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From One Community to the Next My Law Adventures
The importance of giving back to your community was ingrained in me from an early age. That’s how I view my work at Pendleton law; I’m giving back and helping my community. My story, though, doesn’t start with the law or our community, but, rather, with an Air Force base in Germany. I grew up in the gorgeous town of Speicher, Germany, where my father was stationed at the Spangdahlem U.S. Air Force base. In the rural area of Speicher, I was able to have some unforgettable experiences like sledding, snowboarding, building tree forts in the woods, roaming the fields, and playing with the horses. Whenever we needed anything, we would venture into the more authentic German areas. The entire community was so supportive and welcoming when they easily could have ignored us. Their friendly nature enabled me to see both sides of an argument. This skill helped foster my knack for debate, which I was able to hone throughout high school. I graduated high school in Hampton, Virginia. When I first started to study at the College of William and Mary, my passion for debate led me to explore law. My bachelor’s degree in history helped me develop strong analytical skills that became invaluable in my career. By the time I graduated, I was a member of our prelaw community and excited to see what the University of Richmond School of Law had in store for me. University of Richmond School of Law was conveniently competitive. Everyone was very supportive, but we never lost sight of the fact we were competing against one another. An A for one meant a B for everyone else. I may have
loved the community, but my real education happened mostly beyond campus limits.
In my first year of law school, I took an internship with the Colonial Heights
Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. It was in that first internship that I saw the importance of case organization. During the organizational period of a case, if you miss one element, no matter how big or small it is, you will lose. This work laid the foundation for how I handle every case I work on to this day. During my second year in law school, I studied abroad at Cambridge University, Emmanuel College. At Cambridge, I got a sense of how crucial it is to maintain connections inside and outside the office. Your community comprises not only your client base but also provides a pool of resources you can utilize. My old classmates and I still refer clients to each other and can rely on each other’s expertise. During my third year, I took an externship as a Junior Law Clerk with Judge Richard D. Taylor, Jr. During my time working with him, I was able to get valuable feedback that made my writing and research skills more concise. Those skills now help me provide my clients with the best representation possible. After graduation, I set my sights on learning how to practice in the best interest of my future clients. I worked for Geico for 3 1/2 years, where I learned what it took to prepare a case on the defense side. During my time there, I maintained a working caseload of 90- 120 cases at any one time, tried well over 200 General District Court cases before numerous judges across the Commonwealth, resolved a multitude of cases before they went to trial,
and tried over 35 jury cases to verdict. I left Geico equipped with the knowledge of defense training, and I use it against the insurance companies for the better of my clients. I’m able to give back to my community the way my father and grandmother taught me. Between my father and grandmother, I was shown the importance of giving back and being of service to your community. My grandmother taught me that if you are blessed with anything, you share that blessing with everyone you can. This was a lesson that I have cherished my entire life.
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