I have a brother in prison. The process of his case moving through the legal system had a detrimental effect on my family, and it did not have to be that way. As a family, we were confused because we did not understand the process and the attorneys were brash and brutal as we faced losing my brother for a long period of time. Unfortunately, my family’s story is not unique, but it is something that I will never forget. That experience left an indelible print on how I practice law and why I will always be committed to serving others.
Nine years later, I am an attorney. I practice primarily “love’s tragic side effects” – family law, including divorce and custody matters. I think of my practice as “A different kind of practice – legal guidance with integrity.” My team prides ourselves on being committed, focused, and principled. We are committed to working with our clients to achieve their desired goal. We are focused on a doing a few things and doing them well. And we are principled – we are a firm that acts with integrity in all that we do.
I like these principles; I created them. I like that we stand for something. We have a somewhat unique business model. I like our slogan – “Choices change lives. Choose wisely.” I like many aspects about small firm life, but that is not what drives me.
I went to law school because I wanted to “help” people. I did not know quite what that meant. My experience with the law was limited to what I saw family members endure and what I saw on television. In that vein, being a public defender or a defense attorney seemed to be a noble profession. A criminal record could have disastrous effects on your career and financial future. Then, while studying for the bar exam, I worked at a firm that practiced both criminal and family law. That experience permanently shifted my perspective. If your family is in disarray, how could you possible focus on anything else? I truly enjoy what I do; I advocate for parents one case at a time. While I have a fulfilling legal career, I believe attorneys can use our talents to provide for our families as well as our communities.
The Arizona Black Bar has accomplished many feats in the past and I would like to continue to strive for excellence by returning to the fundamentals – we are here to serve.
I serve in several organizations in various capacities, but one of my more recent opportunities is being the 2019 president of the Arizona Black Bar. To me, we have an opportunity to take “helping” people to a whole new level. Attorneys are talented individuals with a breadth of knowledge that spans a multitude of areas. What better way to get tapped into a community than to use our talents to help others? The Arizona Black Bar has accomplished many feats in the past and I would like to continue to strive for excellence by returning to the fundamentals – we are here to serve.
The Arizona Black Bar should be a resource for people who need help. People who are seeking access to justice. People who are seeking to be educated in a nuanced area of law. For people who need answers, the Arizona Black Bar should at least be able to point them in the direction of talented professionals who have answers.
One of the things that the Arizona Black Bar has done well over the years is their annual scholarship gala. The president-elect is responsible for this event, and as immediate past president-elect, I am particularly proud of the 2018 scholarship dinner. It was a successful event where we raised more funds than we had in previous years.
While that was a good accomplishment, I am looking forward to something far better. I am looking forward to a time where the Arizona Black Bar is known as a resource for those in need for legal guidance with integrity. Perhaps we will be able to refer a family in need of legal assistance to a law firm that is committed, focused, and principled.
If I can serve my tenure as Arizona Black Bar president in a manner that facilitates other families having a resource that results in the legal process having a less disastrous aftermath, that will be an accomplishment that I will be proud of.
Nine years ago, my brother went to prison, and the legal process had a catastrophic effect on my family. If I can serve my tenure as Arizona Black Bar president in a manner that facilitates other families having a resource that results in the legal process having a less disastrous aftermath, that will be an accomplishment that I will be proud of. Kina Harding