What woman inspires you and why?
I was fortunate enough to have been mentored for decades by Betty Thompson (now deceased), one of Virginia’s first female attorneys and a pioneer in divorce law. She took me under her wing when I was first starting out and I was inspired by her intelligence and persistence. Betty fearlessly advocated for her clients—and for what she believed in. Despite working in what was an exclusively male field at the time, she achieved great success and was elected to many leadership positions. As an attorney, I have always aspired to mirror that competence, concern for clients and her professionalism.
What advice would you offer to women who are just starting out?
Balancing family and a career can be challenging. If you decide to stay home while your children are young, do something creative with your time, volunteer in your field, seek higher education and be prepared to come back to a career outside the home. You never know when you will be solely responsible for yourself and your family.