EducationUniversity of Southern Calfornia, B.A., International Relations, 2004
Loyola Law School, J.D., 2007
Trial work has been my passion since I was a young teenager on the Oxnard High School mock trial team. I attended USC as an undergraduate and studied at Aberysthwyth in Wales. During law school at Loyola, I was on the Byrne Team and after winning the National Trial Advocacy Competition I was asked to come work for one of the top civil trial law firms in the country. I quickly learned that in order to truly get jury trial experience I would have to leave that very prestigious law firm. Against the advice of pretty much everybody, I left and never looked back. Slowly but surely, I built my own practice and reputation and have had the honor of litigating and trying cases all across the country.
I have represented many people who have been wrongfully or over zealously accused of crimes but my primary focus has been on helping injury victims and families overcome the hurdles of exercising their fundamental rights to the jury trial method of achieving justice in cases of discrimination, medical malpractice, brain injury, wrongful death, and catastrophic injuries. All the cases I have civilly prosecuted, to the tune of many hundreds of millions of dollars in victories, have involved insurance companies or governmental entities who have pools of money reserved and set aside to pay out on claims. In other words, I have never taken a penny from an individual civil defendant.
I teach and speak across the country to help preserve and develop the jury trial method. I have practiced and taught at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College in Dubois, Wyoming, where I met my husband, Nicholas Rowley. Nick and I have worked as a trial team for over a decade.
I am a mother, avid reader, traveler/explorer, and yogi. There is nothing I love more than discovering new places and being outside connected to nature. Currently, I have two toddlers so I also eat a lot of vitamins and have a new ability to nap in the most absurd places. We live between Ojai, California and Decorah, Iowa. Together with Nick we have ten kids, ranging in age from naked baby to junior high schooler to college student to adult. Our eldest is currently serving as a combat corpsman in the United States Navy assigned to a Marine Corps unit, following the footsteps of his father who served in the US Air Force and Army.
I stand with many women and those who have come before us. The struggles, determination, creativity and enduring courage of women have made it possible for me to be where I am today and do what it is I seek to pull us further and inspire others. My gratitude grows the older I get. But for the most part, I have worked in a world consisting mostly of men being in charge, under their rules in their systems. I have grown up in a world that does not truly respect and honor women as equals. I have smiled in the face of discrimination more times than I could ever count and bent and shaped myself to be accepted and fit the expectations of these systems more than I wanted to admit, especially to myself.
As a woman, I have run the gamut of trying to balance life, from trying cases pregnant to being too overwhelmed and exhausted to care about practicing law. I am constantly recalibrating myself, redesigning what time and energy means for me and the ones I love. I still sometimes feel that I am just getting started.
Throughout my career, I would have loved to have had a guide, a mentor, someone I could trust, who could tell me how to traverse the terra incognita of being a female in a male dominated profession. I was so blessed to meet my best friend and law partner, Theresa Hatch. Together, we prop one another up and have been cheering and picking each other up for almost a decade. We hope that this book can be a guide for you, whether you are a woman or a man in the legal profession, or any profession, who is looking for some support and encouragement as you navigate the modern world.
There is a lot of power in knowing we are not alone. There are a lot of powerful, sometimes hilarious, stories in this book from creative, awake, courageous women. We have been sitting down and sharing meals with women and men who are excited and engaged in breaking away from the exclusion and subjugation of the past.
We certainly don’t have all of the answers, but we are working very hard and are ready to shift the narrative. Together, we certainly can, I know it!
University of Southern Calfornia, B.A., International Relations, 2004
Loyola Law School, J.D., 2007