On last year’s “Love Your Lawyer Day,” we asked attorneys why they chose to become lawyers. After all, the legal realm can be a challenging field, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. In the responses we received, we saw two significant trends emerge.
The first: legal work is a good fit for intellectually curious, zealous personality types.
“My Dad started a debate with me daily,” quipped Amy Wirtz of Wirtz Legal Solutions LLC in Cleveland. “It was a natural path.”
Wirtz seems to be one of the many people who realized they could best channel their natural pugnaciousness, drive and desire to uncover the truth into only one profession.
As another celebration of “Love Your Lawyer Day” is upon us we wanted spread the word about our list selectees and their community service efforts. Because, after all, pro bono and community service are one of the 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional achievement we use to build our candidate pool. And nowhere is the idea of giving back to the community where you live and work than at The Glenn Armentor Law Corporation in Lafayette, Louisiana.
For five-time Louisiana Super Lawyers list selectee Glenn Armentor growing up in poverty as one of ten children in the deep south is a time he won’t soon forget. From being forced to wear shabby clothes to school to committing petty crimes Armentor felt cheated and often got into trouble.
But after a tough upbringing and a chance meeting with a police officer Armentor began to figure it out. He earned a bachelor’s degree, then went through law school at Louisiana State University with money he earned from a dangerous offshore oil rig job. Then he began to pay it back.
“I started thinking about how I could give at-risk kids an opportunity to go to college,” he says. With help from advisers at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he launched the Pay-it-Forward Scholarship program, which provides $10,000 each in tuition to about five students annually to attend the university. The program’s funds come directly from Armentor.
For Sarasota attorney and 2017 Florida Super Lawyers list selectee Jennifer Compton, her passion resides with helping fight the gender gap in technology. Compton is on the board and a “lifer” at Sarasota’s Girls Inc., which provides after-school and summer education to about 400 girls. While her extended tenure as president is coming to a close this year, Compton has undoubtedly left a mark, especially in the area of technology.
“A lot of our girls don’t have access to technology other than at the center,” Compton says. “They don’t have the luxury of a desktop at home, let alone a tablet or smartphone. So what if we enhanced our technology and did this for our girls? Forget about opening a window; let’s open the door.”
“By summer, we had five weeks of technology and two weeks of coding at our summer camp, and it was a huge success,” Compton says. “Then we started hearing about the Hour of Code in public schools, and Google did the whole Made with Code program. It was a movement that we were in the forefront of and got caught up in, in a very good way.”
So good, in fact, that Microsoft granted Girls Inc. $60,000 in software, and also lent employees and space for its 2016 camp. Girls from kindergarten to eighth grade have access to the outreach programs.
For some it’s paying it forward in terms of education or battling a gender gap in technology. For others it might be shedding light on veteran’s issues or even representing the wrongly accused. Read more stories about our selected attorneys and the power of their good works here.