Pendleton Law - December 2019

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DECEMBER 2019

Porscha’s Law Journey

My journey into law hasn’t been an easy one. The road was filled with bumps, but without them, I wouldn’t be the lawyer I am today. But every journey has a starting point, and mine was the East Side of Detroit, Michigan. I lived in Michigan until I was 12 when my family moved to Virginia Beach. Throughout my high school career, I was so active that I couldn’t sit still. I was in Spanish club, on the softball team, and I played the flute in band! The flute would serve me well as I was in the marching and symphonic bands when I went to Norfolk State University. At Norfolk, I received my Bachelor’s in Political Science with a Minor in Accounting, but later, I ended up getting another Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. I loved Norfolk State University, and the experiences I had there defined how I work with my clients to this day. While I was there, I interned for the Nortfolk Commonwealth Attorney’s office in the victim/witness department. It was different, but I enjoyed it. The situations were tough because I was tasked with consoling the victims and keeping them calm, but rewarding because I got to help people. I now utilize that experience to better communicate with my clients. It’s important to negate any legal jargon and talk to them as people. It can make anyone uneasy if they don’t

Porscha (left) with her mom, Phyllis, and brother, Patrick.

functions consisted of roundtable discussions with professors on a variety of subjects where students could ask questions for finals. When I wasn’t hosting events, I was neck- deep in dispute resolution and mock trial competitions. I knew if I stayed focused, it would help my grades. When I was at WMU, I also had the opportunity to become a teaching assistant to Patrick Corbett. Patrick allowed me to improve my writing, and I even helped co- write a criminal law textbook with him. I knew I had to make the most of my time at WMU so I took a clerkship with the Pentagon, where I worked with NAVSEA. It was a fantastic opportunity, and I gained a lot of experience running motions and reporting on employment matters, like discrimination. After I graduated in 2016, I worked as an contract attorney doing estate planning, personal injury, and criminal law until I found a home at Pendleton! I love the work we do here and the people with whom I work. But I wouldn’t be where I am today without God, my mother Phyllis, my brother Patrick, and all the bumps I endured along the way.

understand the terminology. Their way of life hangs in the balance, so I empathize with them and break down everything so they’re fully aware of what’s going on. I didn’t initially get into law school, which is why I went back for my Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. However, due to my LSAT essay, I was invited into the Professional Exploration Program at Western Michigan University (WMU) Cooley Law School. The Professional Exploration Program was a probationary period during my first three semesters. There was a lot of pressure, as the program consists of difficult testing and training, and it made the transition very difficult. During that time, it was hard balancing school and my well-being. I was visiting my family back in Detroit, Michigan, but it wasn’t enough. To combat the depression I was experiencing, I became active on campus as I did in high school. I knew if I was feeling this way, other students on campus surely were. So, I ran for president of my class and Vice President of the Student Bar Association on a mental health platform and won! I made sure we had all sorts of wellness events, including Zumba classes and massages. When we didn’t have wellness events, we were hosting academic events. A lot of the

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