In 1995 I officially was divorced from the father of my children and became a single mother. It would take another year and several months for the custody of the children to be decided and when it was, I was awarded custody of all three of my children. Life didn’t begin in 1995, or really 1994 when we officially separated, but for me it felt like it did.
During all of this time I was working. I only had one year of college and had not worked outside of the home during my marriage since my oldest was born, except for a few months. He was born in 1987. I went back to work doing clerical work and ultimately ended up at a medical lab as an administrative assistant to a number of pathologists.
One day, in 1998, I got to talking to a co-worker of mine who was also a single mom and she started telling me how she had gone back to school. Up until then, I didn’t think going back to school would ever be an option. When we were still married, I was helped my ex-husband get his education and we discussed me going back to school numerous times. Now that I was a single mom raising three young kids, this seemed way out of my reach. At this point in my life, trying to raise three kids and put food on the table, school just didn’t seem like an option until she began talking about how she was doing it. In our discussions I began thinking about, if I did go back to school, what would I want to major in, what would I ultimately want to do once I had graduated, basically, what did I want to be when I grew up!
I decided then that I wanted to be an attorney. I was surrounded by medical professionals, but the thought of going into a medical career did not interest me. I don’t have a science mind and I knew that wasn’t in the cards; I also knew I didn’t want to just get a degree and not be able to use it. So, attorney it was.
The thought of going to school for six years to achieve this goal seemed daunting. Instead of allowing the six years that lay ahead to overwhelm me, I chose to look at it as, the next six years are going to happen, I can either keep working as an administrative assistant and barely making it for the next six years and have nothing to show for it, or I can go back to school and in six years, have an undergraduate degree and a law degree and be able to change my life. I chose the latter.
The first day of school, the Spring semester of 1999 I went to my first class and when it was over and I was walking to my second class I told myself, one class down, six more years to go. It took taking that first step.
I graduated with a Political Science degree with a Sociology minor in 2002 and in August of 2002 I began my law school career, graduating in 2005 and passed the bar in September of 2005.
When I graduated from law school, after all the educational experiences and with all of the people I met, I decided to run for State Senate instead of practicing law full time. I did have an office, and I did take on a few clients, but my primary focus for the next few months was running for public office.
That opportunity didn’t come to fruition and after my unsuccessful primary, I closed down the campaign office and refocused; two weeks later I was practicing law. From 2006 until 2016, I was a solo practitioner with dreams of one day having a firm that other attorneys would be working with me.
In July of 2016 we connected with a lead generator, this type of company provides attorneys leads of people searching for an attorney. From January of 2016 to July 2016 we had nine new clients; we ended the year with 72! This was a game changer for us. After connecting with the lead generator, within a month I hired two attorneys to help me with the case load. We now have five attorneys working for the firm, a billing department, nine staff members and one intern, and we are still growing and hiring, and we have two office locations. I’ve always set goals for myself in all areas of my life and in particular the firm, one of the goals we focus on is what will be the income for the year. When I was a solo the goals were to make somewhere between $80,000 to $200,000 on any given year. This year, in September of 2018, we have already brought in over $1,000,000! By August of 2019 our goal is to have brought in over $12,000,000 – and we will!