Our #MoreThanALawyer campaign highlights all the ways Alabama’s attorneys impact lives within and outside of their profession. Alabama’s lawyers are parents, service members, volunteers, mentors, coaches, musicians and committed advocates. In all of these roles, they make a difference in their community. Each Friday, we share a #MoreThanALawyer story on the Alabama State Bar’s
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Scroll down to see a collection of all the stories!
Do you know an Alabama lawyer with a great story to share? Click the Nominate button above to submit a nomination! Entries must include the nominee’s name, contact information and a short description of why you feel this person should be featured on our #MoreThanALawyer campaign!
Amber James - Sept. 6, 2019
Today's #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Attorney Amber James of New Beginnings Family Law, P.C. in Huntsville. Her story is a good reminder that with the demands of being a parent and a lawyer, we should always extend grace to ourselves and be willing to accept help from others!
"One of my greatest joys is being a parent. I went back to law school when the tall young man in this photo was almost two years old. I worked during the day and went to law school at night. While I was in law school, his dad and I divorced. Then, I was a single parent of a toddler, worked during the day, and went to law school at night. My son Nick and I graduated within about a week of each other. Nick graduated from Pre-K at St. Paul¹s Lutheran Church, and I graduated 9th in my class from Birmingham School of Law. I forgot to mention that I also remarried and had a baby girl during my last semesters in law school. Ultimately, I took the bar exam and hung my shingle.
When Nick was in third grade, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder. Originally, we were told all the things he would not be able to do. We were told he would probably have to be home-schooled and most likely would never go to college or be able to live independently. We never let Nick feel sorry for himself or label himself as disabled. Nick was and remains differently-abled. Nick flourished in theatre, performed in the marching band at James Clemens High School, received AP college credit for English Literature, and was accepted to Belmont University where he is currently studying Religion and Biblical Languages in order to prepare to become a pastor. Being a parent and a lawyer has not always been easy. It's hard to find a balance between what is expected of you as a trial lawyer and what your family needs from you, but God blessed us with helping hands and an amazing team. That's my #MoreThanALawyer story."
Jerome Thompson - Oct. 18, 2019
Today’s #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Attorney Jerome Thompson of Thompson and Associates, Attorneys at Law in Moulton. He served as the International Director of Lions Clubs International from 2015-2017. Here is his story:
"Upon graduating from The University of Alabama School of Law, I returned to Lawrence County, Alabama, where my family roots ran deep. In fact, my great-grandmother, who was traveling, what is now known as the “Trail of Tears” met my great-grandfather, married and raised a family. Returning home was important to me. The opportunity to help my fellow citizens not only by providing quality legal services, but also, by improving the quality of life for everyone weighed heavy upon my mind.
Shortly after opening my one-man law firm, I was approached by civic-minded community leaders, who provided me an opportunity to serve others through LIONS Clubs International. Over the past 30 years, through my membership with the Moulton Lions Club, I have had the opportunity to impact the lives of others. Countless individuals have been provided eye exams and eyeglasses. Hundreds of Diabetic Children have had the opportunity to attend Camp Seal Harris. Literacy has improved through our support of the Lawrence County Public Library Summer Reading Program.
Having been recognized as a leader among the Lions of Alabama, I had the opportunity to serve on the International Board of Directors, 2015-17. Most recently, I have led a team of Lions who promotes expanding service through engaging more volunteers and expanding leadership opportunities in the United States. In this role, I have the opportunity to train and inspire Lion leaders to do more. “Where there is a need, there is a Lion” is more than a slogan. It is a way of life.
While the legal profession is most worthy, our highest calling is to improve the lives of those around us.
Lawyers have a duty to give back to the community through engaging in service organizations."
Bob Methvin, Jr. - Aug. 30, 2019
Every day, lives are changed when our most vulnerable citizens gain access to the legal system. For today’s #MoreThanALawyer story, we highlight Alabama’s attorneys who tap into their skill set and donate their services and time. In this photo, Bob Methvin, Alabama State Bar President-Elect, is helping a client at the Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham Program. As a former member of the Board, Bob is committed to its mission of providing free legal representation to those in need.
Arthur Acosta - Sept. 27, 2019
Today's #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Attorney Arthur Acosta in Wetumpka.
“My wife, Dawn, and I have been foster/adoptive parents for almost nine years through Alabama DHR. We have been foster parents to over 20 children. I live in and practice civil law in Wetumpka. This picture is of me, my wife, two adult daughters, and four adopted children. We share in hopes of inspiring other families to do the same. It is partly the reason why I went back to law school at 43 years old. We wanted to be an advocate for these little ones. I remember during my 2nd year in law school studying for finals, and we had 13 kids in the home. Looking back I don't see how we did it! That is my #MoreThanALawyer story.”
Ashley Marshall - Oct. 4, 2019
Today's #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Attorney Ashley Cranford Marshall of Cranford Marshall Legal, LLC in Enterprise! Here is her story:
"In addition to being an attorney, I am also the spouse of an Active Duty Air Force pilot. I not only practice law, but I also advocate to make the lives of military families better. I am part of an organization called the Military Spouse JD Network, who supports attorneys who happen to be military spouses.
