down. Amid the joys and challenges of parenting, I waited tables and helped run my family’s sandwich shop while working on my degree in psychology. While it was hectic working, raising three kids, and studying, I discovered my passion for law through my schooling. During a seminar taught by an attorney from the state department, she described how she helped prosecute war criminals in Rwanda. I marveled at the incredible change she could make by putting those criminals in prison, and I realized the powerful impact a person could make as a lawyer, so I set my sights on studying law.
School in Virginia Beach and continued to study and work with people who had starkly different values than myself. That experience alone was invaluable because lawyers work with and help people every day who may have drastically different viewpoints and values. Initially, I thought about pursuing international law, but that wasn’t conducive to having three kids, so I’m grateful for the things I learned through my two internships and how they shaped the direction I would take. One internship was with the Federal Public Defender’s office in Richmond, and I gained invaluable research experience through a particular espionage case we worked on. The lawyers were inspiring as they defended and advocated for some of the neediest and most vulnerable people with passion and commitment. Then, when I interned for the Supreme Court of Virginia, I discovered a new perspective on a lawyer’s role in the law as I drafted bench briefs and even presented a few of them to the Virginia state justices! A bench brief is a summary of appeal cases that assists judges in determining which suits go to the court of appeals. I learned more about the structure of a situation and what
judges look for in appeal cases. I even had the opportunity to sit in on sessions where people argued their cases for an appeal. During the entire internship experience, I saw the inner workings of the law and put into perspective why it’s an honor to be a lawyer. Now, I use those experiences at Pendleton Law to serve my clients, especially those who are powerless against the system. It’s a good feeling to know I’m helping those who can’t help themselves in a tough situation. Insurance companies so easily take advantage of those who are vulnerable, so, when I help those individuals get what they need, that’s my reward. When I’m not helping our clients, my husband and I enjoy spending time on our new property in Providence Forge. It’s a friendly, slower- paced, quiet environment; we’re learning how to take care of chickens, and we’re getting ready to plant trees and a big vegetable garden. So, next time you’re in the office, let me know if you have any tips or tricks for gardening or raising chickens! We love relaxing on the property, but, as far as gardening goes, we’re going to need all the help we can get!
Before I knew it, I finished my bachelor’s degree at Mary Baldwin College. I went to Regent Law
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