I have always been interested in helping families. I have a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and the master’s program, I worked as the director of an inpatient eating disorders clinic. I observed family dynamic, both supportive or struggling, and found the work very satisfying. I learned a lot about dealing with stressful situations, mental illness and grief.  While at the hospital, I also put together training manuals for new staff members, ran the family support groups and did community outreach. When the program went from allowing patients to stay for 30 days to being re-evaluated almost every day, I saw the benefits of the work decline and decided to go to law school. After I graduated from law school, my brother and sister-in-law had twin girls; one with Down Syndrome and one who is neurotypical—that shaped my next career steps.

My firm tagline is: Helping you through life’s stages. I think that best sums up what we do every day. I explain that our goal is do our best to make sure things are set up in a way that “when the bad thing happens” the plans will work. Some clients see us as helping them navigate the public benefit systems; other clients know us for setting up the estate planning documents to secure their family’s future. Mostly, I tell people I am a counselor—sometimes that results in legal documents and sometimes in providing advice and resources.

Special needs law is a wonderful practice area. The other professionals we have the privilege of working with every day are team players—I have never felt that I am in “competition” with my fellow special needs attorneys in my community. We work together, we support each other and we learn from each other. It is a rare attorney who has the honor of being hugged by clients on a regular basis and receiving home baked goods—but as special needs attorneys this happens all the time! Helping families with very difficult situations is incredibly rewarding. I feel so humbled in the presence of my clients. It is definitely an area of practice where you can do well by doing well for others.

I love to be outside. Anything I can do, from hiking, running, biking, gardening, or reading a book, as long as its outside, makes me happy!

The movie Up! My dog, Dug, is named after the talking dog in the movie. It is a love story, an adventure story, a story about following your dreams and making new friends. I am not much for animation, but this one is my #1!