WWW.OBIORAHFIELDS.COM | 404.994.6218 | MAY 2018
LAW WAS MORE THAN MY OBJECTIVE
IT WAS MY CALLING
I knew I was going to be an attorney ever since I was 12 years old. I used to write in my diaries about how I was going to be a great lawyer. This wasn’t something I stumbled into; it was something I intently aspired to be. Now that I am a lawyer, I couldn’t be happier to be living my dream.
to be that way, and when I decided to move to Jonesboro, I made the commitment to work for myself.
Owning my own business has been one of the most enjoyable experiences in my life, although I’m still learning how to treat my business as a business. It may sound straightforward, but law school teaches you how to be a lawyer, not run your own company. Running my firm brings me joy because I have the opportunity to explore the cases that I am passionate about. I can select situations where I can make a difference and help people. lawyers I’ve had the pleasure of working with and has made this firm something extraordinary. And while we’re on the topic of special, my three kids genuinely take the cake in that department. With my oldest, Ona, graduating from college in May and my middle child, Sonna, graduating from high school in June, I’m not sure how my youngest, Ernest, deals with all the commotion. They all give me an incredible perspective on what I do. Stop by our firm some time, even if it’s to say hi or take a look at what we’re planting in our garden out front this year. We’d love to show you why we are more than just a law firm; we’re women who genuinely care. We care because the real difference is made in people, not in a courtroom. All of this wouldn’t be possible without the individuals I’ve been blessed with in my life. Teri is one of the most talented and amazing
Interacting with clients and helping them solve complex problems is an absolute passion of mine. There is something
special about positioning a case and making a meaningful difference in someone’s life. The law can be a tricky mine field, and that’s why I love educating my clients and setting them up for success through the process. It’s not just the people, either. I enjoy the nitty-gritty parts of being an attorney. It’s not all fun and games, and personally, I thrive on that. I love the research, the writing, and uniquely approaching arguments. Although I knew I was going to be a lawyer from early on in life, going to law school was not what I expected. It was a grind. I had to reprogram my brain to think differently. Going
YOU HAVE TO APPROACH EVERY SITUATION WITH A VERY PARTICULAR MINDSET.
through life in the law field is not like it is in other career paths. You have to approach every situation with a very particular mindset. This was challenging to me, but I love a challenge. That is why I’ve thrived in different environments. I bounced around after law school, and this required me to take five bar exams in five different jurisdictions. Each one of these expected knowledge of various laws specific to that state. While this wasn’t ideal, I feel very fortunate because it allowed me to gain an understanding about practice areas I otherwise never would’ve known. But it wasn’t always going
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MEET THE IRON WOMAN:
HAVE YOU BEEN A VICTIM OF UNFAIR DISCIPLINARY ACTION?
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’VE BEEN MISTREATED
Please meet our client and certified Iron Woman, Yolanda Habal. Ms. Habal is a 33-year employee with the Postal Service. She is currently a custodian at the Greenville Main Post Office. Over her 33 years of service, Ms. Habal has received many awards from the Postal Service, but recently, she received the Iron Woman Award due to her tireless dedication to her job. Ms. Habal has accumulated more than 3,000 hours of sick leave. She is an exceptional employee, mother, and client. Ms. Habal recently received
front-page recognition in the greater South Carolina District when she was given an award by the Greater South Carolina District manager, Darryl Martin, for
Rules are made to be followed, but sometimes, breaking those rules can come with unjust penalties. This is never more prevalent than when dealing with federal agencies. Many of these organizations are laden with red tape. As a result, employees are subject to unfair disciplinary actions. At Obiorah Fields, we are committed to making sure your rights are protected within the full scope of the law. If you’ve been a victim of prejudice from your federal job, here are two places to start. There are two reasons employees are reprimanded by their superiors. The first is if an employee is accused of some misconduct. Examples of this are instances of offensive language, sexual harassment, and insubordination, among others. The other reason is if an employee’s performance is deemed insufficient. These include situations like not meeting deadlines, being consistently late, or failure to abide by employee regulations. RATIONALE The first place to start your fight is by filing an appeal. Time is of the essence in this matter, as many government employees have a small window in which they can right this wrong. It’s a tedious process with a mountain of paperwork. Every box needs to be checked, and not a single pen mark can be out of place. It also requires a thorough understanding of how the administration system works. A case like this is not an undertaking you should try alone. Our federal employment attorneys understand the bureaucratic process behind these agencies and will make sure your case is handled with the utmost attention. If you have questions on any situation regarding federal labor laws, reach out to us. Don’t have your case overturned because a minor detail was missed. Contact us today. APPEALS
accumulating more than 3,000 hours of sick leave. Ms. Habal is the epitome of hard work and dedication. Congratulations, Ms. Habal. We wish you continued success and good health.
