“I’m motivated to be a consumer lawyer because of the impact I can have on real people’s lives — getting them more time to pay a debt, having an error removed from their credit report, or giving them the opportunity to stay in their home. It’s stopping the domino effect — when you can give someone a second chance, particularly with low income or minority populations that rarely get second chances, you can really make a difference.
I always knew I would not pursue a traditional legal path. I started in nonprofits, then moved to legal aid where I practiced housing law at the height of the mortgage meltdown. It was a difficult time and nobody knew how to meet the needs of our clients. I learned from the likes of Len Bennett and Jay Speer, both of whom helped train me on litigating affirmative cases and using federal protection statues to help people affected by the crisis. That was the ultimate leveling of playing fields. Len and Jay taught me the tools and strategies to take on the mortgage companies and large credit bureaus, and I have been hooked ever since.
Thankfully the dedicated public servants at NCLC have been there to help, too. I greatly admire the rock stars who are subject matter gurus. Their work gets me into the weeds and helps me advocate for those without a voice. We have shared values and beliefs and that assist me in doing my work. And I need that help, trust me — we all do!
I am a huge legal aid groupie because I deeply admire the good work that they do and know it is often a thankless job. Few other professions have such a large, long lasting impact on people. Even now, while in private practice, I still do lots of pro bono work. I know how lucky I am to be able to practice consumer law and earn a living doing so. I get to go to work, ready to do battle, learn from my mistakes and try to make a positive difference in people’s lives.”