I’m a big believer in the energy that change brings.
I practiced law for nearly a quarter century, but tried different things. I clerked for a judge. I defended clients while at large firms in New York and New Jersey. I prosecuted consumer and charitable fraud cases as a deputy attorney general in New Jersey. I opened a small law firm with my husband. I served as a court-appointed mediator and acted as a panel arbitrator for the stock exchange.
I enjoyed the life of the law and met some amazing people – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, when she was a newly-minted justice of the U.S. Supreme Court and I was a newly-admitted attorney there, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, when she was still a partner at Pavia & Harcourt in New York.
I also had three babies along the way.
In 2008, at the urging of my kids and with my husband’s support, I started chasing a lifelong dream of becoming a writer. I scaled back my legal practice and earned my Master’s in journalism from Columbia, where I wrote a bunch about schools and where peers half my age dragged me into the digital age.
I spent the next few years in North Carolina, at first counseling Duke Law students about their careers and writing for the alumni magazine. I reported on the courts in North Carolina and South Carolina for Lawyers Weekly and then landed at the North Carolina Justice Center, where I became the Courts Law and Democracy reporter for their media project, NC Policy Watch. I learned plenty while living in the Tar Heel State during a time of deep political and social upheaval there, working alongside people who’d spent their lives fighting to preserve the rights and dignity of all.
I’ve done some other neat things in this new chapter. I sat arms-length away from then-Justice Antonin Scalia as he regaled attorneys at a state bar association meeting. I visited the White House for a program on judicial appointments. I won a few writing awards. I interviewed and profiled some special people: authors Tracy Kidder and Dale Russakoff; filmmakers Errol Morris and Dawn Porter; former NC Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr and attorney Ann Majestic.
Now I'm back in Jersey, yet another change. I'll still be writing about some of the same issues -- the courts, education, social justice. But I’ll also be writing more on these pages about other things I love: good books, clean beaches and fresh air, travel, chocolate and, from time to time, family.
I hope you’ll join me.