As a young girl growing up in New Jersey, I would pack up my school supplies into a makeshift briefcase, and walk into school every day with determination and a dream; a dream that I would one day be able to be a part of securing justice for people who were wronged. In elementary school, I thought my career would look like an episode of Law and Order: becoming a prosecutor and fighting crime.
In high school and college, I thought perhaps working towards change on a broader level, such as working in politics and pushing proactive legislation was my calling. I was very convinced, after working in urban development programs in Lynn, Massachusetts, and volunteering as part of the Hurricane Katrina disaster relief team in New Orleans, that the only way I could use my knowledge and education for a just cause was to work toward changing government systems and programs.
After college, I attended law school in Virginia, unsure on whether I would specialize in drafting legislation, or work towards becoming a prosecutor. I did excel in business law classes, so I ended up specializing in personal and business taxation, and setting up wills, trusts and estates. While attending law school, I completed various projects and committed to extracurricular activities to hone my skills. I was a member of the mock trial team for two consecutive years.
I worked with one of my professors as a research assistant, and assisted in helping him develop suggestions for a new standard of evidence in child sexual abuse cases. One job I found quite rewarding during this time, was drafting wills and travel authorizations pro bono for charity workers headed to foreign countries to administer food and aid. After law school, I took and passed both the New York and New Jersey bar exams.
I began working in a general practice, where I gained experience in criminal defense work, family law, and began my first foray into personal injury law. To my surprise, I found my new calling and my greatest satisfaction: getting justice for people who were injured, and making sure they were compensated for the terrible pain they had suffered, and the things they had lost during the process.
After practicing law in New Jersey as a managing partner at a small firm, my husband and I got married, and we relocated to beautiful Savannah, Georgia. I started my job at Michael G. Hostilo, LLC, as a case manager, while I studied for the Georgia bar exam.
I’m incredibly thankful I was able to work in this position first, because I gained a unique perspective on the clients’ needs during the course of their case. It also equipped me with the knowledge I’ve needed to train my team to give clients excellent service and care throughout the lawsuit process. I passed the Georgia Bar in 2014, and have been negotiating insurance claims for my clients ever since. I am so honored that so many people have trusted me to handle their cases.
I have finally fulfilled that dream I had so long ago, where I get to use my knowledge, training, and expertise to win small battles for justice every day; whether it be getting a client transportation so they can get their kids to school, handing a client a big check that will keep a roof over their head, or just being there to listen when a client needs to vent their frustration. I am so very proud to practice law here at Michael G. Hostilo, LLC.