Cadence Bank, NA
17 North 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
(205)327-3485 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Abigail graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama School of Law in 2004. She is a Media Fellows Honors Program graduate from DePauw University in Indiana where she received a B.A. degree in Arts, English writing. Abigail is Corporate Counsel for Cadence Bank where she specializes in Banking and Financial Services and is In-House Counsel. She is also admitted in the state of Florida.
At DePauw, Abigail was president of Society of Professional Journalists and editor of the student newspaper, The DePauw. During her years at the University of Alabama School of Law, she was Junior Editor for Law and Psychology Review, in the Order of the Barristers, a Blackburn Institute Fellow, on the Public Interest Institute Student Board, recipient of the Dean’s Community Service Award, an academic honor society graduate (Alpha Epsilon Lambda), Bench & Bar Legal Honor Society member, involved in the Campbell Moot Court Competition, and a member of the National Moot Court Team. Abigail was Associate Producer/Medical Producer for WIAT CBS 42 in Birmingham where she developed, wrote and produced 42 medical stories each week as well as produced packages and wrote scripts for the 5:00 and 10:00 newscasts. She became a news anchor/reporter in 1999 in Louisiana where she produced and anchored three weekend newscasts and developed, wrote and edited daily news packages for weeknight broadcasts. Upon graduation from law school, Abigail worked as an Associate for Lloyd, Gray & Whitehead, PC and became a Legal Career Counselor and an Adjunct Professor at The University of Alabama School of Law where she developed a curriculum for Communications Law and covered topics from the First Amendment to FCC regulations and practical applications. Before working at Cadence Bank, Abigail was an Associate for Taylor Ritter PC in Birmingham. She is a member of the American Bar Association’s Business Section and the Alabama State Bar’s and the Birmingham Bar Association’s Women’s Sections.
Her community service includes being a M.O.R.E. Program Volunteer, Alabama Radio Reading Service Volunteer, Member and Membership Committee Chair of the Birmingham Track Club, and various positions with the Junior League of Birmingham including Provisional Chairperson, Teen Court, Fund Development Council, Communications Council, Between the Lines editor, Corps of Volunteers, and a member of the committee which evaluated grant recipients’ use of funds.
The attorney, a Leadership Forum graduate, who recommended Abigail says, “I have known Abigail for eight years. She and I worked together at Lloyd, Gray & Whitehead. In addition, she and I are both Blackburn Fellows with The University of Alabama. She has demonstrated leadership in every organization of which she has become a member. She is passionate about her community. Abigail will benefit from the Leadership Forum as all participants who are fortunate to participate in the Leadership Forum benefit. She will develop connections with other ethical leaders within the state. Through the connections, the network of ethical leaders strengthens. Further, as a former member of the media, Abigail has an acute awareness of how to communicate with others. She is able to convey her opinions directly and at the same time use her journalist’s ear to listen to the issues. I know she will participate and contribute to the group discussions.”
In her own words, Abigail says, “Perseverance. I never wanted to be a lawyer. I never wanted to attend a college in Alabama. I never wanted to live in the State of Alabama. Now I am a lawyer in two states, a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law, and in love with Birmingham. Why does this make me a valid candidate for the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum? Because I am a convert and converts are known to be zealots. My first love is journalism and it was also my first career. I went to law school to become a better reporter. When a crisis hits, the first wave of people to speak to the reporters are lawyers. I reasoned if I were a lawyer, too, I could bypass the first layer of double talk and get to the heart of the matter. As law school progressed, I learned to appreciate the many similarities between preparing a story for publication on air and preparing a case for trial. I also appreciated the weight that comes from a subpoena and the power to make a definitive difference in someone’s life. I love journalism because I believe an educated electorate makes for a better country. I believe people will usually do the right thing, but that being watched helps ensure the correct outcome. I love the law, because the impact to be made is more immediate, more personal, and, ironically, more widespread. Lawyers change the laws. Lawyers change behaviors. Lawyers change people’s lives. I believe lawyers, like journalists, wield a great deal of power. I believe power should be wielded for the greater good. I believe lawyers have a duty to use their knowledge and skills to benefit the communities in which they live. While I fought against being a practicing attorney, I now appreciate the advantages of being one. Likewise, while I fought against living in Alabama, I have come to realize our state has assets, opportunities, and character all of its own. Alabama has an enormous amount of potential and could achieve so much more. I can contribute here. I can make a positive difference for this state and the future generations. I can help make Alabama a state that is respected rather than a punch line. I have taken it upon myself to be an Ambassador for the state. In 2010, when the American Bar Association Young Lawyers’ Division held their fall conference in Birmingham, I tracked down the organizers and ended up heading a subcommittee. I was compelled to participate because I wanted people from across the country to know Alabama’s assets and not just its history and reputation. I feel to ultimately accomplish substantial change in this state, it will come from the lawyers. I should be part of the Alabama State Bar Leadership Forum because I will proactively use the skills and relationships acquired therein to benefit this state. I am passionate about and dedicated to making my corner of the world a better place. Perspective. Between my time as a journalist and my experience working at the Walt Disney World MGM Studios as a front line employee, I have had the opportunity to be among and observe a wide range of people. The experiences taught me to see the world from another point of view. They taught me that most people appreciate and respond to a simple apology and a simple solution. A common sense approach to a complicated issue often eliminates the basis for litigation. Most people just want the situation to be made better – no overriding principle to be proved – just for things to be set right. As an attorney practicing insurance defense, my clients for the most part were small business owners. I made it my mission to understand the process from their perspective and help them understand the lay of the legal landscape. The legal system is far from perfect. The experience can be terrifying, overwhelming, and frustrating for any participant, but particularly for a defendant who feels the lawsuit is personal and impugns his or her reputation as a business owner and a member of the community. I tried to give my clients a simple solution to and an understanding of the situation at hand. I believe the less threatened people feel, the more reasonable they become. The goal for all lawyers is to reach an answer or solve a problem, but some lawyers lose focus and become distracted by the law rather than by a solution. As lawyering is my second career, I have never lost sight of this fact. Passion. I have been called a cynical optimist and I believe this to be an eloquent and accurate description. Some people may think I am negative, but in reality, I see problems and potential solutions. I am not afraid to point out what I think is wrong, but I will always provide a solution to make it right. I know we as a state can do better. I know we can use and change the laws to make things better. I know that every little bit makes a difference. I know that we as lawyers can better represent our profession and use our training and skills to benefit others. I have been an active volunteer in the Birmingham area since I was thirteen. I started my service at Discovery Place. I have since been involved with Better Basics, the Alabama Radio Reading Service, and the Junior League of Birmingham. I give of my time to ensure we continue working toward solutions. I may not be able to solve the state’s budget woes single-handedly, but I can help improve a fourth grader’s reading skills or put a wayward teen on a better path or make a reading impaired person’s day better. All of these steps are simple solutions. If every individual took a small amount of time to help out another, many problems would be eradicated without complex funding or legal concerns. I cannot control how the world behaves, but I can make my corner a little bit better. I hope my contribution will cause an improvement and inspire others to do the same. Power. As a practicing lawyer, I realize I have power many others do not. I know the rules. I know how to use them to my advantage. I have the means to change the system, whatever that system may be. I hope to gain from the Leadership Forum a further understanding of how to use that power to benefit others. I hope to have the opportunity to build relationships with other attorneys who view the profession as a means to empower others rather than to profit from others’ troubles. I hope to gain the ability to inspire other lawyers to love and respect their own professions and realize the good they can accomplish thorough the power they have.”