You were a music major at Columbus State. How does a music major find her way into a career as an attorney?
I always had an interest in the law but, when enrolling in college, very much wanted to pursue my interest in music and working in education.
Law schools don't require any specific undergraduate degree to be considered for acceptance and I wanted to feel as though I had fully explored my options in the musical field before taking the leap to law school. The day after my senior recital I drove to Macon to take the LSAT and received my acceptance letter to Loyola the day after graduation.
Since you are only 15 years removed from high school, what advice would you give the college freshman considering a legal career?
You don't have to have a political science or criminal justice degree to be accepted to law school. Spend those four years studying something that interests you. At the same time, become involved with the legal and political organizations on campus to get an insight into this field. Get involved in the legal community. Courtroom proceedings are open to the public and watching a trial is a great way to determine if this is the career path you are interested in pursuing.
With the bulk of your practice centering on family law, what trends are you seeing in that legal specialty?
With all of the internet resources available now, we are seeing more and more couples attempting to act as their own attorneys in divorce cases. In the past few years, we have had a number of statutory changes regarding documents that must be filed with a divorce, including child support worksheets and parenting plans. While a few pro se persons get it right, the majority do not, and the judges are spending more and more time attempting to address these incomplete documents.
Having gone to Loyola in New Orleans for law school, do you look at Columbus any differently because of the time spent away from here?
When I left Columbus in 2001, I thought of it as a small, sleepy, Southern town. But having returned and started my career here, I have come to realize that Columbus is a city with options for everyone, but with the small-town feel that I still love. We have arts venues that attract national and international productions; but on Saturday mornings I can walk the Market on Broadway and pick up vegetables that were still on the vine in a neighbor's yard the day before. We have a Fortune 500 Company that is recognized throughout the world; but you can walk out the front door of that building and enjoy a scramble dog from a small pharmacy that has been in existence before the duck was a twinkle in Aflac's eye. Columbus is continuously growing around us but we are able to maintain our southern charm which makes this city the perfect blend of old and new.
What is the best-kept secret in Columbus?
No Shame Theater, Friday nights at the Springer Opera House.