Barrios & Virguez April 2018

APR 2018



Last week, I spoke with a client who was in such a situation. She told me her heartbreaking story of abuse and unimaginable circumstances. Afterward, I shared with her my own story and how it led me to where I am. I wanted to help her understand that, while it may not feel like it now, she would overcome this. Clients are often shocked when I share my story with them. I think the idea people have when they come in is that we won’t “get it” because we’re attorneys. When I tell them that I’ve been a victim, too, we connect on a different level. It changes their perception, and I hope it changes from hopeless to hopeful. I want people to realize that you can be successful even in seemingly hopeless circumstances. Even in the darkest hours, there is still hope. If you want to change your situation, you have to believe that, and hearing stories of people like you who’ve gone through the same thing can help. It’s empowering. That’s how I feel when I see examples of other women overcoming stereotypes and persevering in the pursuit of their dreams. When I see the women in our office kicking butt every day, I feel empowered. There’s someone who looks like me reaching their goals! Angie, Jannyn, Veronica, Bettina, and Gilsy are all mothers, and when I see how they are pursuing their careers and being awesome moms, I’m inspired to believe I can, too. My parents always taught us that we could do it all, regardless of gender or where we’re from. I’ve grown up with that mindset, and I hope to instill it in others. I want to empower everyone on our team to believe that they can achieve their goals. We make sure to meet at least once each quarter to check in and hold each other accountable. We push each other to reach our dreams.

In March, we celebrated International Women’s Day, a dedication to the achievements of women all over the world and ideas that bring about greater equality. It made me think about the inspiring women I work with and the incredible people we serve. Many of the people who come to our office are women — wives, moms, and daughters — whose husbands, sons, brothers, and fathers have been taken from them. Women are often left to piece their life back together and figure out what to do next while looking after the family. These women are holding the seams of society together as the threads are pulled apart. We feel the effects throughout our community as families try to navigate their new reality. WHO RUNS THE WORLD?

We are here to empower all people who face injustice. We fight for those whose power has been stripped away, who’ve been discriminated against

or told they don’t matter. Can you imagine what the world would be like if those people ran the world? I think it would be a much better place. Don’t you?

–Keren Barrios

1 678.934.4958

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