Referrals are the highest form of professional compliment. Thanks to the following friends, family members, and clients for our recent referrals!
Keith Bruce Harvey Orr Evelia Toledo
Faye Bess Kevin Dukes Marlessia Yancey
Larry Patterson Francis Mitchell Mary Murphy
Our practice areas include car accidents, slip and falls, wage theft, federal employee discrimination, wills and probate, and veterans disability. If you need any legal help, give us a call!
Every third Tuesday, Attorney Fields completes free wills for veterans at the VA.
Every fourth Thursday of the month, from 2–4, Free Veterans Claims Clinic at the office.
May 26, at 10 a.m., we will host an estate planning seminar at our office.
2 | www.obiorahfields.com | Your Rights, Our Fight
HONOR A VETERAN THIS MEMORIAL DAY SIMPLE WAYS TO GIVE BACK
One of our main passions as attorneys is standing up for the rights of veterans. These men and women of the armed forces served our country with valor and dedication. Yet, when they come home, they have no one to help them with their needs. In some cases, many veterans don’t realize that there is help available. They live with mental and physical complications caused from their time in uniform, and they never receive the treatment they require. In other cases, they apply for benefits and are rejected. We fight to serve this group of people by providing proper representation, but you don’t need to be a lawyer to give back to veterans. Here are two ways you can help.
for the rights of our country and for our freedom. That’s pretty admirable.
OFFER YOUR TIME
The United States was built on the concept of helping others. When our neighbors are in need, we step up to the plate and help them out. It’s that love and caring that makes our nation unique and special. When it comes to veterans, our shelters often go unmanned, without proper clothing or food. One simple way we can all give back is by offering our time. Maybe it’s mowing a lawn for an elderly veteran in your neighborhood, or perhaps it’s giving a jacket to a homeless veteran on our streets. There is always something that can be done, and we, as citizens, are the people to do it. If you’re a veteran and have been denied benefits from the VA, or if you just need general guidance, contact us today. Our team at Obiorah Fields will help in any way possible.
SAY THANK YOU
Taking a simple moment to give thanks can make a world of difference in the life of a veteran. It doesn’t require much to say, “Thank you for your service.” A soldier doesn’t sign up for the military so they can have people thank them. They enlist to stand up for what they believe in. They put their lives on the line
PUZZLE YOUR BRAIN
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INSIDE THIS ISSUE
Obiorah Fields’ Origin Story
Punishments Aren’t Always Fair Spotlight on Yolanda Habal
Thank a Veteran This Memorial Day Puzzle Your Brain
3 of the Most Formidable Moms in History
MOTHERS SHAPE THE WORLD
3 OF HISTORY’S BRAVEST MOMS
Moms make the world go round. After running the gauntlet of childbirth, they raise and guide us throughout our lives, shouldering the tremendous burden and responsibility of motherhood. Mothers are in turn formidable, kind, powerful, gentle, wise, fierce, patient, supportive, empathetic, driven, and full of love. In honor of Mother’s Day, here are three historic moms who never stopped fighting for what they believed in. Before she escaped from New York slaveholder John Dumont, Sojourner Truth had at least three of her children sold away from her. When Dumont went back on his promise to emancipate Truth and her infant daughter in 1826, she took the girl and fled to an abolitionist Quaker family, but she was forced to leave her other daughter SOJOURNER TRUTH (1797–1883)
and her 5-year-old son, Peter, behind. Soon after, she learned that Peter had been illegally sold by Dumont to a slaveholder in Alabama, so she went to court and secured his safe return. It was the first successful case brought by a black woman against a white man in American history. Truth went on to become a prominent abolitionist and a speaker for women’s rights, delivering her famous impromptu speech, “Ain’t I a Woman?” in May of 1851. When the Nazis invaded Warsaw in September of 1939, Irena Sendler, a 29-year-old social worker and mother of two, hatched a scheme to rescue Jewish children from the brutal ghettos. Along with many friends and colleagues, she smuggled out nearly 2,500 Jewish orphans, hiding infants on trams and IRENA SENDLER (1910–2008)
garbage wagons and guiding kids through a labyrinth of secret passageways beneath the city.
EMMELINE PANKHURST (1858–1928)
Despite being a wife and the mother of five children — two of whom died tragically young — Emmeline Pankhurst became one of the fiercest advocates for women’s suffrage in the late 19th century. After founding the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903, she and her cohorts adopted an aggressive strategy to raise awareness for the issue; they began by buttonholing politicians and staging rallies, then progressed to vandalism, window smashing, and arson. She was instrumental in the movement. Pankhurst lived to see women gain the right to vote in 1928.
4 | www.obiorahfields.com | Your Rights, Our Fight
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