I have also served as President of the Barksdale Officers’ Spouses’ Club-- a 125 person organization who raises money for charities that support military families, including giving scholarships to military dependents for college. I have also formed a network of military spouse organizations all across the world so that we can communicate and share ideas on ways to support military families. My husband, some close friends, and I started an organization to send care packages to troops stationed in obscure areas who often don’t receive much support.
Although being an attorney and a military spouse has not been the easiest of journeys, the combination has made my life better. Not only do I get to advocate for my clients, I also get to support our country by making the lives of active duty soldiers and their families better."
Jacy Carpenter - Sept. 13, 2019
Today, we feature Associate Attorney Jacy Carpenter with the Law Offices of Gregory Varner.
"For the last seven years, I've worked as an enlisted paralegal for the Air National Guard. Outside of drill weekends and annual tours, I enjoy working the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program, which connects National Guard/Reserve members and their families with local community resources before, during and after deployments. I was awarded The Air Force Achievement Medal earlier this year, and on Aug. 15, I earned the Distinguished Graduate Award from The Air Force Judge Advocate General's School, after graduating in the top 10% of my class from the 8-week Paralegal Craftsman Course."
Cliff Mendheim - Aug. 23, 2019
Today, our #MoreThanALawyer story features Attorney and ASB Bar Commissioner Cliff Mendheim of Prim & Mendheim LLC in Dothan (pictured top left). He coaches his daughter’s softball team, the Dixie Softball Ponytails All-Star Team, which went on to win the Dixie Softball World Series in Hopkins County, Texas earlier this summer!
Tremele Perry - Sept. 20, 2019
This Friday, our #MoreThanALawyer story features Birmingham attorney Tremele Perry of Perry Law.
“I was born in Montgomery and graduated from Sidney Lanier High School, but my family relocated for a portion of my childhood to the Black Belt region of Alabama, an area containing some of the most impoverished counties in the United States. To this day, I credit my development of character to the unique experience of growing up in the small town of Yantley, Alabama. Although the town had no cell phone signal and the nearest grocery store or source of entertainment meant crossing the state line into Mississippi – its residents had a sense of community and pride.
Now that I am a lawyer, I created the Perry Law Scholarship for high school seniors at Sidney Lanier High and Choctaw County High to help with college, and I frequently participate in speaking engagements to share my experiences with youth in both the inner-city and rural communities throughout Alabama. I wholehearted believe in pouring back into the community. We should not only commit to improving the lives of those in need of our professional services, but also improving the lives of our youth in neighboring communities through awareness.
My most important job, however is husband and dad. While only one of my sons is pictured here, my wife and I have two awesome young boys. I enjoy coaching my son’s t-ball team as well as a community flag football team.”
Nikki Tinker - Oct. 11, 2019
Today’s #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Nikki Tinker, Senior Contracts Analyst for Alabama Power and Gadsden Municipal Court Judge. Judge Tinker recently held a mock trial for 200 middle school students in Gadsden in an effort to teach them more about court proceedings and the legal profession. Here is her story:
"I wanted to simulate a typical court proceeding that would allow students to gain a basic understanding of the judicial system. I coordinated the program with the Gadsden City School system and worked with three middle schools in the area. One school served as the prosecutor’s office, another school represented the Defendant, and the third school served as the jury. Students were placed in the roles of prosecutors, defense attorneys, bailiffs, court clerks, stenographer, witnesses and jurors in a courtroom setting. They were required to have opening and closing arguments, present exhibits and cross examine witnesses.
The goal was not only to give them an inside look at some of the careers in law, but to also to make them aware of the fact that there are female and minority judges, and that they can become lawyers and judges also, if they work for it.
In addition, I wanted them not to be intimidated by the process, but to think about its purpose. For example, a shoplifting case results in criminal penalties that can remain on your record forever.
After their 35-minute deliberation, the jurors made their decision, without the influence of any adults. The jury ruled in the prosecution’s favor and they were awarded $500 and a pizza party.
I think the students came away with a better understanding of our court system, and I hope to graduate this project on to a larger scale, perhaps even a state-wide competition!”
Read a news article about the mock trial here: [https://bit.ly/35gEFcD]
Aaron Chastain - Oct. 25, 2019
Today’s #MoreThanALawyer feature is from Attorney Aaron Chastain, a partner at Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and Secretary of the Alabama State Bar's Young Lawyers' Section. Here is his story:
"My wife Kathryn and I had talked about being foster parents for years, even back when we were dating. We knew there was a huge need for foster parents, and we felt called to serve in that capacity. In the process, we were able to meet so many amazing people who made large sacrifices to care for children who were often going through some of the toughest experiences imaginable.
The experience of being a foster parent has its ups and downs, but I’m happy to say that it led to one of the greatest joys in our lives. Our oldest son was our very first foster placement; three years later, we adopted him, and now we can’t imagine life without him.
I have a constant reminder that I’m “more than a lawyer” – it’s my kids at home, biological, adopted, or in foster care, that call me “Dad,” “Daddy,” or “Mr. Aaron.” They don’t care much at all about what I’m doing at the office (or on my phone at other times); they just want my attention and love. That’s an enormous privilege and blessing, and I’m so glad I’m in a position to have it."