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EDUCATION: 2001--bachelor's degree from Mary Washington College; 2001-2004--law reader under the Virginia State Bar's Law Reader Program. On Nov. 1, 2004, I was admitted to the Virginia State Bar as counselor and attorney at law.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP? I grew up in the 1950s and '60s in an Italian immigrant family and was raised in a very traditional Sicilian home. During those days, young girls were groomed to be good wives and mothers. College was not encouraged. Like most girls in my neighborhood, I dreamed of a happy marriage and large family. It was after my oldest child was in college that I first desired to be an attorney "when I grew up."
FIRST JOB: Clerk-stenographer, Federal Communications Commission
WORST JOB: None. I learned many things from each job that prepared me for the next one. Assuredly, I enjoyed some aspects of each job more than others, but there has not been one job that I disliked.
CAREER HISTORY: 1971-1973: Legal assistant to the legal adviser to FCC Commissioner Robert Bartley.
1973-1979: Legal assistant to a division chief and an administrative law judge for the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C.
1979-1988: Stay-at-home mom; Cub Scout leader; classroom volunteer, PTO vice president and PTO president, all at Garrisonville Elementary; church volunteer; and Christian education teacher at St. William of York Catholic Church.
1988-2001: Legal assistant to a local attorney.
2001-2004: Law reader under the Virginia State Bar Law Reader Program.
2004-2006: Partner of the law firm of Jacoby & Pantazis.
2006-present: Sole practitioner with practice areas in divorce, custody, visitation and support, collections, landlord-tenant, and wills and estates.
WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WOULD CHANGE ABOUT YOUR JOB? While stress is an unavoidable consequence of the work attorneys do, if there were one thing I would change, it would be to have less stress in the job.
WHO WAS AND IS YOUR HERO? As a child, my hero was John F. Kennedy. I remember the excitement of President Kennedy's campaign and his efforts for equality and desegregation. Reading "Profiles in Courage" as a young girl was inspiring. Along with a grieving nation, I was devastated by his assassination and mourned his death.
My heroes today are Bill Gates and his fellow philanthropists who give their time and money to improve the world community.
WHO WAS YOUR MENTOR AND WHAT WAS THE BEST ADVICE HE OR SHE GAVE YOU? My mentor was John C. Bowers, deputy commonwealth's attorney for Spotsylvania County. Mr. Bowers is one of my former professors. The best advice he ever gave me is to have respect for myself and for my clients and to treat everyone, including opposing counsel and parties, with courtesy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST LOCAL RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES SEEKING ASSISTANCE IN GETTING STARTED OR EXPANDING? The Stafford County administrator's office and the Stafford County commissioner of revenue's office are good sources of information.
CAN YOU SHARE A WEIRD FUN FACT ABOUT YOUR PROFESSION THAT WE MIGHT NOT KNOW? A fun fact that our office shares with the Essex County courthouse is that we have almost identical tabby office cats who enjoy greeting our clients. The court clerk's cat is named Otis while our cat's name is Emma.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LIKELY TO BE DOING WHEN NOT WORKING? Working in my garden or playing with my grandchildren.
WHO WOULD YOU RATHER SPEND TIME WITH, WARREN BUFFETT, DORIS BUFFETT OR JIMMY BUFFETT? Warren Buffett. He is a brilliant businessman and investor, and a notable philanthropist. It would be awesome to spend a couple of hours with him to get his view on the positive and negative effects Wall Street investors have had on our economy and possible remedies to improve the economy. It would also be interesting to hear him speak of the charities he supports.
--As told to Craig Schulin
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