Pendleton Law Team - May 2020

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May 2020

From the Navy to the Courts My Journey Into Law

I learned a lot from my time in the Navy, but the key thing was recognizing and understanding others’ backgrounds. Everyone has their own story and context, which is something you need to keep in mind no matter what career field you find yourself in. Additionally, you can’t assume everyone will react the same to specific situations. I grew up in an area where people had the same values and influences, so this was a valuable lesson to learn. Today, this lesson benefits me whenever I’m working with new clients, coworkers, lawyers, and judges. While I was serving, I was also taking a full course load at Chaminade University of Honolulu, majoring in political science with a minor in comparative theology, in an effort to better understand our government in various ways. But as I was finishing up my education, I realized I had gone as far as I could go in my position in the Navy, so I left. At that point, I knew I still wanted to help people. That is when my interest in the law took form, so I applied for law school. Even while attending law school, I was still eager to get involved, so I took on several nonprofit positions during and after my education that continue to benefit me as a lawyer today. I worked in a justice center for AmeriCorps Legal Aid for two years, helping victims of financial neglect and exploitation. During my time with AmeriCorps, I developed a sense for how to handle and treat those victims of neglect. Plus, I learned the finer aspects of estate issues. I then worked for the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, where I got a better understanding of veterans’ rights and laws. Even though I’ve moved away from the nonprofit sector, I love the work that I do at the Pendleton Law Team. Due to the financial

The Pendleton Law Team is amazing because they enable me to help people in our area and serve our community. But that need to serve didn’t start at the Pendleton Law Team or even in law school. In fact, it originated with my grandfather back when I was still a teenager in Massachusetts. When I was 16, I joined the workforce to help support my family, which gave me the foundation for my current work ethic. When I was 18, we unfortunately didn’t have the financial resources to put me through college. So I had two options: save up enough money and go to school or go into the service for my college tuition. At the time, I didn’t know what to do, and my parents weren’t excited about their daughter joining the armed forces. My grandfather listened to my feelings on the subject, though, and talked me into signing up for the Navy! I loved my grandfather, and he was a veteran himself. He was an aviation machinist and worked on a carrier that happened to be away during the attack on Pearl Harbor. My grandfather was so proud when I joined up that he even gave me the nickname “Admiral.”

situation of some of our clients, I’m still fighting for those in need. Additionally, since a lot of our clients are in distress, my peers and I are that much more dedicated. It’s so nice to work with a full team of goal-oriented individuals. Everyone I work with is dedicated to making sure our clients are taken care of, which is really refreshing. There is an unfettered level of support here. If I ever need anything, no one hesitates to help or pitch in. Most of all, though, I’m grateful to help those in need in my community — just like that 16-year- old girl who was listening to her grandfather’s stories always wanted. “When I was 16, I joined the workforce to help support my family, which gave me the foundation for my current work ethic. When I was 18, we unfortunately didn’t have the financial resources to put me through college.”

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