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There isn’t one definitive reason why I decided to become an attorney, but I will admit that one of the biggest contributing factors was Albertine Hathaway — a woman who, I regret to say, I never had the pleasure of meeting. You see, Great Aunt Bert was a court reporter in the 1890s, which, of course, meant that she worked closely with lawyers. From what I’ve heard, she was quite the character, and so it didn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone when one day she said, “Heck, I can do that!” and enrolled in law school. After passing the Illinois State Bar exam in 1903, she proved herself right — she became an attorney at law.

As it turned out, my admiration for Great Aunt Bert led me to follow even more closely in her footsteps than I had anticipated. In my early 20s, I started working as a legal secretary and paralegal to determine whether law was a good fit for me. Within a few years, I found myself thinking, “Heck, I can do this!” and enrolled at the Florida State University College of Law. The rest, as they say, is history.

My philosophy is simple: Don’t just hope for a change. Find a way to make the changes you want to see.


The Road Since Then

It has now been more than 30 years since I started practicing law, and I am very happy to report that I am as passionate about my work as I was the day my career began. When people come to me, they are overburdened with legal issues they don’t fully understand. I get to not only help them make sense of their situation, but to actually take action and show them that the future they want is not out of reach. To this day, nothing is more rewarding to me than seeing clients begin to believe in themselves again once we’ve resolved their case.

As part of my mission to better the financial and legal standing of Florida residents, I actively work to share my knowledge with those who can benefit from it. Over the years, I have presented at workshops, seminars, and other events in order to educate consumers about estate planning, bankruptcy, financial problem-solving, and other such topics. I have also taught continuing education course for attorneys working in the field of bankruptcy so that they can better serve their own clients. And, in 2016, I published a bestselling book, titled Rise Like a Phoenix: The Twelve Steps of Bankruptcy.

Currently, I am working on another book, teaching business courses, co-leading the Tallahassee Chapter of the Women’s Prosperity Network, and enjoying every moment of being a grandmother. These activities are a reward in and of themselves, but who knows? Maybe someday I’ll be the Great Aunt Bert that inspires a little girl to follow her passion.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Board Certified in Consumer Bankruptcy, American Board of Certification

Education

  • J.D. - Florida State University College of Law, Tallahassee, FL, 1986
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Honors: Order of the Barristers
    • Honors: Member, Moot Court
    • Honors: Robert J. Orseck Florida Bar Moot Court Competition
    • Honors: J. Braxton Craven Constitutional Law Moot Court Competition
  • B.A. - Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, 1975
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Honors: University Scholar, 1974

Professional Associations & Memberships

  • The Florida Bar, Sections on Business and Small Practice Management, Member
  • Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association, Board of Directors, 2000 - 2003
  • Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association, President, 2001 - 2002
  • Northern District of Florida Bankruptcy Bar Association, Secretary, 2002 - 2003
  • National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, 2003 - Present
  • American Bankruptcy Institute, 2006 - Present
  • Women’s Prosperity Network, Tallahassee Chapter, Co-Leader