My mother’s family moved to the United States from the Soviet Union when she was a young girl.
My parents never had any money and lived in a two-bedroom apartment with a small dog.
She would pick me up at school and bring me to her apartment in the basement.
I remember sitting on the couch while she opened the door and going, “Where is my clothes?”
I remember her asking me, “Are you sure you want to be an outlaw?”
The answer was, “Yes!”
My mother took me to the local bar, a popular hangout for outlaws.
I never felt safe walking alone.
I always felt like an outcast.
She was my mother, and I was her outcast, a girl who was a little too scared to be herself.
When I got older, I started attending school, and eventually I went to a law school.
I began to take classes in criminal law.
I would walk into classes and look around, like, Oh, I can’t believe I’m here.
I was just a kid, and they thought I was crazy, and so I decided to take a chance.
I wanted to go out and be a law student and to try and make a living, and then to become an outlander.
I started out in the bar, but when I went out on the street, I would get pulled over, and my driver would say, “You need to be careful,” and I would say to myself, “I’m just going to have to be a lawyer.”
It was a big change for me.
I had a tough childhood.
I don’t remember much, but I remember being bullied in school and being teased by other kids.
When my mother passed away, I decided I was going to become a lawyer.
My father would say things like, “Don’t do anything stupid, you don’t have to go to law school.”
I knew that I had to go into the bar.
When people would come into the restaurant and they were wearing jackets, they would take off their jackets, and there would be no jackets on at all.
So, when I walked in the door, I was like, I’m going to be the only one in the restaurant with no jackets.
So I started to dress like a lawyer and I started wearing a hoodie.
I wore a suit to school and to work.
I didn’t know it at the time, but at that time, I thought that was really cool.
I just did it because I wanted a change.
That was my first real change, to be out of the shadows.
I went on to graduate from law school and was in the National Association of Attorneys General.
It was in 1995, and the first time I went through a legal conference, I got a phone call from a lawyer at the National Bar Association.
I looked at the attorney and I said, “Hey, I know what I want to do.
I want a job at the bar.”
I think I went into the business because I was tired of the stigma and because I thought I could be a real voice for the marginalized, for the people who weren’t represented.
I’m the only black woman in a bar and I’m wearing a suit, and a lot of people think, “Oh, she’s just a lawyer, she has no experience.
She’s just doing it because she has to.”
And I think they missed that.
I still think that.
It’s very important that I am represented, that I have the same opportunities that I was able to have growing up.
It took a lot longer for me to get my first job, but the experience I had working as a lawyer helped me when I started my own law firm.
As a lawyer in the field, I learned how to be effective in the courtroom, and how to do my job with dignity and respect.
I learned to work in a team environment, and that was my goal in becoming a lawyer as well.
As you go through your career, what are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
First of all, learn to be honest.
You’re going to get a lot better, I promise you that.
The second thing is to always have a plan.
If you have an idea that you’re going after, always have an agenda.
If I’m a lawyer who has an idea, I always go after it, because I want it.
The third thing is not to go against what your employer tells you to do, because you know you’re not going to work on their behalf.
My experience as a prosecutor, a judge, and an appellate lawyer has taught me that if you’re told to go after something, you go after that.
And you know what, the better the evidence, the more you’re likely to go for it.
There are a lot more things to be learned from experience, but in the end, you have to keep trying, and keep doing what you want. My advice