On a shelf in the family library sits a tattered middle school journal with the words, “When I grow up I want to help people be happy.” While there are many different avenues for accomplishing this goal, mine was specifically to become a lawyer. That dream stayed with me for years.
As the daughter of an N&W (now Norfolk Southern) railroad worker and the granddaughter of a Naval Officer, a fondness for the railroad and maritime industries came at a very early age. Growing up, I remember frequent trips with my father and grandfather to the railroad and the Norfolk Navel Shipyard. I also remember how hard my father worked and the toll it took on our family when his on-the-job injury ended his career with the railroad. Effective, stalwart legal representation was imperative during that time.
Shortly after graduating from high school, at the age of 17 I met and married my husband. Our family started right after I turned 19 and by age 23 I had given birth to our fourth child. Although becoming a lawyer was still a dream, I knew that doing both was nearly impossible so I gave it up to raise them. However, in 2003 our youngest daughter started pre-school and the fire within me was reignited. The strong desire to help others through a legal career could no longer be ignored. I enrolled in a private college and received my Bachelor of Science degree in Legal Studies in three years, graduating with a 3.9 GPA. I immediately applied for law school, was accepted and spent another three years obtaining my Juris Doctor degree.
From the first day I became eligible to practice law until the day I retire, I remain committed to changing the way the public thinks about lawyers. Being able to provide a personal experience for each client, consistent communication, and hope for better days ahead are of upmost importance. After all, my J.D. degree was never for me anyway; it was always for helping others to be happy again.
Admitted Into Practice
All Florida State Courts
All Georgia State Courts
Federal Court, Middle District of Florida
Bankruptcy Court, Middle District of Florida
Memberships & Associations
Academy of Rail Labor Attorneys
Florida Bar Association
American Bar Association
Orange County Bar Association
Jacksonville Bar Association
FL Bar Leadership Academy, Fellow 2016-2017
American Bar Association TIPS Leadership Academy, Fellow 2018-2019
J. Reuben Clark Law Society, International Women in Law Committee, 2016-Present
J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Virtual Chapters Committee, 2018-Present
Political Leadership Institute, 2012 Graduate
City of Jacksonville, Building Codes Adjustment Board | Appointed term, 2012 – 2014
Boy Scouts of America, Committee Chair | 2011 – 2013
Duval Juvenile Residential Detention Facility, Advisory Board Member, 2009 – 2012
Awards & Recognition
AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating, 2015 (highest level of professional excellence)
Dept. of Juvenile Justice Volunteer Service Award, 2010
Community Pearl Award, 2010