It is impossible to pinpoint just one woman who has influenced my career. In the nine years since I was admitted as a member to the Florida Bar, I have had the privilege to not only work with some amazing women but also call them each a friend. These women have not only taught me about the law but also about life. Most of all, they have taught me how to be a better lawyer, mother, wife and friend. Two in particular, however, have stood out.
Shortly after passing the Florida bar in 2003, I was working as an attorney at a large Fort Lauderdale law firm. In 2004, I was assigned to work with a new partner at the firm. This woman was smart, aggressive, direct, honest and most of all passionate. As a young lawyer, I was absolutely terrified and intimidated by her. I spent hours deliberating over the minutiae of any assignment from her. I constantly sought her approval and validation. I watched her every move in an attempt to soak in as much of her experience and knowledge as I could. As a result, this incredible woman taught me how to critically think as a lawyer and helped me find my courage and voice in a courtroom. She provided me a role model of a strong and independent woman. Even though we haven’t worked together in six years, I still consider her a mentor. But above all, I call her a friend.
In 2007, my career took me to a small boutique insurance defense practice in Davie, Florida. It was here that I met Barbra Wohrle. At the time I met Barbra, her sons were 3 years old and 14 months old, and she had lost her husband the year prior to his 8 year battle with brain cancer. Yet, I cannot recall a time when Barbra came to the office without a smile and a positive attitude. I have never heard her complain that she is tired, stressed or overwhelmed. She is not only a bright and talented trial attorney, but an amazing mother (and father) to her two boys. In her “spare” time, Barbra runs marathons and the Greg Wohrle Foundation, a charity she founded in 2006 which raises money for brain tumor research. She is a single mom literally doing it all and she is one of the strongest and most fearless women I know. In 2011, I became a mother. One of the greatest challenges I have faced as a working mother is trying to do both of my “jobs” as well as the other. I have struggled with finding the time to excel at my legal practice and finding the time to spend with my son. However, watching Barbra single-handedly juggle every element of her life, I have learned that it is possible to strike the balance required to excel in all facets of my life. Her strength and perseverance throughout the obstacles she’s faced have taught me it is not only possible to simultaneously be a great lawyer and mother, but to do so with a smile and a positive attitude.
These are just a couple of the incredible women I have come across in my 9 years of legal practice. I look forward to who the next 9 years of my practice will bring me.