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From Spanish to Courtrooms —My Law Journey Courtney’s Path to Pendleton
I’ve always loved helping people. Connecting with them in a unique and personal way has always been a passion of mine, but I didn’t see the law as my means to pursue that passion. My journey into law actually started with a focus in Spanish and foreign affairs during my bachelor’s degree. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, where I spent my free time managing the boys’ basketball team, participating in the Beta club, or volunteering with the Honor Society. Due to my interest in helping people, I took a lot of classes on human rights and equality. It was during that time I discovered how much of an impact I could make in that area as a lawyer. I saw the need for proper representation, so as I was finishing my fourth year at the University of Virginia, I applied to law school. After I graduated from the University of Virginia, I went to Howard Law School in Washington, D.C. It was my first time living in a big city, and I loved it for how different the environment was compared to Richmond. During my time at Howard Law School, I worked for the Juvenile Justice Department within the Social Justice Service. It was a tough job, and I knew I
way I wanted before I got into law school. This was a hard but rewarding experience.
wouldn’t be able to do it as a job. But as a result, I became very interested in mental health. Now I practice yoga and other methods to maintain my mental health. In my second summer studying law, I worked for the National Fair Housing Alliance. This was in 2009 right after the housing crash, so we were doing a lot of research on housing equality and housing discrimination. When we weren’t working on our research, we would go to Baltimore and drive through blocks of abandoned houses. It was a culture shock, but it was an eye- opening experience any law student needed to see. It showed me the reality of those who aren’t as fortunate as others. It taught me how to work with different types and groups of people with vastly different backgrounds. It enabled me to work with people who desperately needed a voice. It was my first opportunity to give back and help people the
After I graduated from Howard Law, I found myself working at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society. There, I worked on landlord disputes and uncontested divorce cases, which is where I discovered my passion for trial work. Since I joined the Pendleton Law Team, I’m doing something new every day, which keeps me on my feet. I love my coworkers —we’re all around the same age, which makes it feel like a big family. Everyone at the firm is very supportive, so I know that no matter what I’m working on, someone is available to lend a hand if needed. I’m looking forward to the new trial work I’m taking on and helping people the way I always imagined I would.
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