edene shirley (Shirley) lakpa
- Howard University, Bachelor of Science in Biology, 2018
- Tutored with the Petey Greene Program, 2015-2018
- President of the Howard University Chapter of the Petey Greene Program, 2016-2018
- Tutored at Jennifer Roads Detention Center with the Petey Greene Program, 2015-2018
When I moved to the District of Columbia 6 years ago, family law was not yet what I had in mind. I entered my freshman year at Howard University with the intention of practicing medicine and eventually serving as a pediatric neurosurgeon. However, I noticed that I had a hunger to learn more about the world around me, particularly history and the legal system. This led me to tutoring incarcerated adults and choosing electives that would allow me to expand my knowledge outside of the STEM field. The elective courses I became enthralled with were philosophy and American history. I imagined my ambitions similar to Liza Weil’s Gilmore Girls character, Paris Geller. If you have ever seen Gilmore Girls, you know Paris is focused, determined, and ambitious when she decides to apply to medical and law school. She is subsequently accepted into both professional programs. Although Paris eventually decides to become a physician, my path has recently led me to pursue a career in law.
After graduating from Howard with a degree in Biology, I took time off and worked in a tech company. As I worked and lived outside of my educational bubble, my desire to give back to the communities around me grew. I wanted to make a direct impact while helping people. I began to engage with and explore, the social and societal issues many face day-to-day. The pivotal point for me came with the events surrounding the death of George Floyd.
Seeing our legal system changing before my eyes, I wanted to be a part of the process. Although there are a multitude of ways to help others, I could not deny the strong pull I felt toward the legal field. I knew I wanted to marry my thirst for knowledge with my strong sense of compassion, and that I would be best suited for a legal concentration that required both. When the opportunity arose to serve as a Legal Assistant for Z Family Law, I jumped at the chance to work for a firm focused on helping people through tough times, with the outlook that this is a path forward to new endeavors.
Working in operations allowed me to grow my organizational skills. One thing I’ve learned whether tutoring inside a correctional facility, running organizations on campus while juggling a full course load, or coordinating events for a tech company, is that the details matter! This, in addition to a high level of attention to detail, ensures that I am on top of things. This attention to detail I know will make me an asset to your case. Family Law in particular, requires combining those skills with compassion and empathy. These are the characteristics that will make a big difference in quality of care.
When I’m not learning on the job, I enjoy hiking, yoga, cooking and attempting to bake. Other than my professional goals, I’m hoping to master the art of baking and hope to one day make my mothers orange cake from scratch.
Looking forward to working with you.