I started with the firm as a law clerk in the summer of 2014 and became an associate after earning admission to the Maryland Bar in December 2014. I work with Fred on estate planning and litigation.
Because I am a recent addition to the firm, I have an outsider’s perspective on how the firm manages client matters. One thing that stands out is the degree to which we focus on delivering superior client services. This means that we listen to our estate planning clients and do not push a “one-size-fits-all” approach. It means that we constantly explore new approaches, technologies and techniques to help our clients understand their options and to help them fully understand complex documents so to assist them in their decision-making. It means we are engaged in a process of continual improvement. A small, but important, example of this drive to continuously improve client services is illustrated by a project I assisted with early on. I was asked to fine-tune an attachment that we use to supplement the Maryland State health care directive. Health care directives are important to our clients and we want to enable them to communicate their wishes more effectively than is possible by just using the official form. The push to keep improving client services involves everything the firm does, across every practice area.
The firm functions as a team. I accompany Fred to the initial client meeting. For estate planning matters, this is when we discuss with clients their concerns and objectives and formulate a plan customized to the clients’ wishes. I draft the initial documents and make any revisions to those documents for the clients with whom I meet. During the drafting process, I review drafts with Fred’s input and I communicate with our clients to make sure the final draft captures their wishes. Also during the drafting process, I create customized tools to help clients follow and understand the flow and function of the documents.
I also work collaboratively on fiduciary litigation matters. Because of the nature of this work, it means that I research and draft memoranda on a variety of issues directly concerning the law of estates and trusts. I also do a lot of the leg-work involved in drafting court pleadings and tracking down evidence necessary to litigation, through formal and informal discovery. My involvement in our litigation work gives me insights that I then bring to our estate planning and drafting practice.
I graduated in 2011, magna cum laude and University Honors, from Brigham Young University with a B.A. in History. I received my J.D. with honors from the George Washington University Law School in 2014. While at GW, I focused my coursework in the areas of federal taxation and trust and estate law. I was a member of the Public Contract Law Journal, where my note about tax-delinquent federal contractors was published in the summer 2014 issue. During law school, I assisted low-income individuals prepare federal tax returns as part of the IRS Voluntary Income Tax Assistance Program. I am a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, and the Anne Arundel County Bar Association.