Tell us about your practice.
I advise employers on various labor and employment matters. I draft, review, and/or update company policies, employment agreements, or other contracts to ensure compliance with laws governing workplace safety, union activity, equal employment opportunity, family and medical leave, disabilities, and layoffs. I regularly publish articles providing employers with guidance on emerging issues. And I represent employers in employment-related disputes, including claims of discrimination, wrongful discharge, wage and hour violations, and FMLA violations.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
My story is a bit unusual and marked by what I will call "serendipity." I never intended to pursue law. After undergrad, I worked for a short stint as a licensed financial planner. I loved counseling clients, but I knew I wanted to continue my education. I thought initially that I would attend business school for an M.B.A. I always considered myself a businessperson first anyway. I love math and constantly analyze numbers. However, I missed the testing deadline and did not want to pay additional fees to take the GMAT, so I looked into the LSAT. The LSAT was cheaper (thinking in terms of numbers again!), and I could still get an M.B.A. through a joint degree, which I thought might be better anyway. Well, needless to say, the rest is history. I took the LSAT, applied to Wake Forest, and matriculated there shortly thereafter. After my first semester, I realized that a J.D. was enough for me. The law degree enabled me to continue my passion advising and counseling clients in ways that I had never imagined. Life is funny like that sometimes.
How did your experience clerking for a federal judge prepare you for practicing law?
Clerking for a federal judge was one of the best decisions of my life. I was fortunate to work for a judge who was interested in making me a better lawyer. He took the time to teach me the "nuts and bolts" of the court system so that I would not only have knowledge but understanding. He taught me about trial strategy. He taught me how to distinguish the essential from the non-essential. And most importantly, he crafted and refined my legal writing. These are all skills that I rely on today.