1. What was the first job you had?
My first job was working as a waitress. I found out that I loved to talk to people, to make a connection with people, and to help people. I think this is where I learned how much enjoyment I got from working in the service industry and helping others.
2. What’s your proudest moment as a trial lawyer?
My proudest moment was also very humbling. I was representing a young man who had been accused of a crime. And through multiple meetings with him and his family, we finally worked out a deal, that allowed him to keep it off his permanent record. At the end his mom stopped me, and told me that his little sister wanted to talk to me. She was 12 and had decided that she wanted to dress up as me for Halloween and go to law school, because she wanted to be able to help other people’s families, the way that I had helped hers. This was especially important to me, because I had not truly understood that when one person is charged with a crime, the whole family goes through the process with them, that they experience the stress, the nightmares, the fears, and uncertainty that the accused feels.
3. I attribute my success to….
I attribute my success to my fantastic support system! My husband and my son have been through seven years of schooling right along with me. Every late night study hall, every missed meal without complaints, every time my husband did laundry or dishes because I did not have time, I would not be here without them.
4. What is your most notable verdict or settlement?
My most notable verdict was a Not Guilty verdict! I had a young man who was found in possession of a stolen car. And I got the jury to understand by looking at his behavior, that he did not know the car was stolen. He took it to work, took his girl to get her nails done, took a nap in the car, and was going 20 miles over the speed limit on a six lane highway, when he was stopped. I compared it to a young child with a cookie. Is he skipping down the hallway, or hiding his hands behind his back as he shuffles down the hallway. The end result is the same a little boy with a cookie, but behavior tells the story. The reason this is my most notable verdict, is because I got the all-white jury to look past the fact that he was a young black man with a stolen car, and see him as a whole person.
5. What is your fantasy job?
I love what I do, because I get to help people. My fantasy job would allow me to help more people. I want to be a judge one day.
6. What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is sweets. I love cake, cookies, donuts, and candy bars.
7. What do you like to do in your time off?
I spend time with my husband and my son. Family time is very important to me, so I make it a priority. Even if it is just playing Minecraft or watching a movie, so long as we do it as a family.
8. What’s your favorite hobby?
I love photography! I have photos everywhere in my house.
9. What’s one word that describes you?
Determined! I am very determined, in fact if someone tells me I can’t do something, I will go out of my way to prove them wrong.
10. What keeps you awake at night?
Sometimes an innocent person can spend more time in jail waiting to get to a trial to clear his/her name, then a guilty person who takes a plea and gets mostly a probated sentence.
11. What newspaper do you generally read daily?
I don’t read newspapers. Too political.
12. What advice would you give a young attorney?
If you practice criminal law, do not judge a person by a split second decision, because you were not there. Secondly be kind and patient because you are meeting that person at the worst time in their life and the amount of stress and fear that he/she may be living through is more than most can imagine.
13. How do you relax?
A bubble bath and a glass of wine!
14. What’s your most embarrassing moment in life?
I had my very own “Legally Blonde” moment. First day of law school, first class, first five minutes. Professor says, “Mrs. Baker, in Pennoyer v. Neff 95 U.S. 714(1878), who is the plaintiff?”
I think about it, it’s always plaintiff vs. defendant, so I say “Pennoyer”.
Professor says “Actually… it’s anybody… BUT Pennoyer.”
But years later, I am still practicing law, and still laughing at this rookie mistake.