I was born in Decatur, Alabama and grew up in Trinity, Alabama, a small town directly west of Decatur. I attended college at the University of Alabama, where I was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa in December 2003 and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Classics in May 2004. Following college, I made Tuscaloosa my home for an additional 3 years while attending the University of Alabama School of Law. While in college and law school, I had the opportunity to work for a general civil litigation firm that also had a very strong family law practice. During my third year of law school I utilized my Third-Year Practice Card by participating in the newly-developed Domestic Violence Law Clinic. In the Clinic, twelve third-year students, under the supervision of three attorneys, represented victims of domestic violence at no cost. The majority of work done in the clinic centered on divorce, child custody, and child support. Though the clinic was only a semester-long class, I, along with almost every other student enrolled during the Fall semester, re-enrolled for the Spring semester. The commitment and willingness of almost every student to re-enroll, despite halfhearted bemoaning over the number of hours we actually spent in the Clinic versus the number of credit hours credit earned, speaks to the truth that the legal field really is one based on service and that great satisfaction can be earned by serving our community well. After graduating in May 2007, I was admitted to the Alabama State Bar in September 2007. In May 2008, I began working at Gardberg, Clausen, & Kemmerly, P.C. practicing predominately in the area of Social Security Disability. I was able to use the skills I developed in the Domestic Violence Law Clinic to better serve our Social Security Disability clients and my new community. In 2009, I was admitted to the Florida State Bar and to the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. I am also currently a member of the Mobile Bar Association.
Consider the following:
Comfort Level - Are you comfortable telling the lawyer personal information? Does the lawyer seem interested in solving your problem?
Credentials - How long has the lawyer been in practice? Has the lawyer worked on other cases similar to yours?
Cost - How are the lawyer's fees structured - hourly or flat fee? Can the lawyer estimate the cost of your case?
City - Is the lawyer's office conveniently located?
Here are a few to get you started:
It is always a good idea to research your lawyer prior to hiring. Every state has a disciplinary organization that monitors attorneys, their licenses, and consumer complaints. By researching lawyer discipline you can: