So this is about me. I do not always say what people like to hear, but I’m honest. I do not need to use big words; why complicate things? Yes, I am an attorney by degree and practice since 2006, but I like to think of myself as a glorified problem solver. I do not come from a family of attorneys. I was not top of my class in law school. I just like to help people and I have found my passion in trying to do just that … but it was a journey of trial and error before then …
Since I was a young girl, I always had aspirations of helping others. My mom, knowing me better than I knew myself, actually made the suggestion that I take Latin for my foreign language in case I wanted to go to law school. I told her the idea of me being a lawyer was crazy; I considered many things to help others, but an ATTORNEY was certainly NOT one of them because, at the time, my perception of attorneys through TV and the media was that they were in it only for the money or because they just liked to argue. Although money can be a great reward for a job well done and is needed to run a business, it was never what solely motivated me. I’m too hard headed.
During high school I thought about becoming a nun for a fleeting moment but loved children too much and hoped to one day have a family of my own. I also thought about becoming a nurse as I admired my grandmother doing for 30 years but I still can’t stand the sight of blood. I even started college with the idea of becoming a special education teacher inspired by my Aunt Gwyn, because she will thank you every time you see her for years for simply buying her a McDonald’s hamburger that you or I would forget about after we ate it. The last thing I ever thought I would be: an attorney.
My parents divorced when I was 15 years old; after that I REALLY did not like attorneys. Living hotel to hotel with my dad and older brother for months and then with my Uncle while my younger brother and sister lived with my mom, times were tough emotionally and financially. Although my grandfather was one of the wealthiest men in New Orleans, he grew up in the great depression with the belief that you should earn your keep. Although difficult at the time, it turned out to be the greatest gift he gave me besides my name: my work ethic. That, combined with my dad always telling me I could do anything I put my mind to; his positive reinforcement gave me a false sense of confidence that fueled me to succeed at whatever I did. I knew that if I wanted to go to finish high school and go to college, I had to earn it. If I wanted something, I had to ask. Every step of the way, someone laughed at me or simply told me, “no”. But I didn’t give up and eventually, someone was there to help. Those are the people I will never forget.
I started working full-time as a Barista during high school at Chateau Café because Scott Korndorffer believed me and gave me a chance when I told him I could get to work even though I did not have a car. I would put my work uniform on in the bathroom at school, walk to work and walk home. I modeled for Cache so that I could get a discount and afford to buy my prom dress. I took a job selling CUTCO as a second job during the summer and walked door to door selling knives until I saved enough to buy my first car: a 1990 Ford Tempo with an Alaska license plate that only had a heater. With the help of James Lajaunie in LSU’s finance department I was able to get TOPS for tuition so I could go to college. I worked as much as three jobs at one time while going to school full-time to put myself through school.
I sang in a rock band throughout college for fun because I love moving a crowd. I worked at Sullivan’s Steakhouse as a hostess, cocktail waitress and eventually bartender. When corporate changed the uniforms to skirts for the women, I made sure the female bartenders still got to wear pants. I waited on lots of people, learned a lot and can still make a good martini with lots of ice crystals. I love people so working in the service industry was second nature. You can learn a lot by just talking to people and showing a genuine interest. It’s what I enjoy.
After talking to people from various walks of life, I discovered that law affected almost every aspect of our daily lives and it could be a tool to truly help people. Although difficult to leave the service industry, I took a severe pay cut and started off as a runner for a law firm over 10 years ago. Mr. Larry Roedel had enough faith in me to hire me to run errands for his firm of over 20 plus attorneys to courthouses from Plaquemines to Orleans. The attorneys at Roedel Parsons were instrumental in my decision to go to law school and supported me through law school recommendations, clerkships during law school and job opportunities post-law school graduation. It’s also where I met my friend and legal big sister, Cori Blache, who still mentors me today on both law and life.
After graduating I practiced as an associate attorney in various areas of the law including family law, insurance defense, personal injury, medical malpractice defense and class actions. One of my greatest inspirations was Donna Lee of Lee & Walsh who mentored me and saw something in me that I did not see in myself. She not only believed in my abilities in the court room but allowed and encouraged me to explore other areas of the law. After working for 700 plus person firm doing insurance defense, I knew I wanted to leave the corporate firm life because I missed helping people. I liked knowing names, not just numbers. I will never forget Brent Kinchen and Valerie Bargas for mentoring me and ultimately supporting my decision to follow my passion and open my own firm.
Over three years ago, on May 1, 2009 after my cousin Maddie’s presentation of the May crowning, I took a leap of faith and opened my own firm. Since then I have been doing just what I set out to do: following my passion of helping others … whether it be helping them to recover from the emotional trauma of a divorce, determining what custody is in the best interest of their children, ensuring that their children are receiving the benefit of support, devising an equitable property resolution through settlement or trial, achieving their dreams of opening a new business or promoting an existing business through product development, branding and financing options, assisting them in recovering from loss or injury from car, boating or other accidents or simply helping them find ways to achieve their goals and dreams.
Gaubert Law exists only as long as clients need my help (www.gaubertlaw.com). My approach to practicing law is client-focused because law, like people, does not operate in a vacuum; we must consider the costs of our decisions, emotionally and financially. If a better result can be achieved outside the judicial system that is quicker and more efficient, then my client has the option to make an informed decision. The courts are here as often last resort because law is often slow and costly. I get to sleep well at night knowing I counseled my client through those options; but I also know if we need to fight, I’m ready to put my boots on.
LOLWITHJEN just gives me an even bigger venue to effect change and help others. So send me your questions via Facebook and I will find an attorney, Judge, representative, senator or industry professional to answer your question. Just like my firm, the radio show only continues if you need my help. So keep those questions coming and keep tuning in to LOLWITHJEN!