Occupation: Managing attorney at LawyerLisa
Family: Two sisters in Greenville; two dogs, Pearl and Bella
Education: Bethany College (Bethany, W.Va.) B.A. political science summa cum laude; USC Law J.D.
Community and professional highlights: Member, S.C. Women Lawyers Association; member and president-elect, Palmetto Land Title Association; social media chairwoman, Rotary Club of Five Points; board, Cooperative Ministries; Leadership Columbia 2010; Leadership Lexington in 2012; NAMI Walk supporter; special assistant attorney general serving the Criminal Domestic Violence Pro Bono Prosecution Program to prosecute domestic violence offenders.
In my own words: So many people just go through life, checking the box and moving forward. Try to live with purpose and intention. If something isn’t going well, make a change. Don’t just check the boxes. Find something you love, go places, see people, grow your mind and enjoy the moment you are in right now.
My life changed when: I realized I was in control of it. I realized at a pretty young age that if I wanted anything in life, I would need to go after it. Good things don’t get handed down, you have to be ambitious, hard-working, and most of all, you have to have a plan to get what you want. I have always used difficult times in my life as motivation.
What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was 12 years old, I decided I wanted to be a lawyer. Once I knew what I wanted to do, I pursued it with every choice I made. I never had another plan. I just knew what I wanted and did everything I could to achieve it. When determination and passion come together, it’s an unstoppable combination. The best people in any field have a passion for what they do. I also think it makes me a better lawyer because I really love my work.
You left the security of a large law firm to branch out on your own. What drove that decision? And what kind of firm have you created? I learned and grew so much while working at my prior firm. I give credit to the many mentors I had along the way. I learned so much that I felt confident I could effectively run a law firm of my own. Starting my own firm wasn’t always the plan, but the timing and circumstances were right, so I seized the opportunity. I am so glad I did. I have been able to create a firm that is unlike many of the traditional law firms in South Carolina. From the firm name, “LawyerLisa,” to the atmosphere we create for our clients, this is a firm where clients aren’t intimidated. When our clients feel good about the legal experience, they are more likely to ask questions that allow us to provide them better service, they are more likely to deal with issues that they may be avoiding, and we can be more effective when helping them.
You volunteer with various organizations, including the Cinderella Project to provide prom dresses to girls who need them. Why is it important to help them have that prom experience where they can feel special and confident? It is important for young women to develop self-confidence. Certain experiences in life will shape who a person becomes. Our goal with the Cinderella Project is to provide high school girls with prom dresses, shoes and jewelry so they can participate in this important milestone in their lives. I don’t want their family’s economic situation to affect them because they can’t afford to buy a dress for prom. Last year, we helped over 400 girls in the Midlands find dresses and the gratitude they expressed was worth more than they could have ever paid.