I grew up in Livingston, Montana and graduated from Park High School in 1999. I then continued my education at the University of Montana- Bozeman and received a bachelor’s in English Literature. I realized I wanted more in life so I begin applying to graduate and law schools within the area. I was accepted into the University of South Dakota based upon my work in the “Summer Bummer’s program” in 2006.
I graduated in 2009 from law school. At the time the economy was not doing well and jobs for new attorneys were sparse specifically between the Sioux City and Sioux Falls area. During law school I met my husband, James. James grew up in Centerville, South Dakota and has been active within the farming community his whole life. James and I have one child, Emma and twin girls, Harper and Morgan.
We decided to make a life in Beresford, South Dakota and were not willing to relocate. Our decision was based upon the fact that Beresford is a supportive community and is very family oriented.
In March of 2010 I opened my own law firm after looking for a legal job for a little over a year. Between 2009 and March of 2010 I had a lot of support within the legal community for opening my own firm. Luckily I had met Judge Alan D. Dietrich, Judge Patricia C. Riepel and Judge John A. Schlimgen through my part time job at Macy’s. Each of them encouraged me to apply for court appointments within Minnehaha County. I had previously interned with the Minnehaha County Public Defender’s Office so I knew enough to get started. I also had the support of Thomas Keller, Bob Morris, Tom Frieberg, David Stuart and many others. I found that every attorney in the state has always tried to help me become successful as a solo practitioner.
I am thankful that I decided to start my own firm because it has given me many opportunities I may not have had working in a larger firm. Some days are difficult but for the most part I am able to determine which cases I take on and can decide when I take pro bono cases. The best part of this is when I am able to see how people change after I am able to help them and how grateful they are for my help.
I am the executive director of the Beresford Chamber of Commerce Board and the President of the Beresford Pool and Fundraising committee for the city of Beresford. My affiliations include but are not limited to: Women in Law, American Bar Association, State Bar of South Dakota, Young Lawyers Board of State Bar of South Dakota, Access to Justice, Judicare, Solo and Small Firm Practitioner Committee, the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and Clay Union Bar Association and currently serve as one of five attorney’s on the Union County Public Defender Contract.
I look forward to continuing my work with the State Bar to help the state maintain its reputation as one of the best states to practice law, helping clients and the community.